Experience state parks year round.

Malibu Creek State Park

This park is a hidden gem located just 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Featuring 15 miles of stream side trail through oak and sycamore woodlands on chaparral covered slopes, it's like going on vacation!

Photo Credit: Dean Zulich

Malibu Creek State Park

Getting There

Malibu Creek State Park can be reached by driving south on Las Virgenes Rd. from the 101 Freeway in Lost Hills or north on Malibu Canyon Rd. from PCH in Malibu. No dogs.

Things to Do

Best things to do in June:

  • Rock climb
    Malibu Creek State Park has a sport climbing area with a number of excellent steep routes. It's fairly challenging ... there are few routes below 5.10. Three main areas: Planet of the Apes Wall (good for top roping), the Ghetto Wall (steep cave-like climbs) and the Mash Boulder. Get more info from the Mountain Project.
  • Check out Rock Pool
    Flowing from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Pacific, the park’s namesake creek passes through Rock Pool, a lagoon the size of a baseball diamond with semi-submerged boulders mimicking base plates. The surrounding orange sandstone walls with Swiss-cheese pockets exude such an out-of-this-world appearance it’s not surprising that they were cast as a backdrop in the original Planet of the Apes. Pack a lunch and enjoy it at a lone picnic table under the shade of nearby sycamores. Rock Pool can be accessed by several trails; we recommend making it an afternoon doubleheader by taking the 3-mile (round-trip) hike that begins on the South Grassland Trail and gains just enough elevation to provide panoramic views. Full details at Weekend Sherpa.

Trip Tips/Things to See

Did you know that lots of Hollywood movies have been filmed in Malibu Creek State Park? A couple notable films include:

  • M*A*S*H -- For the 1970 movie, directed by Robert Altman, and the acclaimed CBS television series with Alan Alda (1972-1983), the 'South Korean' tent encampment was built on a Twentieth Century Fox Movie lot in Malibu Creek State Park.
  • Planet of the Apes -- A number of scenes of the 1968 movie were filmed in Malibu Creek State Park. The classic final scene was filmed on the beach of Point Dume State Beach.

Long before opening to the public and decades prior to a starring role as a movie ranch for 20th Century Fox, the land comprising Malibu Creek State Park was actually a country club. There was no caddyshack at Crags Country Club—which opened in 1910—but members did hunt, hike, and fish at what was then a decidedly remote spot. They also left their mark on the land, most notably Century Dam and Century Lake. The 1.5-mile (one-way) hike to get there starts on the Grasslands Trail, which edges golden slopes busy with dive-bombing swallows. Beyond an impressive Valley oak (the park marks the trees’ southern limit), the trail climbs up and to the right before dropping you into the valley toward Crags Road. Veer right again and savor the shade of a Coast Live Oak before reaching a junction with signs for the lake. As the road climbs, look left for a primitive path that leads to the foundation, with low walls and tile floor that survive from the old club’s Bavarian-style lodge. Back on the road, the route levels out and a trail on the left drops to a picnic table along Century Lake. It’s a gorgeous spot: lily pads and reeds hug the shore, and the still waters beautifully reflect volcanic formations above the dam. Chill out, then return the way you came. Full details at Weekend Sherpa.

Nearby State Parks

Consider visiting these nearby state parks:

  • Malibu Lagoon State Beach
  • Topanga State Park
  • Point Dume State Beach

More Resources

Department of Parks and Recreation: Official Park Webpage

Cooperating Association: Malibu Creek Docents

More Fun Ideas at: Weekend Sherpa



California State Parks Foundation

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