Los Angeles Section 3

Dan Blocker State Beach to Malibu Pier

Los Angeles Section 3

Dan Blocker State Beach to Malibu Pier

This easy walk features some "beach politics." The famed Malibu Colony of expensive homes lining the broad sandy beach competes with the public's desire for beach access to the tidal zone and surf there. This section begins at Dan Blocker State Beach, also called Corral Beach, a long narrow strip of sandy and rocky beach with riprap protecting the highway from pounding high-tide waves.

After rounding Malibu Point, the section concludes by passing Malibu Lagoon State Beach and the historic Adamson House operated by State Parks.

From the highway take the dirt ramp at the beach's north end down to the beach. If the tide is too high, we suggest waiting atop the bluff for it to start going out. Otherwise one would need to walk the busy highway and Malibu Road. Walk down the narrow beach. At the south end of Dan Blocker State Beach at ¾ mile, the highway climbs and veers inland, while Malibu Road and its pricey houses parallel the beach. Continue down the beach in front of the houses to Puerco City Beach. From roughly one mile to around 3 miles, four public stairs pass between the houses. The first two run between Malibu Road and Puerco Beach. Then after a small point around 2 miles, you pass two more stairs climbing from Amarillo Beach. The public stairways are identifiable because they don't have "private-no trespassing" signs on them. These serve as high tide exits as well as beach accessways.

Note also frequent signs stating that the beach behind the sign is private. It does not, however, ban the public from walking on the beach because the California state Constitution guarantees public access to the state tidelands. So not only can hikers walk the beach below the "mean high tide line," they also can walk above the line if it is unsafe to walk below it. The line fluctuates with the seasons, depending on the amount of sand on the beach, and depending on who says what about the line! Walking along the wet sand at the tideline instead of directly in front of the houses avoids confrontation.

From 3⅜ miles you walk the tideline in front of the super exclusive gated Malibu Colony, home to many Hollywood celebrities and other wealthy Angelenos. The folks you usually see in the backyards are the domestic help who sweep the patios and tend the gardens. The Colony ends at 4 miles, marked by a high fence running from the last house out into the sand. As you pass the fence, turn around to read the big "NO TRESPASSING" sign hanging from the fence. Everyone ignores the sign since the public has access rights.

Just past the fence, you reach the estuarine Malibu Lagoon, part of Malibu Lagoon State Beach. If the lagoon's opening to the ocean is sand barred, continue down the beach as it veers left around Malibu Point. Soon you pass state park's Adamson House on the left, walking Surfrider Beach to the Malibu Pier and section's end at 4⅜ miles.

If you can't get past the mouth of the lagoon, retrace your steps few yards and take the trail that heads inland along the west side of the lagoon. Follow it across two bridges, reaching a parking lot and picnic area ¼ mile inland. The Malibu city center lies across the highway. Leave the parking lot and walk the bridge south over Malibu Creek and the lagoon. Across the creek, the Adamson House and grounds and Malibu Lagoon Museum overlook the beach. The Adamsons were descendants of the holders of the Spanish Malibu Land Grant. State Park docents conduct tours of the Spanish Colonial Revival house noted for its beautiful tile work. You are welcome to walk the grounds and gardens which stay open during the day free to the public. After passing the house, go through a parking lot, descend to Surfrider Beach, turn left and walk to section's end at the Malibu Pier.

Distance: 4⅜ miles (7 kilometers).

Open to: Hikers.

Surface: Beach.

Access point: Dan Blocker State Beach.

How to get there: Road shoulder parking for the beach is in the 26000 block on Highway 1, about 3.5 miles north of the Malibu city center and just down coast from the corner of Corral Canyon Road.

Other access: Malibu Lagoon State Beach and stairways at 24700, 24500, 24400, 24300 blocks of Malibu Road.

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation gain/loss: Negligible.

Cautions: Best to start your hike with the outgoing tide since parts of the beach may be impassable at high tide. In winter Malibu Creek is sometimes too deep to ford.

Further information: Malibu Division, California State Parks (310)457-8140, Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service, Northern Section (310)457-9891.

Facilities: Roadside parking and chemical toilets at Dan Blocker State Beach. Parking, water, tables at Malibu Beach. Urban amenities abound along Pacific Coast Highway.

Campgrounds: Malibu Creek State Park campground, 5.5 miles inland on Malibu Canyon Road, has 63 sites. Malibu Beach RV Park (310)456-6052, adjacent to Dan Blocker State Beach, has 50 tent sites and 140 RV sites.

Lodging: There are many accommodations in the area.

Points of Interest

No individual points found.

In the News

Interested in contributing to this project?

Register to add new photos and information, update existing results and share your trip reports.

Leave a Comment