Guide to Malibu Creek State Park — Camping, Visitor Center, and Other Things!

Malibu Creek State Park is a beautiful nature park in the Santa Monica Mountains, close to Calabasas, California. There are lots of things to do outside. Along with more than 35 miles of hiking trails, the park has a place set aside for horseback rides and climbing routes. People can also look around the sets that were used to film popular TV shows and movies.

Every year, about 250,000 people come here to enjoy the stunning beauty and fun things to do. This park is a must-see for anyone who wants to enjoy California’s natural beauty and outdoor activities.

How To Get to Malibu Creek State Park

Just 25 miles from the busy city of Los Angeles is Malibu Creek State Park, a beautiful nature area. Calabasas is the big city that is closest to the park. It is tucked away in more than 8,000 acres of beautiful land that includes a charming creek, thick oak forests, rough, jagged peaks, rolling hills, and a unique swimming hole.

Opening Hours and Seasons

Malibu Creek State Park is open every day of the year, from dawn until dusk. Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m. is the only time the tourist center is open. Some things can only be done on the weekends, while others can be done at any time. Before you go, you should make sure that all of the things on your list are still possible.

Nearest Airports

There is an airport about an hour’s drive from the state park to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

There are both direct and connecting trips from this airport to many places around the world, including Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Puerto Vallarta, and Tokyo. A lot of big companies fly into and out of this airport, like United, British Airways, Delta, JetBlue, and Southwest.

If you rent a car at the airport, it will be easy to get to the park on the last part of the trip.

Driving to Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park Guide

You can get to this park in a few different ways, based on whether you’re coming from the beach or the highway.

To get to Malibu Canyon Road from the beach, take Pacific Highway North/West. Turn right and go through the tunnel when you get to Pepperdine University. Drive past the Piuma Road light, and just before the next light, turn left into Malibu Creek State Park.

If you’re coming from the 101 Freeway, take the Calabasas exit for Las Virgenes Road and go south for a few miles until you reach Mulholland Highway, which will be the first red light. Just past Mulholland, on your right, is the park.

Getting to Malibu Creek State Park by train

The state park is not easily accessible by train, which is a shame. That said, don’t let that stop you from going! You can get close to the park in a few different ways. Taking the Santa Monica Metro E Line, which goes to Santa Monica, is one of the best choices. The park is 20 miles away from there.

Going to Malibu Creek State Park by Bus
The park can’t be reached by bus.

How to Get Around Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park Guide

You can leave your car in a parking lot when you get to the state park. There are miles of trails where you can hike, bike, or ride a horse, so you’ll have lots of choices based on your skill level and hobbies. Wear shoes that are easy on your feet and bring lots of water to stay refreshed as you walk the beautiful trails in the state park.

What To See and Do at Malibu Creek State Park

There is a lot to discover and do in this state park. People can go camping, rock climbing, or even look around old sets from TV shows. Check out the most popular places to see and things to do here.


People who like to ride bikes will love this park! The ground is rough and steep, which makes the tour through the park’s beautiful nature both exciting and difficult. You can easily find a trail that fits your level of skill, no matter how long you’ve been riding bikes. The busiest bike paths in the park are Bulldog Road and Mesa Peak Motorway.


Birdwatching is a great thing to do at Malibu Creek State Park. The San Fernando Valley Audubon Society puts on bird walks every third Sunday of the month for people who want to learn more about the birds in the area. The walks are free and great for people who are new to or experienced with bird watching. About 35 to 45 different kinds of birds can be seen during these 3.5-hour tours.

You can also look for birds while climbing and exploring the park on your own. If you want to get the best views of the birds, you should bring your camera and glasses. Malibu Creek State Park is a great place to see different birds and learn more about them, no matter how experienced you are as a birder or how new you are to it.


This park is a great place to hike because it has trails for walkers of all kinds. You can find a trail that fits your needs, whether you want to take it easy or push yourself. Some well-known hiking trails are the Mesa Peak Motorway, the Crags Road/High Road Loop, and the Crags Road to “MAS*H” Set.

The Santa Monica Mountains, old farms, and the “MAS*H” set are just some of the beautiful sights that hikers can see along the way. There is also wildlife in the park that you might see, such as deer, wolves, and many kinds of birds.

There are many easy trails for people who have never been hiking before. More difficult routes will try the fitness and endurance of people who have done them before. Hiking is a great way to enjoy the park’s natural beauty and get some exercise at the same time, no matter how experienced you are.

