Tough and Easy: Two Southern California Rides
Crags Road is a delightfully easy, one-way, 7.8 mile-round-trip ride. It travels over mostly flat terrain and is recommended for beginning mountain bikers. There are a few short hills. Most of the ride is on good, hard-packed dirt roads. Expect some short stretches of sand and light washboarding.
On this trip you cross over several bridges as the road follows the meandering Malibu Creek. Bordering the creek are large sycamores. Huge oaks shade picnic tables at the Visitor Center. The rugged peaks of Goat Buttes lie to the south and are prominent over much of the ride. Water-oriented birds abound and fishermen enjoy good bass fishing in Century Lake.
A mile beyond the lake you will find a rusted jeep and an ambulance next to the trail. This is the former set of the television series"M.A.S.H." Prior to the land's incarnation as Malibu Creek State Park, it belonged to 20th Century Fox. Several "Tarzan" movies, many westerns, and "Planet of the Apes" were filmed here.
General location: Malibu Creek State Park is 6 miles north of Malibu on Las Virgines/Malibu Canyon Road.
Land status: State park.
Elevation change: You begin riding at 500' and follow the creek upstream to 700'. Rolling terrain adds an estimated 100' of climbing to the route. Total elevation gain: 300'.
Season: Open year-round. This is a very popular park on summer weekends and holidays.
Services: Water, restrooms, and camping are available at Malibu Creek State Park. All services can be obtained in Malibu.
Hazards: These trails are often busy. Ride slowly and watch for others as you approach corners.
Rescue index: Help can be found in Malibu. Emergency assistance may be available at the Visitor Center or at the entry kiosk off Las Virgines/Malibu Canyon Road.
Maps: A trail map may be purchased at the entry kiosk or at the Visitor Center.
Finding the trail:
The park entrance is just south of Mulholland Highway on Las Virgines/Malibu Canyon Road. From the Pacific Coast Highway (CA 1) in Malibu, drive north for 6 miles on Las Virgines/Malibu Canyon Road to the park entrance on the left. From the north, follow US 101 to Las Virgines/Malibu Canyon Road. Go south on Las Virgines/Malibu Canyon Road for 3 miles to Mulholland Highway. Continue past Mulholland Highway for .3 miles to the park entrance on the right. Pay a day-use fee at the entry kiosk and proceed south to the furthest parking area.
Notes on the trail:
From the parking area, continue south on the park's entrance road to a road on the right signed, "Authorized Vehicles Only." This is the beginning of Crags Road. Follow Crags Road and stay left at the first intersection to cross the river on a large concrete bridge. Turn right immediately after the bridge toward the Visitor Center (a left turn takes you down Mott Road to some adobe ruins). Past the Visitor Center and across another bridge you will find the signed Rock Pool Trail on the left. Take it for a short trip to the pools. Return to Crags Road and turn left. Climb over the biggest hill of the ride to a signed road for Century Lake on the left. Continue straight. You will reach the "M.A.S.H." site after about 3 miles of cycling. After passing the "M.A.S.H." site, stay right at the next 2 intersections to reach the dam at Malibu Lake. Return the way you came.
The Visitor Center has outstanding exhibits describing the natural and social histories of the park. It is open on weekends and holidays from noon to 4 p.m.
Source of Additional Information
Angeles District of State Parks
9000 West Pacific Coast Hgihway
Malibu, CA 90265
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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