MALIBU CREEK STATE PARK
Just 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles, the park features hiking, fishing, bird watching and horseback riding opportunities.
There are 15 miles of streamside trail through oak and sycamore woodlands an chaparral-covered slopes.
Twenty-five-mile Malibu Creek in the park is the principal water-course of the Santa Monica Mountains - from Boney Mountain to Malibu Lagoon.
The park was the center of Chumash Native American life for centuries and was once used to film numerous movies and TV shows, such as Planet of the Apes and M*A*S*H.
Located in the Santa Monica Mountains, this park was once inhabited by Chumash Indians around 8,000 years ago. Later on, it became part of a Spanish land grant known as Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit.
In the early 20th century, portions were owned and used for filming purposes by Paramount Pictures and later Twentieth Century Fox. The area served as backdrop to popular films like "Planet of Apes" (1968) and TV series such as M*A*S*H.
The State acquired these lands from Bob Hope's estate in two purchases during late-1970s/early-1980s. It officially opened its doors to public use in May 1976 with an initial size of about three thousand acres; today it spans over seven thousand acres offering recreational activities including hiking trails.
- Malibu Creek State Park Campground: Offers 63 sites for tents, trailers and RVs with picnic tables and fire rings.
- Group Camping Sites: Two group campsites available accommodating up to 50 people each.
- Hike & Bike Site: For cyclists or hikers only; no vehicles allowed.
- Equestrian camping site: Available but requires prior reservation.
Malibu Creek State Park is located near Agoura Hills, Beverly Hills and Calabasas
Malibu Creek Trail To Rock Pool is 3.5 miles round trip with 150-foot elevation gain;to Century Lake is 4.5 miles round trip with 200-foot elevation gainBefore land for Malibu Creek State Park was acquired in 1974, it was divided into three parcels belonging to Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, and 20th Century Fox. Although the park is still used for moviemaking, it?s primarily a haven for day hikers and picnickers.
Today the state park preserves more than 7,000 acres of rugged country in the middle of the Santa Monica Mountains. Malibu Creek winds through the park. The creek was dammed at the turn of the century to form little Century Lake.
The trail along Malibu Creek explores the heart of the state park. It?s an easy, nearly level walk that visits a dramatic rock gorge, Century Lake and several locales popular with moviemakers.
Directions to trailhead: From Paciﬁc Coast Highway, turn inland on Malibu Canyon Road and proceed 6.5 miles to the park entrance, 0.25 mile south of Mulholland Highway. If you?re coming from the San Fernando Valley, exit the Ventura Freeway (101) on Las Virgenes Road and continue four miles to the park entrance.
The hike: From the parking area, follow the wide ﬁre road. You?ll cross the all-but-dry creek. The road soon forks into a high road and a low road. Go right and walk along the oak-shaded high road, which makes a long, lazy left arc as it follows the north bank of Malibu Creek. You?ll reach an intersection and turn left on a short road that crosses a bridge over Malibu Creek.
You?ll spot the Gorge Trail and follow it upstream a short distance to the gorge, one of the most dramatic sights in the Santa Monica Mountains. Malibu Creek makes a hairpin turn through 400-foot volcanic rock cliffs and cascades into aptly named Rock Pool. The ?Swiss Family Robinson? television series and some Tarzan movies were ﬁlmed here.
Return to the trailhead or retrace your steps back to the high road and bear left toward Century Lake. As the road ascends you?ll be treated to a ﬁne view of Las Virgenes Valley. When you gain the crest of the hill, you?ll look down on Century Lake. Near the lake are hills of porous lava and topsy-turvy sedimentary rock layers that tell of the violent geologic upheaval that formed Malibu Canyon. The lake was scooped out by members of Crag?s Country Club, a group of wealthy, turn of-the-century businessmen who had a nearby lodge.
You can call it a day here, or continue on the ﬁre road past Century Lake. You?ll pass the location of the now-removed set for the ?M*A*S*H? television series. The prominent Goat Buttes that tower above Malibu Creek were featured in the opening shot of each episode.
The park is located four miles south of Highway 101 on Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road.Latitude/Longitude: 34.1033 / -118.7331