Past Meetup

Nicholas Flat Trail at Leo Carrillo State Park Malibu CA

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The Nicholas Flat Trail is arguably the finest trail in the Leo Carrillo State Park. The park features chaparral, grassland, coastal scrub, and oak woodland- all converging near the flat we'll hike to.

The trail leaves the beach behind and climbs to a pond at Nicholas Flat where red-wing blackbirds and other songbirds while away the hours with an ocean view. The initial ascent will get your blood pumping almost as strongly as the open view we'll share with the birds.

All of the blood-pumping pays off with a wide grassland aerie and rare mountain pond. Behind the pond are rocky perches to take a break and refresh in the salty breeze. During migration season, gray whales roll a disinterested eye at the gaping hikers above them.

This hike is a tad over 7 miles, with 1700 ft of elevation gain.

The beginning of the hike is exposed, so dress and prepare accordingly. Shade is minimal.


From the 101, exit Kanan Rd. south and drive 12.5 miles to the Pacific Coast Highway. Turn west and drive 8 miles to Leo Carrillo State Park. Turn right into the park entrance and park in the day use park ($10) or park FREE on PCH.

The trail begins by the entrance kiosk on the inland side of the highway.

Address for GPS is 35000 West Pac Coast Hwy Malibu CA 90265