The park’s trails have something for everyone – from novices to those looking for real challenges. The easy routes wind through the valleys and the challenging tails climb the walls of those valleys.
Malibu Creek is a great place for serious mountain bikers because of the plentiful steep terrain - especially Bulldog Road and Mesa Peak Motorway (where there are fewer hikers). Beginners can have fun along Crags Road - the main hiking trail through the park. Those seeking additional challenge on two wheels can take on the dry creek bed between Century Lake and the M*A*S*H set.
Crags Road / High Road Loop from the parking lot , it's 1.5 miles of wide flat terrain along Crags / High Road. Take a left at the “T” over the bridge and circle back on the Low Road.
Mott Road A perfect, short out and back trail for beginner mountain bikers or family hikes with young children. 2 miles R/T from parking lot.
Crags Road to M*A*S*H set A rocky creek bed with large boulders makes the going more interesting. It’s the short but solid uphill climb (approx. 6 mins) that bumps this from “Easy” to “Moderate”
Crags Road to Forest Trail Same trail as above except take a left after the small bridge to Forest Trail where you’ll walk among real redwoods planted around 1910. Dead-ends at Century Dam.
Grasslands Trail Beautiful hike through rolling hills covered in tallgrass in season
Yearling Trail On the old Reagan Ranch - runs through the grass near the edge of a wooded area. It’s popular with equestrians and is a little horse-rutted.
Bulldog Road It’s a long steep grind and this trail is not for the faint of heart! 1,700 feet of elevation gain over 3.4 miles, but you rewarded with terrific views of the park and the ocean at the top. For those who want a taste of Bulldog but might not be up to the whole climb, they can do what we call Little Bulldog Loop which at just over 3 miles roundtrip takes you into the Malibou Lake community then back into the park. The Big Bulldog Loop is 15 miles from the main parking lot, down through Tapia Park, up the Mesa Peak Motorway across the top and down Bulldog into the park.
Mesa Peak Motorway a dramatic 2.5 mile climb along the wall of Malibu Canyon
Both of these routes provide access to the holy grail of trails in the Santa Monica Mountains – the 67-mile long Backbone Trail.
Thanks to Steve at Ventura County Trails for help with trail text. For fuller descriptions of park trails, please see:
Lots of great climbs from 5.8 to 5.10c are found around the Rock Pool. The easiest to reach is the Planet of the Apes Wall - so named because scenes from the "Apes" films were filmed on and around it. "Apes" is almost all overhanging routes Over at the Rock Pool, are another ten routes, some that overhang the water. Fun bouldering here too.
The long gently rolling hills on the old Reagan Ranch provide a classic riding experience. Ron and Nancy spent lots of time on the trails here, you can too. The rest of the park offers great riding from easy to challenging.
Urban camping at its best! In the park, you are surrounded by dramatic peaks, majestic oaks and wild creatures, but just minutes away is a posh Albertson’s grocery store and restaurants.
The campground contains 62 tent campsites, flush toilets, solar-heated showers, and four RV campsites. Every campsite contains a fire pit and picnic table but no hookups.
Summers can be hot, so prime time is Fall, Winter and Spring. If you get up early, you'll likely see deer nibbling on grass in the fields near the campground.
For full campground information and reservations, use ReserveCalifornia:
The San Fernando Valley Audubon Society sponsors bird walks for beginning and intermediate birders the third Sunday of each month at 8 AM starting in the day-use parking area of Malibu Creek State Park. Walks are conducted at a leisurely pace through the oak woodland and riparian forest before heading through more open, grassland habitat toward the visitor's center. Depending on the season and conditions, 35 to 45 species may be seen. Participants are free to come and go as their schedules and interest permit. Walks usually conclude between 11:30 AM and noon and are cancelled in the event of rain. For more information: www.sfvaudubon.org
Follow your bliss, do what makes you happy including running barefoot through the wildflowers (in season).
A true rarity in Southern California is a state park with a lake! But we have one. Century Lake is named after 20th Century Fox Studios who owned this land before it was a park. Our small finger lake is perfect for a casual paddle, but keep clear of the dam because that's one steep drop to the other side.
Thanks Stephanie & Devin!
Special Group Hikes
Would your school, group or company like a special guided hike of Malibu Creek State Park?
It's a great way to share L.A.'s most spectacular park with your students or employees. We're happy to arrange custom hikes for groups of ten or more.
For more information, please contact us at:
The Malibu Creek Docents P.O. Box 8998 Calabasas, CA 91372 Contact: Kathy Julian firstname.lastname@example.org
Website design & admin: Brian Rooney, R7 Media 310.280.0200 brian.rooney@R7Media.com
For filming & photography: Ranger Melony Light 818.880.0358 email@example.com
Are you an educator looking for a fun and educational outdoor experience? We have docents available to lead School Walks and share their knowledge of our park with your students, including a visit to the Rock Pool and Visitor Center! (time permitting) Scholarships for bus transportation may be available on a limited basis. Please contact Debbie Sabag for more information.
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