Hike Malibu Creek Rock Pool + MASH Site
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance (?)||5 miles (8.1 km)|
|Other Options||2 miles total just to Rock Pools|
|Hike Time||2-3 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||400 feet (122m)|
|Highest Elevation||720 feet (219m)|
|Fees & Permits||Parking Fee|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Malibu Creek State Park|
|Weather & Forecast||Latest Conditions|
|Stay Safe||Copy this webpage link to the clipobard and share with a friend before you hike. Let them know when to expect you back.|
There’s a lot to see in Malibu Creek State Park, and in this guide, I’ll take you on a “best of” tour of the highlights in the park. First, we’ll visit the famous Rock Pool, then escape the crowds at the scenic Century Lake dam, finally finishing with a canyon-side trail to the famous MASH television show set. It’s an easy hike that’s full of adventure and history.
Where is Malibu Creek State Park?
There are many trails and trailheads at Malibu Creek State Park, and this hike starts at the easy-to-find main parking lot and visitor area. Use this address to get to the parking lot:
1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302
Gear For the Hike
This is a tame hike, and you can get away with fitness clothes or light hiking gear. There are some water crossings, but you shouldn’t have to get wet. Having shoes you don’t mind getting wet is wise, just in case. It can also get brutally hot here; bring at least 1L of water for this hike.
Joby GripTight Smartphone Flexible Tripod
Take your selfie stick game to the next level. Part of the fun of a hike is taking pictures, and a flexible JOBY smartphone tripod takes it to the next level. You can use it as a selfie stick, as a regular tripod, but more importantly, as a flexible tripod that can attach to tree branches and other objects. It’s not expensive, and it’s something you can use when not hiking too.
Latest Price – Amazon
Black Diamond Cosmo 300 Headlamp
If something goes wrong and you get lost, sprain your ankle, or get delayed, you might be caught out after dark. And one of the top items that search and rescue departments recommend you carry is a light. Smartphones can work as flashlights, but that drains the battery quickly. It’s better to invest in a reasonably priced and high-quality headlamp like this Black Diamond. It takes AAA batteries, can last 200 hours, and has an emergency strobe. Carry it with you off the trail to use in emergencies as well.
Latest Price – REI | Amazon
REI Membership Saves You Money Forever
Have you shopped at REI before? They have all kinds of active clothes and gear, from fitness, to hiking, to snow sports, to casual wear. It’s an overall great place to shop (here’s why) and they offer a $30 membership that gets you 10% back on everything for life, along with frequent coupons, free shipping, discounts, and member-only sales. It’s a no-brainer.
REI Membership – REI
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated May 2022.
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps keep the website ad and promotion free. There is no cost to you.
Malibu Creek SP Trail Maps
Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File
If you try to download the GPX file and your browser adds a “.txt” or “.xml” extension to it, simply rename it as a “.gpx” file.
How Are You Going to Navigate This Hike?
Here’s what I use. If you are a hardcore hiker and/or hike in extreme conditions, I recommend getting a dedicated GPS like a GPSMAP 66sr or 66i, or a wrist-based GPS with maps like the Garmin Fenix 7 or Epix. If you only hike in fair weather and a touchscreen is fine, or just want a solid tool, I highly recommend downloading the smartphone app, Gaia GPS. It’s a piece of cake to use and very powerful, just make sure your phone is in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get a big discount here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.
- In 1946 20th Century Fox Studio bought the old country club to create a “shooting ranch” location to film scenes in the wild. And the area you will hike through has been a backdrop in hundreds of old movies and television shows that you’ve probably never seen, and maybe some that you have. But lots of big movie stars shot here, including Cary Grant, Marlon Brando (aka the Godfather), and even Elvis Presley.
- We’ll end at the MASH outdoor set, which has some old vehicles and structures, as well as great interpretive displays. For you young folks, MASH was a popular TV show from the 1970s based on a popular movie based on a popular book about the Korean war. It’s worth watching the intro to the TV show featuring the peaks and valleys on this hike. The video is also fun to check out after your hike. And according to an insider, if you watch the show, you can tell the scenes that were shot in the park because the actors will be squinting from the sun.
- The state bought the area and opened the park in 1976, but movies and shows continued to be shot here over the years. These days less productions are shot in the park because so many people can easily recognize the distinctive peaks here, therefore knowing that the location is not where it’s supposed be.
Rock Pools & MASH Site Hike Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
You can swim in the water here, but you are not allowed to dive.
I’d also caution against climbing the cliffs around rock pool if you are not a rock climber. There are more accidents and rescues here than you would imagine.
Hike back to the last intersection where you joined the creek.
The famous “cliff jump scene” from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was shot here.
If you want to save some time, just go straight back on Crags Road, avoiding the Rock Pools, and the road will bring you back to the start.
This guide last updated on March 11, 2022. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.