Just about an hour from Orange County, Malibu Creek State Park offers an escape into the Santa Monica Mountains with opportunities for hiking, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, horseback riding, and camping.
Visitors can explore the 14-mile Malibu Creek and the always popular Malibu Lagoon, take in views of the Las Virgenes Valley and Malibu Canyon, and hike to famous filming locations like the M*A*S*H site.
Here is your guide to planning a visit to Malibu Creek State Park.
Malibu Creek State Park Details
Address: 1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302
Hours: 8AM – 10PM Daily
Parking: Park entrance fees required
Dogs: Allowed only in campground. Not allowed on trails.
Malibu Creek State Park has 35 miles of trails. Some that follow the creek, and travel through oak and sycamore woodlands, and offer scenic views of the surrounding area. Others that venture up to nearby peaks. Malibu Creek State Park is a popular destination, so it may get crowded on weekends. Here are some of the hikes you’ll want to try.
- Malibu Rock Pools – This is the shortest route to the rock pools. It’s only 2.1 miles out and back. Follow the High Road to Crags Road, then take the Rock Pool Trail until it ends at the Rock Pools. Relax here for a bit, take a dip if you’re prepared for it, then head back the way you came, or turn it into a loop and follow the High Road Trail all the way back to the parking lot.
- Crags Road – From the trailhead near the parking area, you can take High Road to Crags Road. You’ll travel along Malibu Creek for a bit, plus you’ll see the Planet of the Apes filming site, and the MASH filming site along this trail. Keep going along this trail and you can also make it to Malibu Lake.
- Backbone Trail to Saddle Peak – If you’d like to hike to the summit of Saddle Peak and take in the views, pick up the Backbone Trail at Stunt Road ad you can reach the summit via a 3.3 mile out and back hike.
The Malibu Creek Campground has 63 campsites and there is an additional group campground. Campsites can accommodate tents and RVs. Campfires are permitted in the metal fire rings during low fire-risk times. Reservations and registration is required for camping. Restrooms with flush toilets are on site, and drinking water and pay-showers are available. There is also a dump station for RVs.
What To See At Malibu Creek State Park
Filming Sites – 20th Century Fox Studios purchased property here in 1946 and used the land for filming a number of films and television shows including M*A*S*H, Roots, and Planet of the Apes. The Crags Road trail will take you to these Century Ranch sites.
Mott Adobe – All that remains of this adobe that was frequented by President Herbert Hoover is the stone fireplace, but it’s a fun stop to see some adobe ruins.
Reagan Ranch – This portion of the park was once Ronald Reagan’s ranch in the late 1940s. The park purchased the property in the 1970s. There are a few ranch houses on the property that are used by the State Parks department. You can see this section of the park from the Yearling Trail.
Hunt House – The Hunt House Visitor Center is an administrative building that has restrooms, campsites, picnic area, a campfire center, and you can take the accessible Ann Skager Trail where you’ll find braille signage for the visually impaired.
Natural Preserves – Malibu Creek State Park contains three subunits that are classified as natural preserves. A view of the park map will help you identify where the boundaries of each are located. These preserves provide sanctuary to a variety of plant and animal species. Kaslow Natural Preserve (1,900 acres) protects habitat for golden eagles, mountain lions, and the Santa Susana Tarplant. Liberty Canyon Natural Preserve (730 acres) protects valley oak woodland and savannah. The Udell George Natural Preserve (300 acres) is intended to protect rare native plant species.
Las Virgenes Creek – This year round stream is a small stream that flows through a portion of Malibu Creek State Park.
Malibu Creek – Malibu Creek is a year round stream that drains to the ocean through Malibu Lagoon. It flows through most of the park.
Malibu Rock Pools – The rock pools are a favorite local spot for swimming in a natural setting. It’s a beautiful spot, but keep in mind that there are high levels of bacteria and urban runoff present in the water here.
Century Lake & Malibu Lake – The two lakes in the park. Century Lake was originally constructed by Crags Country Club in the early 1900s, creating a 7-acre lake for fishing and duck hunting.
Malibu Creek State Park Features & Amenities
- Family & Group Campsites
- RV Access & Dumpstation
- Trails for hiking and biking
- Equestrian trails
- Historic sites
- Picnic areas
- Visitors center with exhibits, programs, guided tours
- Wildlife viewing
- Designated parking areas
- Restrooms and showers
- Potable water
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Heidi Deal is the author of the Newcomers Handbook to Living In Los Angeles & Orange County, and a children’s book author specializing in history and human rights.