Summertime in Southern California usually means hotter weather, lack of water sources and less hiking. Recently, we went on an adventure to find the Malibu Rock Pool. It sounded like a fun swimming hole not far from home. I made the mistake of following directions from Hike Speak, which were a bit confusing and made it seem like you had to head towards the MASH site to get to it.
We parked on Mulholland Highway and started on the Grassland Trail through Malibu Creek State Park. There is a parking lot that is inside the park, but you have to pay $12 for day use. Parking on Mulholland saved us some money while also gaining 0.8 miles of hiking. The trail starts off fairly flat for the first portion and then reaches a fork. The options on the right and the left go a little out of the way but also have a more gradual descent. The middle trail goes straight down and is more direct bit is fairly steep. We opted for the right option.
At the bottom of the hill, the trail hits Crags Road. Here’s where the directions got a little confusing. They said to make a right, just before reaching the bridge that crosses Malibu Creek. The trail on the right actually led us to Century Lake/Dam and the MASH site, which was about 1.5 miles from this junction. The trail is easy to follow with some shade but not a whole lot. It’s mostly flat with little elevation gain.
The MASH site still has a few old vehicles that were used when the show was filmed there between 1972 and 1983. Twentieth Century Fox owned this area where they operated a movie ranch before donating the land to the Malibu Creek State Park.
After looking at the vehicles and signage, we headed back the direction we came. Once we reached the bridge again, we decided to turn right and cross the bridge. This led us to the Rock Pool which was much appreciated after hiking 3 miles round trip in 90 degree heat. There were several people there but it didn’t feel overly crowded. There were some adventurous teens jumping from boulders into the water, which is not allowed and could get you a ticket if a ranger is around. After soaking in the water long enough to cool off, we headed back to the car and enjoyed some cold water with the AC on full blast. This hike is great during summertime and if you’re just going to the Rock Pool, the hike is less than a mile from Mulholland Highway.