Malibu Creek State Park - March 2011

I took advantage of a beautiful weekend in March and went to Malibu Creek State Park for the first time. Although it's only 10-15 minutes drive from the PCH in Malibu (right up Malibu Canyon Rd.) as you drive up with the canyon far below you feel hundreds of miles from civilization. Here's where it's at:

View Larger Map

We didn't want to rush the morning so we didn't end up getting there until after 3 but there was enough time to walk around a bit and explore. The parking would have been $12 (if I remember correctly) but since I'm a member of the CA state parks I had a free parking pass.

Due to the recent rains (and a pretty rainy winter in general) I was hoping there would be some water in the creek and I wasn't disappointed.

We didn't bring a map but the trail was easy to follow and there was a map posted near where we parked the car. Here's a map of where we walked:

(you can get a clean map of the campsites and information here and the description of 2 hikes here - 3.5 and 4.5 miles)

Unfortunately, right when we arrived someone had an accident on the trail and had to be airlifted out of the park so there were helicopters and emergency vehicles driving by as we walked into the park. Not to mention what seemed like a million families with rolling coolers in tow on their way out. I think it's great that people are getting outdoors, but I suppose I prefer parks that are a bit more remote and less crowded. When I'd see a cool bird it would get scared away by all the noise.

Still, once most of the people were gone we had some time to roam around and we saw some great moss-covered and lichen-covered rocks and colorful birds. We didn't have time to go to Century Lake or the waterfall this time but we're hoping to go back soon. Maybe it will be less crowded on a weekday.

The wildlife we saw included Mallard ducks, American Coots (chicken-like water birds that are black with white beaks), a deer, woodpeckers, and wild parrots. Here are some photos.

(click image to get a closer look)

Acorn Woodpecker
(Melanerpes formicivorus)

Wild Parrots

(Anas platyrhynchos)
(click image to get a closer look)

Check out more of my photos from this location here.

It's wildflower season here in Southern California and although we saw some color on the hills near the PCH we didn't see many flowers on the trails. Expect some trips to the desert and/or Antelope Valley soon!