Malibu Creek State Park
Malibu Creek State Park is in California.
Once owned by 20th Century Fox, it was used for many famous movies and TV shows, including the 1960s classics, "Doctor Dolitte" and "Planet of the Apes" and the 1970s-80s TV series "M*A*S*H".
Flora and fauna
To park in the expansive parking lot at Malibu Creek State Park, it costs $12.00.
On weekdays, there is no one at the entrance booth, so the honor system is employed at a small yellow stand that dispenses small yellow envelopes. You tear off the tag and put the ticket on your dash and put the packet with $12.00 back in the yellow stand.
Keep in mind that a state parking pass pays for ALL parking for the rest of the day to ANY state park and/or beach. So buying this one ticket will gain you access at Matador State Beach, Leo Carillo and many other state-owned recreational centers in California.
Mountain bikes, horses, and pedestrians are welcome to Malibu Creek State Park. Dogs are permitted in the day use and campground areas, however dirt bikes and go-carts are not. Public cars are not allowed on the path and are impossible to take on to the roads, even though the roads are car accessable, but there are many gates that block the path.
Look out for pedestrians; the roads are wide but bikers should give way to horseback riders and riders should give way to pedestrians.
There are many beautiful things to see in this park. The signs along the path explain it all, but if you would like a more detailed explanation on how to get to the follow landmarks, ask the park ranger (only available on weekends).
The Rock Pool is the first landmark you will come across, which is right next to the Rock Wall. The Rock Wall is a favorite among, you guessed it, rock climbers. There are holes and bolts you can clip your lines to, but there are no aid stations or spotters so come prepared. Past the Rock Wall, follow the river to your left upstream and you will find a somewhat still pool of water. It is not stagnant and people often swim in it as it is deep enough to dive into. All around the Rock Pool are high cliffs which you can climb easily and dive off of. Look out for rocks under the water, often it is clear enough to see.
To get to the opposite side of the Rock Pool, you can either swim or go the long way. The long way consists of getting back to the main road and crossing over the bridge that spans the river. After you cross the bridge, stick to the right along a lower dirt path. You will come across a chain link fence where there is an open gap. You are allowed to go here, don't worry about violating any rules. It is rugged and less traveled so wear proper shoes. Along this path, you can follow the river upstream and up to the Rock Pool. From there, if you have climbing abilities, you can climb along the wall and travel through the gorge.
Century Lake is the second landmark you can see in the Park. However, this requires a steep trek up an oddly daunting hill. Once you make it to the top of the hill, you can see a small opening on your left, it is a dirt path that leads directly to the Lake, this path consists of stairs. From the Lake, you head back towards the opening of the same path you came down, however do not enter it, walk along the left (lower) path. Follow this up to the main road, you are now on the other side of the hill. Walk this path away from the Hill where you will cross over another small concrete bridge. The path you are walking along is Craig's Trail.
The third landmark you will find is the former site where exterior scenes for the popular TV sitcom M*A*S*H, and the 1970 feature film that preceded it, were shot. The area was badly damaged in a 1983 wildfire that destroyed most of the standing tents (and which severely affected shooting of the final two episodes of the series). A Jeep that was destroyed by the fire is one of the last relics of M*A*S*H's 14-year history at the site. Before this site, you can see a sign and a trail entrance on your left. It is the trail for the Phantom cabin. The trail is steep and slippery, so be careful as you make your way up it. You will plateau at the top of the trail and then it is downhill from there. It is less than a mile to the cabin.
- Horseback riding (bring your own horse or contact Malibu Lake Riders) - Mountain biking (bring your own) - Camping (bring your own tent) - Fishing (bring your own rod and tackle, purchase a freshwater fishing license) - Hiking - Tours - Swimming - BBQ (contact park for more info) - Bird Watching
There are many loose rocks in this park and the trails can get narrow and steep. Watch your step and do not try to make a full hike in sandals or flat, non-grip shoes. When swimming in the lake and pool, look before you leap and make sure you do not kick up the ground as there are often lost fish hooks in the mud.
If you see a deer, do not chase it, just ignore it and walk away.
Do NOT try to climb onto the Century Dam or the abandoned pipe that runs across a dry riverbed. These are closed off from the public and crossing over them will be trespassing onto government property. The fences are topped with barbed wire, do not try to jump over these.
On the left side of the park, a quick, yet beautiful, trail ends abruptly at a large chainlink gate. Do not jump over the gate for if you do, you are now on a person's private property and they are fickle about you being there.
Do not hike off the path, there are ticks, snakes and other dangerous creatures hiding in the tall grass. Do not drink the water and do not swim in the smaller rivers. Do not eat the fish you may catch from this park as they are not up to consumption standards.