Saturday, November 15, 2014

Malibu Creek State Park: M*A*S*H Hike

A few months after moving here, I went on a hike in Topanga Canyon. Afterward, I posted some of my pictures on social media. "That looks like where they filmed M*A*S*H!" a friend commented. This piqued my curiosity. So I looked into it and discovered that he was sort of right. It wasn't where M*A*S*H was filmed, but that site is just up the Pacific Coast Highway, at Malibu Creek State Park. I've been wanting to do this hike ever since, and got to do so this week while my brother was visiting.

The park is very easy to find, just off Malibu Canyon Road (accessible via both PCH and the 101). Parking is $12.00 per car for day use, and I was delighted to discover that they have a couple of electric vehicle chargers. (Note: There is somewhere to park for free outside of the park, although it makes for a longer hike. You can find the info online.) The M*A*S*H hike, without taking any of the numerous side trails, is approximately 5 miles round trip.

The only difficulty I found was that there are several parking lots there, which I was previously unaware of. I parked in the first one I found and therefore had difficulty finding the trailhead, which was near the (I believe) fourth parking lot. Once we figured this out, we were on our way.

I was surprised to discover that Malibu Creek actually had some running water:

The views on this trail are absolutely stunning. We had perfect weather. 

Much of the trail is shaded:

More stunning views. The trail does have some elevation, but only in one part (about midway, I'd guess) and it was a pretty gradual slope.

There are numerous side trails. Some have elevation/views. Some don't. We took only one of them, to the dam-created Century Lake:

We also got some Fall color, a rarity in SoCal:

The trail gets continually narrower until you suddenly find yourself at the site. While much of the show was filmed at the studio, some of it was filmed here:

On our way back, we stopped on a small bridge to enjoy the beauty and the quiet:

This was a truly fantastic hike. I enjoyed it thoroughly and have every intention of returning more than once. I recommend it both to people who live in the LA area and those who are visiting. You shouldn't miss it!


Patricia said...


It never occurred to me one could go on a M*A*S*H hike. I'm so glad I know this now.

balyien said...

It's one of those funny reminders that I now live in a place where famous people not only live but also where they create the things that they're famous for.