Nicholas Flat via Decker School Road is a 3.5 mile loop trail located near Malibu, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length3.5 miElevation gain623 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingWalkingRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlife
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Reviews (129)
Photos (395)
Activities (119)
Completed (202)
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jimmy wakimoto
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Hiking

Thanks Very nice, moderate level hike. Mostly flat, but some steep sections. The lake (pond) had some water. Took this trail counterclockwise which I think is best, because the “destination” lake is nearer the EMD. Looks like the water level is about 8 feet higher when full based on water line on rock. Looks like there would be a trail side creek after a decent rain. The trail head parking was a little hard to find, you have to take the “No Exit “ road from Hwy 23. There’s parking on the side of the road at the marked trailhead or drive down another 1/4 mile, the road ends there. Lots of flowers blooming and really vast views. I arrived late (about 9am) and no one else was on the trail. Ended up see about 4 other parties before the end of the hike. Not heavily trafficked at all. Will surely come back when there’s more water.

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Fran Siegel
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HikingGreat!Off trail

The trail is truly beautiful and now the hills are filled with flowers and dramatic post fire-growth. BUT if you do the counterclockwise without the app. there are confusing unmarked offshoots. I imagine the trail signs burned with the fire? We missed a sharp left turn and almost ended down at Mulholland. And even with the extra uphill still completely enjoyable.

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nicole hernandez
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Hiking

Beautiful hike. There were a couple of hills that got my blood pumping but otherwise just a relaxing stroll with amazing views of the beach. I won’t counterclockwise but I don’t think it necessarily matters. And there was only a handful of other walkers.. There is a small parking lot and also an opportunity to park on the side of the road a little further up from the parking lot.

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Ingrid Hillebrand
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HikingGreat!

Such a beautiful trail. Did this with a few girlfriends for my birthday hike. Definitely take counter clockwise loop... well worth the beautiful views of the ocean :)

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Kathy Williams
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Hiking

Great vistas. Sounds and birds- blue birds, harriers, red tailed hawks, towhees

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Ramsin Oshana
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Hiking

Spectacular. Counter-clockwise is the way to go. Thanks whoever commented that, great advice.

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Nicole Bourdon
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Hiking

Great easy trail, I went counter clockwise for the views on the way down. Lots of gnats

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Louie Valdez
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Hiking

Really enjoyed this loop trail! has everything from Meadows, oak groves with foliage coverage . Oceanview and nice view point of sandstone creek....moderate to easy trail with a few ascents but nothing too major GPS from Westlake took me to Decker school Road so take that to the end with few places to park and if you do a loop trail it will be just under 5 miles enjoy it.

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Brett Evans
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Hiking

Way too many gnats at the time, otherwise it’s an great quick hike

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McKinley Reynolds
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WalkingGreat!

Beautiful hike with great views of the ocean and the mountains.

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Brian Norton
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Hiking
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karen galardi
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful and quiet. I consider it more on the moderate side.

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Mary Hicks
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Hiking

Really nice. Everything brown right now but still beautiful views of the ocean and a nice breeze.

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Thomas Sovinec
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Hiking

The water level in Nicholas Pond is a little low, but there were still about 2 dozen ducks in it. I recommend taking the short detour to the summit of the 1736 foot peak for a nice ocean view. In the late afternoon during my visit, Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island were well defined. The main objective of my visit was to hike all the way down to Pacific Coast Highway on the Nicholas Ridge Motorway, and also to try to reach Decker Road below the Decker Canyon Camp (both were successful). There are also 2 new parks to the southeast of the Nicholas Flat Nature Preserve (Robert Yoshio Nagata Park, and Leo A. Carrillo and Edith Carrillo Memorial Park). They are unsigned and not on most maps but there is some info on the LA County Trails and MRCA websites.

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Hernando Hernandez
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Hiking
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Massimo Grassia
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Hiking
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Gary Hirschhorn
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Hiking

Very nice hike with well-maintained trail and beautiful views of ocean. Starts off flat (when going along ocean side) but deeper in there is some moderate elevation gain. Nothing terribly difficult but surprised us a bit. There are a few forks where you can cut off some of the hike to avoid some of the elevation. Saw very few people.

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George Boutselis
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Hiking

hidden gem of a hike, really easy and calm but beautiful views of the ocean and the mountains, nice hike to just clear your mind

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Maureen Monfore
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HikingGreat!

Relatively flat with ocean views if you go up.

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Antonio Calderon
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HikingGreat!

Great trail with great views

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Antonio Calderon
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HikingGreat!
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César García
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Hiking

Good hike. Looks like it would be better in the spring.

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Mattias Unger
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Hiking
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Jimmy P
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HikingGreat!

10:47. Car. Elevation: 1502 Limited parking—-at trailhead snd at end of the road. I parked and started hike at the end of the road. Well marked trail. 10:30. Pond—is peaceful 11:40. Car Way cool trail with no one on it. Easy walk-hike but worth it.

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George Boutselis
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Hiking
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Massimo Grassia
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Hiking
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Jon Konopack
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Hiking
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Rose Holmes
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Hiking
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Nick S
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Hiking
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