March 24, 2010

Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park is a beautiful park located in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The campground is somewhat spartan, but offers beautiful views of chaparral covered ridges and Malibu Canyon is right now the way.

I had quite a bit of work to do today, so Linda and Hilina wandered off to Malibu Creek and the "Rock Pools" about 2 miles away by trail. Hilina hiked the whole way, but Linda carried her back.

Malibu Creek holds the distinction of having the southernmost population of sea-going steelhead in the Pacific. Unfortunately for those few remaining steelhead (often numbering no more than a few dozen to a couple hundred), there is a an old, completely silted in dam just 2.5 miles upstream from the ocean. If they were to spend $18 million dollars to remove it, it would open up another 8 miles of prime streamside habitat. It is said that in the 1930's and 40's Clark Gable and many other Hollywood types would catch huge steelhead when the runs were in the thousands.

Although I was unable to join them on the stroll to Malibu Creek, after lunch we did cruise up to the summit ridge of the Santa Monica Mountains at over 2500 feet above the ocean for a 6 mile hike (well more like 8 for me). That adventure will be detailed in a Hikemasters trail guide soon.

By the way, Malibu Creek State Park is the site where M*A*S*H, the old Planet of the Apes movies, the A-team, and a whole bunch of other movies and tv shows were filmed. It was originally created in the 1970's by piecing together properties belonging to  Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, Paramount Studios, among others.

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