Horseback Riding

This park is a great place for horseback riders to go. For this activity, the old Reagan Ranch, with its long, gently rolling hills, is one of the most famous places in the park. The scenery of these hills is perfect for horseback riding, which is a unique, exciting, and peaceful experience.

Malibu Creek State Park Guide

Besides the Reagan Ranch, the park has other places to ride horses that range in difficulty from easy to tough. The park has a great place to ride, whether you are an experienced rider or a newbie.

This park is great for horseback riders who want to find a nice place to ride. Riders of all skill levels will have a great time there thanks to its beautiful scenery and great riding possibilities.


Century Lake is a beautiful piece of water in Southern California’s Malibu Creek State Park. The lake is one of the few in this area’s state parks, which makes it a popular spot for people who want to relax and unwind.

The area that is now a state park used to belong to 20th Century Fox Studios, which is where the lake got its name. People can paddle on the lake and enjoy the beautiful views of the hills and mountains nearby.

People should stay away from the area around the dam, though, because there is a steep drop on the other side that could be dangerous. To make sure you have a fun and safe time at the park, you need to take the right measures and follow all the rules.

“M*A*S*H” Site

The most well-known thing about the park might be the “MASH” set website. The popular TV show “MASH” was shot in Malibu Creek State Park. There were 251 episodes in 11 seasons, and the show was nominated for over 100 Emmys. Many people come from all over the world to see the famous signs and the rebuilt buildings that were used in the movie.

The spot is in a remote part of the park and can be reached by hiking. They can look around the renovated buildings, such as the mess tent, the operating room, and the famous signpost, once they get there.

Aside from normal park visitors, the site also hosts special events to honor the show on important anniversaries. Fans of the show and its history come from all over the world to these events in large numbers.

Rock Climbing

This park is a great place for people who like to climb rocks. There are routes in this park for climbers of all skill levels, with grades ranging from 5.8 to 5.10c. Most of the climbing is along Rock Pool, which is a famous place for climbers. There are 10 lines here, and some of them hang over the water, making for a fun and different way to climb.

One of the most famous and easy climbs in the park is the Planet of the Apes Wall. This wall is named after a well-known movie series because it was used to film several of the movies. The Apes area is mostly made up of routes that hang overhangs, which can be hard for climbers. However, it’s also a great chance for expert climbers to show what they can do and reach new heights.

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Best Times To Visit Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park Guide

At any time of the year, Malibu Creek State Park is a great place to visit. But some times are better than others.

Best Time To Visit Malibu Creek State Park in the Winter

Remember that December is often thought to be the best month to visit in the winter. One big reason for this is that it doesn’t rain as much in January as it does in other winter months.

If it doesn’t rain as much, you can enjoy this park’s beautiful views and activities outside more. Also, the temperatures in December are usually between the low 50s and upper 60s, which is great for climbing and other outdoor activities.

Best Time To Visit Malibu Creek State Park To Avoid the Crowds

Thinking about going to the park in the fall could be a great idea for people who want to relax and enjoy the scenery without all the other people there. As a result, November is usually the least crowded month in the park. This means you can take your time and enjoy the scenery without having to deal with long lines, loud groups, or feeling rushed.

Best Time To Visit Malibu Creek State Park To Avoid the Crowds

The best time to go to Malibu Creek State Park is in May when the weather is nice. Daily highs will be in the upper 50s and lows will be in the low 80s. This will guarantee that you have a great time while visiting the park.

Best Time To Visit Malibu Creek State Park for Ideal Weather

For cheap prices, early to mid-September is the best time to visit this park. This is because after Labor Day, fewer people move and schools start up again after the summer break. This is the month when the cheapest flights and hotels are available, so tourists can save a lot of money on their trips.

Cheapest Time To Visit Malibu Creek State Park

Throughout the year, the park regularly holds a variety of events.

During the summer, the most common events happen in the campground arena on Saturday nights and last for an hour. People who come to the Wildlife Learning Center can see live animals and use telescopes to look at the night sky. Special guests may sometimes add to the programs.

Even though there aren’t any events that happen every year, people who want to get the most out of the park should go to a summer program.

Where To Stay in Malibu Creek State Park

As you plan your trip, where you stay is one of the most important things to think about. There are many places to stay that are both inside and outside the park that are nice.

