CAMPING TRIP AT MALIBU CREEK STATE PARK
TRIP · 3-day camping trip
FOR · Friends & first-time campers
VIBE · Moderate & fun
COST · $$
DRIVE · 30 minutes from LA
RESERVATION · Yes, book a site at Creek Campground
IDEAL DATES · March - May
PETS · Welcome at camp, but not on trails
WHY MALIBU CREEK STATE PARK?
It's been called the "Yosemite of Southern California," and this 8,200+ acre park delivers. Malibu Creek SP is known for its volcanic rock gorges, Sepúlveda Adobe, a 19th-century ranch house & Malibu Creek that flows through the park. It also has 35 miles of hiking trails, three natural preserves & is part of the greater Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, which is the nation's largest urban national park. Quite a few highlights for a park that's only a 30-minute drive from downtown LA.
RESERVE A CLEAN & COMFY CAMPSITE AT CREEK CAMPGROUND
This is the only campground at Malibu Creek SP & it's packed with plenty of creature comforts while only being a 10-minute drive from a local grocery store. There are 62 campsites & 4 RV spots available by reservation, and they all have access to trash collection, restrooms & coin-operated hot showers (where $1 = 2 tokens = 4 minutes of hot water. Bring $1 bills!). The Visitor Center is open on Saturdays & Sundays from Noon - 4 PM.
Check-in: After noon | Check-out: Before 2 PM
Quite hours: 10 PM - 6 AM
Nightly fee: $45
EACH CAMPSITE COMES WITH:
- A picnic table
- Fire ring
- Space for up to 8 people
- Two parking spots
- Trash collection (on site)
- Restrooms (on site)
- Drinking water (on site)
STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW
Bears don't hang out at Malibu Creek, but be mindful of critters. Store any food in your car overnight & whenever you leave camp
If you're just visiting for the day, here's a rundown of parking fees:
All day – $12.00 per car
3 hrs – $9.00 per car
2 hrs – $6.00 per car
1 hr – $3.00 per car
LEAVE LA & STOP BY EREWHON MARKET TO PICK UP FRESH GROCERIES
- Shoppers love their fresh-pressed juices & organic produce
- Located at 26767 Agoura Road in Calabasas
- Open Mon. - Sat. from 7 AM - 9 PM | Sundays at 8 AM
- LAST PIT STOP · Shell - 4831 Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas
ARRIVE & SETTLE IN TO CREEK CAMPGROUND
- Set up camp & familiarize yourself with the campground
IF YOU'RE FEELING AMBITIOUS...HIKE GRASSLANDS TRAIL
- This beautiful 5.3 mile round-trip hike, with 538 feet of elevation gain, leads you to the M*A*S*H TV show set, but even if you're not a fan of the show, it's a shady, scenic introduction to the park.
- Day hikers usually have a tough time finding a parking spot because of how popular this trail can be, but you won't have to worry about that since you're camping overnight. Yay!
RETURN TO CAMP & COOK UP DINNER
- You did it! Enjoy your first night at Malibu Creek SP!
MAKE BREKKIE, PACK LUNCH & DAY HIKE TO MESA PEAK TRAIL
- Fill up on water (at least 2L per person), pack snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat, bug spray & your lunch!
- Hike 4.2 miles with 1,251 feet of elevation gain from camp to Mesa Peak
- From camp, take Tapia Spur Trail to Mesa Peak Trail. It's a tough, steep hike, but enjoy some spectacular views of LA's coastline
ENJOY LUNCH AT THE TOP OF MESA PEAK
- After lunch, you can return to camp or continue hiking west along Backbone Trail for a few miles
- Backbone Trail is designated as a National Recreation Trail because it actually stretches on for 67 miles. It's the best protected stretch of coastal Mediterranean habitat in the WORLD!
- Depending on the season, Backbone Trail can get hot & dry in Malibu State Park so bring plenty of water & sun protection. You'll be able to check out cool rock formations & experience gorgeous views along the way.
HEAD BACK TO CAMP, TAKE A HOT SHOWER & COOK A SUNSET DINNER
- Savor your last evening at Malibu Creek State Park & spend the rest of the evening stargazing & swapping stories
PACK UP, CLEAN UP & CHECK OUT BY NOON
- Cook up brekkie & pick up any pieces of litter around camp
PAY IT FORWARD LIKE BEZZI
Your outdoor experiences helps people have a safe & memorable time in nature. Share your knowledge about Malibu Creek State Park below & tag us @bewilder_camp if you used this itinerary!
LAST UPDATED: August 15, 2021
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