Monday, May 25, 2009

Malibu Creek State Park

Just The Facts, Ma'am

Malibu Creek State Park
Where: Calabasas, four miles south of Hwy 101
Phone: 818-880-0367
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Cost: Free Entrance
Why: Hiking, Swimming, Fishing, Rock Climbing, Biking, Horseback Riding, Bird Watching, Camping, Picnicking, Creek Splashing, Bouts of Explosive Joy
More Information: Malibu Creek State Park Website

My Experience

My brother and I took the first trailhead off of Mulholland Highway. Our introduction to Malibu Creek State Park was through the Grasslands Trail: a beautiful, simple hike through wild grasses and wild flowers and wild mountains. This is an easy to moderate hike, depending on your fitness level, and only continues for a fraction of a mile before dumping you off at a crossroads. My brother and I opted for the path to the right.

This new trail led us under the shifting shade of knotty tree branches and along the wide Malibu Creek. The terrain gradually changed, from hard, dry dust to a scattering of loose pebbles and huge rocks. Before we knew it we were in a world completely unlike the Grasslands Trail. We found rock climbers scaling huge boulders, children splashing after frogs in the creek, families tucking themselves away behind trees for private picnics. And eventually we found the greatest surprise in Malibu Creek State Park:

A swimming hole.

For those who plan to head out there, this swimming hole is called "Rock Pool." It is aptly named, as the pool's main draw is the enormous rock rising out of the water. We were there on Memorial Day, so the rock's peak was crowded with young adventurers waiting their turns to leap off and into the pool below. Some parents watched their children in the shade of the trees at the water's edge, calling out their encouragement from lawn chairs.

The only disappointment of the day was that I did not have my bathing suit.

What I Missed:

Century Lake. If there's one thing Missouri boys and girls love as much a good creek and a nice swimming hole, it's a fine lake for fishing. While there's not a lot of brag-worthy fish to be caught in Century Lake, fishing is allowed as long as you have a California state fishing license. The park rangers may ask to see it.

Paramount Ranch. This is farther down Mulholland Highway. Paramount Ranch has served as the set for several of the Western films put out by Paramount Studios. I do love playing a little pretend in the old west from time to time.

Several Other Trails Patiently Awaiting My Attention. This is why I will absolutely be back.

Has anyone else been to Malibu Creek State Park? Do you have anything to add or amend? If so, please do not hesitate to comment.

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