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     We ventured away from Orange County this weekend and headed for the cooler weather of Malibu Creek State Park. As it turned out, it ended up being quite warm in Malibu on this particular day.
      This is a state park so there is a $12 fee to use the parking lot. Most people, including us, were parking on the road just outside of the park to avoid the fee.
     I would definitely categorize this as a family friendly park. You have several trails to choose from and all of them have minimal elevation gain. The trails are wide and well maintained for the most part, and there are several port ‘o potties around that, according to their service logs, are cleaned pretty regularly.
     The Rock Pool trail is roughly 3.5 miles roundtrip  with an elevation gain of 150 feet. The payoff is a beautiful rock pool and picnic area. Being that it is pretty easy to get to, the rock pool is usually swarming with families. It was a bit disheartening to see the large amounts of trash and discarded clothing strewn about. If I were to visit the rock pool again I would definitely try to be the first person there in the morning.
     The Century Lake trail is 4.5 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 200 feet. I wouldn’t really call this a lake. It is closer to a pond complete with lilypads. The water here is due to a dam. I witnessed a couple of young kids swimming out in the water. I wouldn’t recommend swimming here though.
     My favorite trail of the day was definitely the M*A*S*H Site trail. This trail ends up being 6.5 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 300 feet. When you reach the M*A*S*H Site you will find a couple of rusted out vehicles as well as a few posts with information about the television show filming that took place in the area. I was pleasantly surprised at how few people actually made it out to this area of the park.
     We began our hike at 8 a.m. and there weren’t too many people around, but on our way back out it was really starting to get packed. Get there early to avoid the crowds and you’ll also have a chance to see the deer that travel the creek bed in the early morning hours.

-FPMiv

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