Inside the Park

When you stay inside the park, the only way to stay is to camp out in the beautiful outdoors. The park has a campground that is good for families. It has 63 sites that can fit RVs, tents, and trailers.

There are a lot of nice touches at the park that will make your stay more comfortable and fun. There are bathrooms, showers, fire rings, and camp tables for you to use. For the most part, the site is a great choice for people who want to enjoy the beauty of the park while camping.

Nearby Towns

Malibu Creek State Park is close to a lot of towns. There is something close by for everyone, whether you like a quiet town or a busy city with lots to do.

Calabasas, California

The park is 6 miles from the city of Calabasas. A lot of famous people live there, and it’s thought to be one of the wealthiest towns in the U.S. Visitors can choose from a variety of places to stay, such as high-end hotels, cheaper choices, and private rentals.

There are hundreds of places that serve a wide range of foods, from steak dinners to vegan specialties. Foodies will be happy. There are lots of fun things to do in Calabasas, like shopping, museums, parks, and theme parks.

Westlake Village, California

The cute city of Westlake Village is in the middle of Los Angeles County. There are many places to stay in this city, such as fancy hotels, cozy bed and breakfasts, and beautiful spas. There are many places for visitors to eat, from fancy restaurants serving gourmet food to restaurants serving authentic cultural flavors and newly caught seafood.

There are amusement parks, wineries, golf courses, parks, and shows close by for people who love being outside. The city is only 15 minutes away from the park, which makes it a great choice for people who want to stay close and enjoy everything the city has to offer.

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Where To Eat Near Malibu Creek State Park

There are no places to eat inside Malibu Creek State Park, but there are many restaurants just a short drive away. It’s possible to find something at these places that suits your taste, from freshly caught seafood to juicy burgers.

Malibu Farm Restaurant and Bar

Malibu Creek State Park Guide

The state park is just over 7 miles from Malibu Farm Restaurant and Bar. It serves lunch and dinner every day, as well as brunch on the weekends. It is at the start of the beach and has beautiful views. The food is farm-to-table.

On the menu, you can find salads, pizzas, pasta, tacos, fresh seafood, and quality steak cuts, among other things. The fish tacos, crab cakes, Malibu blue nachos, and lobster mac and cheese are some of the dishes that customers really like. There are also a lot of choices for vegans, vegetarians, and people who have to follow certain diets. During your stay, don’t forget to try one of the unique drinks at the bar.

You should check out this one-of-a-kind restaurant while you’re at Malibu Creek State Park. It’s a great place to rest and eat after a day of exploring the park.

Cafe at Malibu Seafood Patio

The park is 9 miles away from Malibu Seafood Patio Cafe. For lunch and dinner, seven days a week, this diner serves seafood dishes that were just caught. On the menu, you can find classics like crab salad, clam chowder, fish tacos, and grilled and fried specials. A lot of people love the mussels, fish and chips, and calamari.

Not only does this place serve delicious food, but it also has great customer service and stunning views of the Pacific. It’s a great place to eat lunch or dinner when you’re at this state park.

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Malibu Creek State Park Facts

1. A New Park Established

This park was established in 1974 for filming movies and TV shows before being opened to the public in 1976.

2. Original People of the Park

The park has a rich history that dates back over 5,000 years when the Chumash Native Americans were the original inhabitants of this area. They were known to settle in this land and call it their home for thousands of years, leaving behind a legacy of their culture and traditions that can still be seen today.

3. Lights, Camera, Action

The land where the park now stands was formerly owned by 20th Century Fox and was the location for many popular movies and TV shows. Shows like “M*A*S*H” and movies such as “Planet of the Apes,” “Love Me Tender,” and “Broken Lance” were all filmed here.

4. Malibu Creek

Malibu Creek flows through the center of the park, offering 15 miles of scenic trails for hiking. These trails provide breathtaking views of the surrounding volcanic rock gorges, scenic pools, and stunning Las Virgenes Valley and Malibu Canyon vistas.

5. Crags Country Club

Before becoming a popular filming location and state park, this park was a 2,000-acre country club called Crags Country Club, established in 1910 along Malibu Creek.

Final Thoughts

It’s great to visit Malibu Creek State Park in California because it has so many fun things to do. This park has lots of things to do, like camping, hiking, watching birds, and kayaking. People who are in California should not miss the chance to see for themselves why this park is so popular with tourists every year.

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