Malibu is Paradise

16 Feb
2012
Posted in: California, Drives, Hikes
By    1 Comment

Malibu is incredible. I’m not talking about the movie star homes of Malibu. I’m talking about the wild Malibu, the areas you’ll find just a few miles from the beach, nestled back in the hills, far from the petty concerns of beach condo-mansion living. Most of this land was preserved in its mostly natural state because it was purchased and used as ranches by movie business people. Malibu Creek State Park was once owned by Bob Hope. I’m thankful they donated the land to the public good rather than keeping it private.

We were on a mission to hike back to the M.A.S.H. set in Malibu Creek State Park (see Paul’s post about the hike), and had been driving in horrendous traffic all day (San Diego through LA to Malibu in one day = not smart even with a stop at Joe Jost’s). It was getting late, we were tired and crabby, and our directions to the park were unclear. Finally we found the right road, turning and winding steeply from the beach into a canyon in the cliffs.

The drive back through the canyon was like ascending from reality into another, magical realm. Winding through a prehistoric-looking place on Malibu Canyon Road (aka County Highway N1), I suddenly felt less stressed. There’s a strange attitude in the air; it hangs over the hills like a mist (of finely ground dollar bills, perhaps?). We kept reminding ourselves that we were just fifteen miles from LA. It felt like another world. I was completely dazzled. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of finding and exploring these beautiful places, but it also feels like we left a lot unexplored. My list of places to return is getting too long.

Sunset from our campsite in Malibu Creek State Park.

Sunset from our campsite in Malibu Creek State Park.

Our campsite view in daylight.

Our campsite view in daylight.

Hiking back to the MASH site along Malibu Creek.

Hiking back to the MASH site along Malibu Creek.

Buttes, bluffs, or mountains: I don't know the official classification, I just know they're gorgeous.

Buttes, bluffs, or mountains: I don't know the official classification, I just know they're gorgeous.

Closer to the MASH set.

Closer to the MASH set.

By a small lake -- see the two people sitting on the dam in the background?

By a small lake -- see the two people sitting on the dam in the background? How did they get there?

  • Ahh you skipped the OC?  If you ever make it back you’ll have to check out The Blue Beet. I pretty much lived there when I was working in Newport Beach.  Great fish and chips, awesome atmosphere and neighborhood :)  
    http://www.thebluebeet.com/