I’ve yet to make it to the MASH site. Since we’ll be camping in the area, might as well check it out – finally. This will be a fit beginner friendly hike. There’s not much change in elevation and we’ll be hiking at a moderate pace. It shouldn’t be difficult to keep up but will regroup and mark the trail as needed. For those interested, Crags Road continues to a junction with Bulldog Road and on to Malibu Lake.
Due to recent storms, there is a bridge out that leads to the MASH site that will require some alternate navigation
Distance: >5 miles
Elevation: ~200 feet
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.
All info credited to hikespeak.com:
From the main parking lot, begin hiking west on Crags Road into Malibu Creek State Park. At 0.3 miles from the start, you will come to an important split. Crags Road parts to the left, crossing Malibu Creek. Despite being the largest watershed in the Santa Monica Mountains, areas of Malibu Creek dry out completely in the fall. The creek flows strong in the spring and summer, when you may prefer not to cross the creek.
When the creek is running high, it is best to stay to the left on High Road, a branch of Crags Road. Staying to the left on High Road only extends the hike by a tenth of a mile each way. The level creek-side fire road provides pleasant shade from overhanging oaks, along with fine views of the impressive Goat Buttes and surrounding peaks. Even if you choose this route in dry months, the mountain range is picturesque year round. Staying with the High Road is also the less complicated option.
Taking the High Road: At 0.6 miles from the split, High Road rejoins Crags Road at another marked junction. To the left, you will find the trail to Rock Pool and the park ranger station. To the right, Crags Road continues for another 1.5 miles to the MASH site.
Taking Crags Road: Bearing Left at the split to follow Crags Road, the trail firs crosses Malibu Creek. Then make your way through a meadow toward the ranger station. Bear right at a couple splits with a trail heading south. After the ranger station, cross a bridge over Malibu Creek with a picturesque perspective up the gorge to the south. On the other side, find the trail to Rock Pool venturing up along the creek to the left.
Not long after the bridge over Malibu Creek and the trail to Rock Pool, come to the junction with the west end of High Road. Bear left to proceed up Crags Road.
Leaving the junction, Crags Road angles to the right and then makes a sharp turn to the left to head gradually uphill. After another 0.42 miles, pass Lookout Trail which rises to the right. Heading downhill, Crags Road then passes a spur trail on the left that ventures down to Century Lake. A picnic area by this small, peaceful reservoir is 0.15 miles off Crags Road and worthy of a short detour.
Crags Road continues through a grassy meadow, curving to the left and across the creek flowing into Century Lake. Just past the creek comes a junction with Forest Trail, which extends to the left down the backside of Century Lake. As usual, stay on Crags Road and continue toward the MASH set. The level road narrows suddenly into a rocky track. Steep rock to the left and dense woods to the right isolate this stretch of the hike, making the last 2/3 of a mile leading up to the destination quite secluded and enjoyable.
Crags Road exits the trees, coming to a junction with Lost Cabin Trail just before the MASH site. This less-traveled single track heads to the left, southeast, for 0.75 miles to the location of a now non-existent cabin. Across from Lost Cabin Trail is the first sign of the MASH Set, an old truck with a red cross painted on the side. This jeep has been added since 2010 and enhances the fantasy of visiting the MASH Site.
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.
VHC HIKE RATING SCALE
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.
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
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.