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. An equestrian center with trailer parking and campsites is planned for the former Reagan Ranch:
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 primetime 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,
Customer Service 1-800-695-2269
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!
with the Malibu Creek Docents
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:
Docent Tom's Famous Hikes
- each Spring!
Tom has been leading these hikes for years and they're a great, fun way to explore L.A.'s most spectacular park.
You’ll learn about the animals, plants, flowers that fill our parkland and help Tom figure out a name for the hike along the way!
Hikes are 3.5 to 4.5 hours each depending on the pace of the group. Meet in the lower parking lot at 8:45am. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, bring two quarts of water, lunch or snack as well a wide-brimmed hat or sunscreen. Rain cancels. Please RSVP by the Thursday before the hike. Contact Tom at 818-216-7696 with any questions or firstname.lastname@example.org and leave your phone number.
Sunday Feb 17, 2019 CENTER HIKE Drive to Visitor Center > Roundtrip to MASH (w/Forest Trail, thru Century Lake)
Saturday March 23, 2019 SOUTHEAST HIKE Drive to Tapia Park > Tapia Spur Trail > Ann Skagar Trail > into meadow behind > end of Mott Road > Chapparal Trailhead > Visitor Center
Sunday 4/21/19 NORTHWEST HIKE Drive to Visitor Center > walk to Lookout Trailhead > Deerleg Trail > Reagan Ranch > Yearling trail > Cage Creek Trail > Crags Road > Century Lake > Visitor Center
Saturday 5/19/19 NORTHEAST HIKE Park at West Gate > hike to end of Lost Cabin Trail > Malibou Lake Dam and back to West Gate
"Welcome to Malibu Creek State Park"
Join a docent for a walk along the creek and through a wooded valley. Learn about the area’s animals, plants, early inhabitants and movies filmed in the park. Meet near the bathrooms in the lower / main parking lot at 10 am. Length: 2 hours. Come and bring your family and friends! Docents, trainees and visitors welcome. 2019 walks are happening:
The Malibu Creek Docents P.O. Box 4790 West Hills, CA 91308 Contact: Kathy Julian email@example.com
Website design & admin: Brian Rooney, R7 Media 310.280.0200 brian.rooney@R7Media.com
For filming & photography: Ranger Melony Light 818.880.0358 firstname.lastname@example.org
Malibu Creek State Park was badly damaged in a November 2018 wildfire, but recovery has begun. Please tread lightly and exercise caution when visiting.