Nicholas Flat – Malibu Springs

This trail is right next to Yellow Hill Fire Road in Leo Carrillo State Park, but is a lot longer and more challenging hike.  The first half is in State Park territory, well maintained if not well signed.  The second half is run by the National Park Service and feels more remote and less well traveled, as the condition of the trail reflects.  A good hike overall, but very tough as well.

IMG_7070     IMG_7076   I parked on the ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway and began at 6:15 am.  There are two trails heading up the mountain that join again in about a half mile.  I went right on Willow Creek Trail to catch the rising Sun.


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IMG_7131   Nicholas Flat Trail took me up and back.  When I looked up I wondered if I really had to go all the way to the top.

IMG_7161     IMG_7197   Indeed, all the way to the top.  There is a turn-out that leads to a mesa for a nice view.  I had just climbed 1,600 in two and a half miles.

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Channel Islands, on zoom in photo 2.  That’s Anacapa on the left and the larger Santa Cruz on the right.

IMG_7222     IMG_7211   I hiked over to Nicholas Pond.


IMG_7228   As I approached the pond I noticed a trail that led away to the right.  This took me to a rocky but shady spot and a good place to rest.

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IMG_7243     IMG_7246   Views from the secret spot

IMG_7260     IMG_7270   After the pond I took the appropriately named Meadow Trail.  I gave myself the option to turn back here but continued on up Ridgeline Trail.  Another two and a half miles of trail lay ahead.

IMG_7323     IMG_7311     IMG_7312   There is a sign indicating that the trail has changed to Malibu Springs Trail and NPS territory.  The trail was pretty overgrown with a lot of ticks and insects flying in my face.  I Dropped down 1,100 feet to meet Mulholland Highway.  I like this little picture on the sign in photo 1.  To me, it looks like a hiking friar.  Photo 2 – The road way down there is my turn around point.  In the photo 3, I pass by AT&T Earth Station.


In the near distance are the mountains I hiked on my Sandstone Peak and Triunfo Pass hikes.  IMG_7360

Super Mountain Views

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IMG_7370  The trailhead on the Mulholland side has room to park a single car.

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I was pretty wasted from all the climbing and cruised back down to the beach without taking too many pictures.  Photo 1 again shows Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands.  Photo 2 shows Point Dume.






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