Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hiking Malibu Creek State Park: Redwoods! - February 2015


I needed a mental health day away from work and computers and devices so I called my friend R and we headed out to Malibu Creek State Park. I'd been there a few times before but it had been a while and I'd never found the M*A*S*H site so that was the idea. Here's where we were:



Or, to give you a better sense of the park in relation to the rest of Malibu parks:


I have parking passes from being a member of the California State Parks Foundation but otherwise you'll have to pay for parking (about $12 I believe).

The Malibu Creek Docents have a great website about the park which they call "The Yosemite of Southern California".

Right away when we entered the park I felt a weight lifted. It was a week day so there weren't many people around and the sound of the creek was calming. I'd seen the water level much higher before, but I was glad to see it wasn't completely dry.

Valley Oak (Quercus lobata)
Almost immediately we saw a patch of purple lupines up on the hill and then another patch of bright orange California poppies. I knew this year I wouldn't get a chance to go out on a wildflower excursion because of work travel so I was happy to stumble upon them here.

Lupines
 

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Some sort of Lupine

Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum)
We followed the main trail over a bridge towards the Visitor Center and then cut down next to the creek and did some rock scrambling. There were some people there climbing the rock face. The path ended at this great reflecting pool and a lone Canada Goose.


Periwinkle (Genus Vinca)

Wishbone bush (Mirabilis laevis) - a California native plant


Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Next we crossed back over the creek bed and started walking west towards the M*A*S*H site. It was pretty cool to see the trucks and mess hall still there.



We still had some time so we walked towards Century Lake and I'm so glad we did. We saw a couple of mushrooms poking through the leaf litter and then, I could hardly believe my eyes, but there were Redwood trees - 5 or 6 of them! Just beautiful!



Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)


According to the wikipedia page for the park, these redwoods were planted in 1910 and stand as the southernmost specimens in California.

We also saw this group of ducks on the lake.

Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
After that we headed back the way we'd come so we could get on the freeway before rush hour. As we walked I looked back towards the redwoods for one last glimpse.

Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)
I'd been meaning to explore this area more and I'm glad R and I were able to do it at such a beautiful time of year. Highly recommended.


See more of my photos from this park in the Flickr set.

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