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Hiking to Malibu Creek Rock Pools: A Comprehensive Guide


Escape the hustle and bustle of city life with a breathtaking hike to the serene and picturesque Malibu Creek Rock Pools. Nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, these natural pools invite you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and create lasting memories.

Difficulty and Distance

The hike to Malibu Creek Rock Pools is rated as easy to moderate, making it suitable for hikers of all abilities. The total distance is approximately 5.5 miles (8.9 kilometers) round trip, with an elevation gain of about 500 feet (152 meters). The trail is well-maintained and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Getting There

By Car: Drive to the Malibu Creek State Park Visitor Center at 1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302. Park in the designated lot.
By Public Transportation: Take the Metro Local 33 line to the Malibu Creek State Park stop. From there, walk a short distance to the Visitor Center.

Trail Description

The hike begins at the Visitor Center, where you will sign in and pay an entrance fee if applicable.

Las Flores Trail: Follow the Las Flores Trail for approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers). This section of the trail is shaded and relatively flat, making for an enjoyable start to the hike.
Creek Crossing: Cross Malibu Creek at a shallow point. During the rainy season, the creek may have more water, so be prepared to get your feet wet.
Mugu Peak Trail: Ascend the Mugu Peak Trail for about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers). This section of the trail is steeper than the previous one, but the views of the mountains and the canyon below make the climb worthwhile.
Rock Pools Area: After reaching the top of the hill, follow a short unmarked trail that leads to the Malibu Creek Rock Pools. Enjoy the beautiful pools and take some time to relax and soak in the scenery.

Wildlife and Vegetation

The hike offers opportunities to spot various wildlife, including deer, coyotes, and birds. The vegetation along the trail consists of a mix of coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and oak woodlands.


Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots.
Bring plenty of water, especially during hot weather.
Apply sunscreen and wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
Be aware of poison oak and stay on the designated trails.
Check the weather forecast before you go and be prepared for rain or cold temperatures.
Respect wildlife and do not disturb their natural habitat.
Pack out all trash and leave no trace.

Additional Activities

Camping: There are several campgrounds within the park, providing opportunities for overnight stays and further exploration.
Rock Climbing: Malibu Creek State Park is a popular destination for rock climbers, with numerous crags and boulders to challenge climbers of all levels.
Horseback Riding: Guided horseback riding tours are available in the park, allowing you to experience its beauty from a different perspective.

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