Past Meetup

Intro to Malibu Creek State Park

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We'll continue to gather our hiking wits after the summer lay-off with this relatively easy meander through one of our regional treasures.

MCSP is 7000 rugged acres of land acquired by the state in 1974 from 3 parcels belonging to Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, and 20th Century Fox. With lineage like that, you just know movie magic was made here, and that’s exactly right. M*A*S*H, Planet of the Apes, Roots, How Green Was My Valley, Pleasantville, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Dr. Doolittle are among the movies and TV shows filmed on the land we’ll tread.

We’ll stitch together the Yearling Trail, Lookout Trail, Crag's Road, Cage Trail, and the Deer Leg Trail along our way. Highlights will be the Rock Pool, famed for cinematic skinny dipping (that’s optional on our hike), Century Lake, carved out at the turn of the last century by wealthy sportsmen, and the M*A*S*H site, still home to a rusted out jeep and ambulance used in the TV series (word is the site has been upgraded- let's find out!). We’ll take a few minutes to enjoy each of those sites. Natural wonders include Malibu Creek, towering cliffs, Goat Buttes (featured in the opening credits of M*A*S*H), redwoods, grasslands, lava formations, and lots of chaparral.

The trails run the gamut from single track to fire road, with a dry stream bed for good measure. The hike is under 7 miles, in a kind of mangled loop, with some retracing thrown in for fun. The total elevation gain is 1000 feet, but we’ll be roller-coastering at times, so we’ll only climb a few hundred feet at any given time. Elevation is not a huge factor. We’ll be in and out of shade. This hike should be fairly easy for us, and we should take our time to enjoy the views and this gem of a park. If you like to rock climb, wear suitable shoes (trail runners are fine), so you can clamber around at the Rock Pool. If you don't, you may want to wear your boots, as there's some loose dirt and small rocks at various points along our way.

We’ll park in the service lot at the southeast corner of Mulholland Hwy and Cornell Rd (Cornell becomes Lake Vista Dr when you cross Mulholland). Entrance to the lot is off Lake Vista Dr. Parking is free.

Directions:

From the 101, exit at Kanan Rd and drive south (toward the ocean). Just past Agoura Rd, turn left onto Cornell Way (Way, not Road) and stay to the right onto Cornell Rd (ah, there’s Road). Follow Cornell Rd for about 3 miles, then turn left into the first driveway after crossing over Mulholland Hwy (Mulholland is the first stop sign).

From PCH, you can: Head north on Kanan Rd, then turn right onto Mulholland Rd to Cornell/Lake Vista and turn right (there’s a stop sign at the intersection). Turn left into the first driveway. OR head north on Malibu Canyon Rd, then turn left at Mulholland (there’s a stop light- Malibu Creek State Park will be on your left). Follow Mulholland to Cornell/Lake Vista and turn left (there’s a stop sign there), and turn left into the first driveway.