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State Parks to Visit Near Malibu

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

© Roots Rated

Topanga State Park

Considered the world’s largest wild-land within the boundaries of a major city, Topanga State Park is located in the cliffs and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains. The park features 36 miles of trails with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and has offerings for hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers (restricted to fire roads). Numerous geologic formations can be found throughout the park, such as earthquake faults, marine fossils, volcanic intrusions, and a wide variety of sedimentary formations.

Park hours are: 8:00 am to sunset

Dogs are not allowed within the park

© Modern Hiker

Malibu Lagoon State Beach

Malibu Lagoon State Beach contains the Malibu Lagoon, which is where Malibu Creek meets the Pacific Ocean. The historic Surfrider Beach, within the park, was one of the first places where modern surfing culture developed. Malibu Lagoon State Beach offers picnic tables, nature trails, bird watching and tidal wetlands. The Adamson House, also located within the park, overlooks the Malibu Lagoon and Surfrider Beach, and houses historical artifacts.

Adjacent to the Adamson House is the Malibu Lagoon Museum. The museum showcases history of the area from the regional capital of the Chumash tribe, to the early Californio ranchos and later, the American gentleman’s ranches, to the birth of the surfing era. Museum tours are available.

Park hours are: 8:00 am to sunset

Dogs are allowed in the parking lot only

© Conde Nast Traveler

Leo Carrillo State Park

Leo Carrillo State Park is the park for visitors with a passion of water sports, camping, or hiking. The park's beach is 1.5 miles long and allows for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing and beach combing. Leo Carrillo State Park's beach also has tide pools, coastal caves and reefs for exploring. Giant sycamores shade the main campgrounds and supports up to a maximum trailer length of 31 feet. The park also features back-country hiking.

Park hours are: 8:00 am to 10:00 pm

Dogs allowed in day-use areas, campground and North Beach (north of Lifeguard Tower 3). Dogs not allowed on backcountry trails or South Beach (south of Lifeguard Tower 3).

© Conde Nast Traveler

Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park offers hiking, fishing, bird watching, mountain biking, rock climbing and horseback riding opportunities for visitors. The Malibu Creek is the predominant feature of the park, offering 15 miles of stream-side trails through oak and sycamore woodlands on chaparral-covered slopes. Malibu Creek State Park also features volcanic rock gorges, scenic pools, and breathtaking views of the Las Virgenes Valley and Malibu Canyon.

Park hours are: 8:00 am to 10:00 pm

Dogs are allowed on paved road and in the campground

Dogs are not allowed on trails

© Hikes Peak

Point Mugu State Park

Point Mugu State Park is located in the Santa Monica Mountains and has more than 70 miles of hiking trails. The park features five miles of ocean shoreline, two major river canyons, wide grassy valleys, and the jagged pinnacles of the Boney Mountains State Wilderness Area. Point Mugu State Park's beach features swimming, body surfing and surf fishing.

Park hours are:

  • Sycamore Cove & Mugu Beach parking lots open at 8:00 am and close at sunset

  • Sycamore Canyon & Thornhill Broome campground gates open at 8:00 am and close at 10:00 pm

Dogs are allowed in campground and day-use areas

Dogs are not allowed on trails

© Conde Nast Traveler

Point Dume State Beach

Point Dume State Beach features headlands, cliffs, rocky coves and vast beach access. The beach is noted for swimming, surfing and scuba diving. From December through mid April, Point Dume State Beach offers gray whale watching, as well. Currently, the staircase down to the beach is closed for refurbishment. Those wishing to visit should go early because parking is extremely limited. Parking in the surrounding neighborhood is not allowed and there are only about 12 parking spaces for Point Dume State Beach.

Park hours are: sunrise to sunset

Dogs are not allowed

© California Beaches

Malibu Pier

Malibu Pier is a Southern California icon and is adjacent to Surfrider Beach, known by surfers worldwide. The pier offers fishing, dining, and shopping. Malibu Pier is the perfect place to unwind, walk out over the water, and relax.

Park hours are: 6:00 am to 9:00 pm

Dogs are not allowed on the pier

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