Nicholas Flat Trail

MODERATE 63 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Nicholas Flat Trail is a 7.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Malibu, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2148 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Beautiful trail in Leo Carillo State Park that takes you from the beach to the mountains. Nothing too steep or technical, and you'll be rewarded with amazing views. Be sure to check out the wildflowers here when they are in bloom.

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2 days ago

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3 days ago

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9 days ago

If you're doing the full ocean-to-Nicholas Flats hike, it can be very challenging, as the 1-mile portion climbing from the beach to the ridge is an unimproved wash-out, closer to a goat trail than a park trail. This is not a trail for beginners. Highly recommend poles so you don't break an ankle in this portion. Start early, as the sun can be brutal.

The rest of the trail is rolling hills with some good elevation dips and gains (approx. 2100 ft increase in elevation). Great view and terrain throughout. If you're an experienced hiker, I highly recommend this route. If you're a beginner, I don't recommend this trail.

Lastly, don't expect any water in the "pond" at Nicholas Flats, unless we've had heavy rainfall. I've hiked this area over 100 times, and found water only in January 2017.

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20 days ago

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hiking
5 months ago

April 1st, 2017....started a little late out of Leo, about 10 am, but great ocean breezes. took the left fork to Nicholas Flats with a fairly quick pace. Stopped several times to admire the wild flowers. Water on Nicholas Flats!!! First time in many years. Tad poles galore on the shorelines ....frogs should be croaking in good form soon!
Hike is becoming somewhat more difficult ...the last few heavy rains have made the upper part of the trail rutted and rocky from the natural runoff, thus more technical and slower going. Can't see that it will be worked on in the near feature, so be prepared for a more difficult push just before the ridge line trail. The lush green meadow and full pond/small lake do make it all worthwhile!

hiking
5 months ago

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6 months ago

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6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Very steep climb in the first 2 miles. Gorgeous views! Make sure you have lots of water!
We did the whole thing and took a snack break by the pond!

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Cool awesome workout but everything is unmarked. So ended up hiking an extra seven miles.