Malibu Creek SP
Narrated by Russ Christoff
Ten thousand acres have been set aside in the Santa Monica Mountains to protect a diverse natural environment.
From the coast, visitors travel through a spectacular gorge, which was cut through 20 million year old volcanic formations, and leads to Malibu Creek State Park.
After leaving the traffic and noise of the Los Angeles area behind, visitors will notice the peace and quiet in this park.
A day use picnic area is available for those who plan to spend a couple of hours.
For those who want to stay longer, camping is limited to 62 sites.
There is also one group site that holds up to 60 people.
All campsites have picnic tables and barbeque pits.
Fire danger is extremely high in the Santa Monica Mountains many times of the year, so for the protection of visitors, plants and animals, fires are not allowed except where designated.
Thirty miles of trails will lead hikers through different ecosystems.
One such trail led me to the visitor center, where I learned some interesting facts about the history of the park.
In 1941, the beautiful mountains in Malibu Creek became the back drop for the Twentieth Century Fox movie “How Green Was My Valley.”
After that, many movies and television shows were filmed here, including “Planet of the Apes,” and “Mash.”
From the visitor’s center, I took the Rock Pool Trail. The walk is easy and scenic. At one point I came upon a group of people who were learning to rock climb.
Instruction for this difficult sport is given from time to time by the Wilderness Institute.
The tranquil Rock Pool is a favorite spot for many who hike in. The water level varies according to rainfall, and in summer the pool is apt to dry up.
I talked with the park ranger, Terry, about the other sights I’d seen.
Now on my way up to the Rock Pool, I noticed some mounted patrol. I guessed they’re volunteers and not only horse mounted but bicycle.
RANGER TERRY: Yes, here in the Santa Monica Mountains and certainly Malibu Creek State Park is part of that; we have a very active volunteer group, lots and lots of them both for the state parks here locally and also national park units.
We have our mounted bike unit that are uniformed volunteers that have first aid capability, and they have a lot of knowledge about the parks here locally and can answer questions for visitors, and hopefully keep them from getting lost, and so on.
And then we also have our, what we call our MAU’s, or Mounted Assisted Unit. These are volunteers that are on horseback and provide many of the same services.
RUSS CHRISTOFF: Now despite that this park is within 30 miles of downtown Los Angeles, people can still get a wilderness sort of experience.
RANGER TERRY: That’s correct, once they leave their car and get out into the park itself, the park proper as it were, they have access to about 8,000 or so acres of park lands right here at Malibu Creek State Park.
What you have in front of you here, and can been seen here, are clear examples of native flora, fauna, geologic history, and certainly as important, fine examples of cultural history, particularly the Shumash, a Native American that once lived here.
If you go up four miles north of us here Russ, to the freeway, you will see what would be happening here had this place not been purchased by State Parks.
If you go six miles down the coast to the beach, you will also see the same thing in terms of development. You don’t see that here and the only reason why, in my opinion, is because it is State Park land.