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Malibu Creek State Park Series

Geographical Information

State - California
Region - Southern
County - Los Angeles
Nearest City - Malibu

Box Information

Placed by - Gnosis 4-H Club 
Placed On - August 8th, 2003
Number of Boxes - 3
          Special Note: This series will be growing in fall, once the weather is cooler. Also, this series is difficult to get to on the weekends due to the number of people in the park and the presence of park rangers. We are aware that there are rangers in the park, so there is no need to send us messages to that affect.

Contact the Placer

Other Boxes Placed by the Gnosis 4-H Club

Accessibility Information

General Rating - Easy
Open to all ages including early walkers. Distance can be covered at a walking pace of 1.5 to 2 miles per hour with no inclines of greater than 200 feet. Trail suitable for large wheeled transportation but walkers and light strollers may have difficulty. Trail safe for visually impaired with assistance.

Specific Details
This series takes you on a 2.5 mile round trip, though it is almost entirely flat. Younger children will find it too far to walk, but off-road strollers, wagons and other wheeled transportation will have no trouble on the trail. This is also a mountain biking area, with all boxes accessible via approved bike routes. Horses can only go to the first box as they aren't allowed on the Rock Pool trail. 

Directions and Location Information

Just 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles, the park has over 4,000 acres, featuring hiking, fishing, bird watching and horseback riding opportunities. There are 15 miles of streamside trail through oak and sycamore woodlands an chaparral-covered slopes. Twenty-five-mile Malibu Creek in the park is the principal water-course of the Santa Monica Mountains - from Boney Mountain to Malibu Lagoon.

The park was the center of Chumash Native American life for centuries and was once used to film numerous movies and TV shows, such as Planet of the Apes and M*A*S*H.

Parking will set you back $5, unless you are there on a "shoot" day, in which case parking is free. We selected locations that aren't used for TV/film productions, so there shouldn't be an issue with the crews.

From the Valley

Take the Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road exit off the 101 and head south about 4 miles to the park on the right. If you see Tapia Park, you passed it about 1/2 mile back.

From the Ocean/Malibu

Take PCH/Highway 1 to Malibu Canyon Road and head east (away from the water) into the mountains. The park is about 2 miles up on your left. It's about 1/2 mile past Tapia Park.


Upon arriving at the park, head down to the lower day parking area. Park and then look for the signs near the bathrooms (the last non porta-potty ones you'll find here) pointing towards the "Backcountry Trails" and follow those to find the first box.

#1 - Too Many Bees In This Park

Shortly after starting on the backcountry trail, you will cross a cement bridge over the creek itself. Just on the other side, stop.

Look to your left and you'll see a small cut-off trail that goes down to the creek itself. Take a couple of steps down that trail and stop.

Turn around and look back the way you came. Right where the trails intersect, on the left, you'll see a short tree with lots of limbs. Follow the limbs to the trunk then to the ground. The roots have pushed up a bit of the road itself just to the right (12 inches or so over, we didn't measure exactly). The box is tucked under that area, in the little cave the roots formed.

We called it Too Many Bees after we tried to plant it down near the creek and were scared away by, you guessed it, too many bees :)

#2 - The Long Walk

Head back onto the trail and follow the signs for "Craggs Road". At one point, you'll see a trail cutoff to the left over a broken (people can pass, no vehicles) bridge. While that route is shorter and won't miss the box, it is sans all shade, so don't go that way on a hot day!

The high road follows the "Craggs Road" signs through intermitant patches of sun and shade from the local oak trees. You will, after about 8/10 of a mile, come to a "Y" in the trail, with the left path leading towards the Visitor Center and the right leading towards Century Lake/MASH Site.

Take the path to the left. This will eventually be the turn off for the future Century Lake/MASH series, however we're waiting for cooler weather to plant those boxes. 

A few steps later, you'll come to another "Y" and again you want to go left. Just before another bridge across the creek to the Visitor Center, you'll come to a porta-potty and a trail marked as "Rock Pool" cutting off to the right.

Take the Rock Pool trail. After a short walk in the shade, you'll come to a clearing of sorts that is set up as a picnic area - tables, trash containers and, of course, porta-potties! 

Hold your nose now...

Go to the right side of the potties and find 220-degrees on your compass. Walk 75 paces at 220-degrees. You may have to walk around one tree (a redwood) and duck under a low branch (depending upon how straight you walk). 

At the end of your paces, you'll be in the last patch of shrubs before they burst out into another sunny clearing. Look down at the shrub in front of you and find where another tree has fallen over, leaving it's decaying trunk at the base of the shrub. 

On the left end of the trunk, two branches form a "Y" and there is a heavy looking, triangular piece of rock sitting atop it. The box is under that rock - it's size is deceiving since it's lava rock.

#3 - Holey Rock

Reported missing but not confirmed. Will be verified and replaced, if necessary, in early October after the county fair is over.

Back onto the trail, heading down hill. Just a few steps down, you'll see a very large lava boulder on your right.

On the side of the boulder facing you as you come down the trail, people have worn a small path of dirt up to higher levels. Go sit on that path of dirt, facing the trail.

Look down and to your left to where the natural holes in the rock have formed a cave just about at your "seat" level. The box is hidden in this space, under a few more lava rocks.

At this point, you can either continue a few hundred paces to the rock pool - alright for swimming some days, not so good others and definetly NOT for wheeled transportation or beginning walkers past this point. Or you can return to your car the way you came.

The Visitor's Center is worth a visit, if you are at the park on a weekend.


2003, Gnosis 4-H Club
The 4-H name and 4-H logo are service marks protected under 18 U.S.C. 707.

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