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Explore Malibu Creek SP and Potluck ~ Rock Pool, Century Lake

June 29 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Do as little or as much as you want. Join us for a hike and swim or just come by the group site for a potluck and campfire. If you’d like to stay the night, cost is $30.

The weather might dictate how far I go. It may just be to the Rock Pool for some scrambling and a swim 🙂 If we go beyond the pool, it will require some climbing without gear. Meet at the group campsite at 3:00 pm to hike and/or swim. Ideally, I’d like to go by the Rock Pool and up to Century Lake. But, if it’s too hot, might just stay close to the water. There are also other trails winding through the park for you to explore.

If you’d just like to join us for some food, potluck starts setting up at 6:30 pm (goal is to start eating at 7).

Parking is available outside the park along the road. A fee of $12 per vehicle is charged to park inside the park. Please DO NOT PARK AT THE GROUP SITE IF YOU ARE NOT STAYING THE NIGHT. This is reserved for those camping.

Malibu Creek State Park is a sprawling 10,000 acre park that protects 25-mile long Malibu Creek, the largest watershed in the Santa Monica Mountains. The creek itself is somewhat unusual in that it has cut a path through hard volcanic rock instead of the softer sedimentary rocks north of the Goat Buttes, which makes for some spectacular scenery during any time of the year. There’s plenty of shade along the way as well as a variety of rivers and creeks that provide you with fantastic areas for taking pictures.

Woolsey Fire Update: Malibu Creek State Park has reopened following the November 2018 Woolsey Fire, which burned through the park. Due to recent storms, there is a bridge out that leads to the MASH site.


Rock Pool is situated at the outlet of a picturesque gorge. Sycamores and bays provide great shade, making this a perfect spot to have a picnic and relax by the reflective waters.

The gorge between Rock Pool and Century Lake is a paradise for rock climbers. The steep but porous walls practically beg to be scaled. However, those interested in a serious adventure hike may traverse the gorge without climbing gear. The route up the floor of the gorge is difficult at several points. Passage requires griping to holds in the rock and maneuvering across vertical walls that plunge straight into the creek.

Hang out here or continue on through the gorge to the dam.

Don’s commentary: This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in the area. That said, there are certain risks involved if you decide to join us. Know your limits. There can be some technical climbing and/or traverses. Some (not all) can be avoided if you’re willing to go through the water. If you think they can be avoided via a nice trail, you’d be wrong. Depending on the group the pace could be slow, but there will be plenty of scenic eye candy along the way to enjoy.

At the pool, we will begin our first traverse across the pool. Once across, we begin an ascent over volcanic rock, which provides excellent grip, to a second vertical traverse about ten feet, again, over water. This will be the final traverse. We then rock hop through a flowing stream to a third pool, at which point we will ascend up a 20 foot rock slab through a narrow nearly vertical slot 15 feet. We’ll be negotiating rock until we reach the dam and then climb up either one of the two sides.


Originally built as a recreational lake, it’s now a unique freshwater marsh that provides a stop-over for migratory birds in the winter.

According to the Malibu Creek Docents, around 1903, the Crags Country Club constructed a 50 foot tall dam on its 2,000 acre property on what is now Malibu Creek State Park. The dam created a seven acre lake that club members used for fishing and duck hunting. The Club closed in 1936 and 10 years later, 20th Century Fox Studios purchased the property to film movies and TV shows on what was renamed Century Ranch. The 1968 “Planet of the Apes” featured many prominent scenes shot here.


PLEASE – Know your limits and abilities. Bring snacks and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watching out for poison oak, snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while interacting with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun.

The Farzan Rule: Posted hike times are the time the hike starts or we leave from a posted shuttle location. I’m aware other Meetup groups offer a grace period for late arrivals; we don’t. It’s your responsibility to know the location of the meeting spot and be there and ready to participate at the posted time. If you have any concerns about the directions feel free to contact the organizer of the event, preferably in advance of the event and not at the start time. I’m of the opinion that it’s not fair to delay an event when the majority of attendees have arrived on-time. (so named after a conversation I had with a certain un-named member)

RSVP’s: If you RSVP for an event be responsible and update your RSVP if your plans change. If your plans change at the last second and you’re not able to update your RSVP also let us know. In my opinion a no-show is someone who has no regard for following the guidelines we request from our members and will risk being removed from future events that have a limit.


Rating a hike is subjective, meaning the difficulty of a hike will be in direct relation to how often you hike and the type of hike you prefer. Keep in mind that any hike can have the following: un-even hiking surfaces, various obstructions, water and/or water crossings or bouldering and/or rock hopping. A great hike will have all of these!

1 – A long walk

2 – 4 mile hike w/little elevation gain

3 – 5 mile hike w/up to 1000 ft. elevation gain

4 – 5+ mile hike w/up to 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increases at times)

5 – 7+ mile hike w/over 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increasing even more at times)

6 – 7+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be trying to remember how to perform CPR)

7 – 5+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be muttering expletives to yourself)

8 – 10+ mile hike w/over 3500 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be angry with the hike leader)

9 – 10+ mile hike w/over 5000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be thinking of reporting the hike leader to the authorities)

10 – Use your imagination

Class 3 Scrambling: Scrambling or un-roped climbing. You must use your hands at times to hold the terrain or find your route. This may be caused by a combination of boulders, steepness and extreme terrain. Some Class 3 routes have ropes in place for assistance.



I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.

Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you’re taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup events, you are releasing the Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and it’s organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries as stated in paragraph 6.2 of the Meetup “Terms of Service” located on the bottom of the Meetup website. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.

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June 29
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Malibu Creek State Park Trailhead SMHC
1925 Las Virgenes Rd
Calabasas, CA 91301 US
+ Google Map



Trail statistics are approximate.  For safety purposes always assume they are underestimated. But don’t be disappointed if they are overestimated. Bring more water and snacks than you think you’ll need.

Trail descriptions are based on previous hikes. Current conditions are unknown until arrival. Expect the unexpected and plan accordingly.

The Organizers and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Hiking With Dean Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities per the ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND LIABILITY WAIVER.

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