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Malibu Creek State Park

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Malibu Creek State Park Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 900'
Location: 34.0961, -118.731 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 264,040
Administrators: jt512, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jordan K on Oct 8, 2006  with updates from Benjamin Chapman


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Malibu Creek State Park is a state park established in 1974 to preserve the Malibu Creek canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains west of Los Angeles. The park encompasses 8,215 acres and offers a wide variety of quality sport climbing and developed bouldering, as well as, excellent top-rope routes on the Planet of the Apes Wall. The Park offers over 100 bolted sport climbs, ranging from 5.5 - 5.14, on steep pocketed volcanic rock. While climbing is extremely popular at Malibu Creek State Park, we share this popular destination with hikers, swimmers, mountain bikers, and a variety of other users. Malibu Creek State Park can have a very "urban" atmosphere, especially near the Rock Pool.

Park is open from sunrise to sunset; no dogs are allowed.

Getting There 

The park is located four miles south of Highway 101 on Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road. There is a $12 fee for parking within the Park, but a free alternative exists by turning right (west) on Mulholland Hwy from Las Virgenes Road and parking on either side of the highway where the Grasslands Trail cuts through the Park. Due to the quality of the fire roads that traverse the park the approach is straightforward, especially via mountain bike.

Climbing Season

Weather station 8.1 miles from here

131 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',51],['2 Stars',55],['1 Star',11],['Bomb',5]

Classic Climbing Routes in Malibu Creek State Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Malibu Creek State Park:
Chopping Block   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport   Stumbling Blocks
Powder Puff Girls   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 40'   Century Lake Area : The Power Wall
Moonshiner   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 70'   Stumbling Blocks
Gorgeous   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Mt. Gorgeous
Kathmandu   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Ghetto Wall
Guerilla Drilla   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   Stumbling Blocks
Power Station   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 50'   Century Lake Area : The Power Wall
The Third Degree   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport   Stumbling Blocks
Family Jewel   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Mt. Gorgeous
X Files   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 30'   Stumbling Blocks
Rolling Blackout   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 50'   Century Lake Area : The Power Wall
Delicious   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   Mt. Gorgeous
Mr. Big   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 35'   Stumbling Blocks
Johnny Can't Lead   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Ghetto Wall
Planet of the Apes   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     TR, 70'   Planet of the Apes Wall
Marauding Monkeys   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Mt. Gorgeous
Luscious   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 60'   Mt. Gorgeous
Letterbox   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport   Stumbling Blocks
Urban Struggle   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Ghetto Wall
The Drifter   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 60'   Century Lake Area : Drifter Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Malibu Creek State Park

Featured Route For Malibu Creek State Park
Rock Climbing Photo: monkey sang,monkey do

Monkey Sang, Monkey Do 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  California : Los Angeles Basin : ... : Planet of the Apes Wall
A terrific route. Same start as "Spank the Monkey", but trend right and continue up and over a small overlap before joining at the beginning of the final roof section. Catch a good rest mid height. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Malibu Creek State Park Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: malibu creek
malibu creek
Rock Climbing Photo: Ringtail in the rocks below the Power Wall
Ringtail in the rocks below the Power Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeese Groves (jumping) and Andy Patterson escape t...
Jeese Groves (jumping) and Andy Patterson escape t...
Rock Climbing Photo: The hike from the Rock Pool back to Mulholland Dr
The hike from the Rock Pool back to Mulholland Dr
Rock Climbing Photo: A Giant Swallowtail butterfly enjoying the blossom...
A Giant Swallowtail butterfly enjoying the blossom...
Rock Climbing Photo: Spring flowers
Spring flowers
Rock Climbing Photo: Deer, in the morning.
Deer, in the morning.
Rock Climbing Photo: on the way to ghetto wall
on the way to ghetto wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Towards the dam
Towards the dam
Rock Climbing Photo: Joe. Drifter (12A)
Joe. Drifter (12A)
Rock Climbing Photo: malibu creek traverse
malibu creek traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Back way to The Power Wall
Back way to The Power Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Trash from the 2nd annual Adopt-A-Crag at Malibu C...
Trash from the 2nd annual Adopt-A-Crag at Malibu C...
Rock Climbing Photo: just another traversing shot, plus swimmers 05/30/...
just another traversing shot, plus swimmers 05/30/...
Rock Climbing Photo: A very tiny, juvenile Horned Lizard, spotted near ...
A very tiny, juvenile Horned Lizard, spotted near ...
Rock Climbing Photo: peekaboo
Rock Climbing Photo: A Park user enjoying the solitude.
A Park user enjoying the solitude.
Rock Climbing Photo: If it's not diapers  or plastic bags, it's used wa...
If it's not diapers or plastic bags, it's used wa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Casey on Letterbox (11b/c) at Malibu Creek behind ...
Casey on Letterbox (11b/c) at Malibu Creek behind ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Traverse at the Rock Pool
Traverse at the Rock Pool
Rock Climbing Photo: Chuck Brainard traversing over pond
Chuck Brainard traversing over pond
Rock Climbing Photo: Justin on Gorgeous (10a) at Mount Gorgeous
Justin on Gorgeous (10a) at Mount Gorgeous
Rock Climbing Photo: malibu creek
malibu creek
Rock Climbing Photo: malibu creek approach
malibu creek approach

Show All 27 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Malibu Creek State Park Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 15, 2017
By Isaac T.
From: Yokosuka, Japan
Feb 19, 2007
The water was really high when I was there making it impossible to get to the upper canyon. The only wall that was accessible was the Planet of the Apes wall. Had a great time, though. Such a beautiful place to climb I will definitely be going here again.

I found the directions to the crag were pretty vague though, so I will give a stab at it.
Once you are in the park, there are two parking lots, park in the second one. If you keep going you will go around a bend into the campgrounds (20$ a night for tent camping, 50$ for RV's for all you wimps). From the second parking lot cross the paved street drop onto the road that crosses a creek it is paved for the first 200 feet or so then turns to dirt road. Keep going down the dirt road. You will see a fork on your left, don't go this way keep right. There is another fork in the road this time stay to the left. You will be walking along the river under a bunch of full oaks. After walking for a minute or two a bridge will come into view that crosses the river. There is a rather large white house on the other side of the river. From here you can see the large rock formations in the canyon to the Northwest. I forget exactly where the foot path is but it heads STRAIGHT for the bridge, once at the bridge you will see a path to your right (north) follow that path past a few park benches it will drop down to the river go around a bend in the river and there is the first rock formation(planet of the apes) To get to the rest of the routes cross the river, and traverse along the wall above the water. from here I do not know since the water was way to high and the traverse was under water.
By ZachS00
From: Denver, CO
Sep 24, 2009
Several weekends ago friends and I made it to the Ghetto Wall by doing a lot of backpack tossing and swimming. Is there a dry way from where the path hits the big swimming hole to the Ghetto Wall?
By Rob Gordon
From: Hollywood, CA
Nov 9, 2009
Yes. You traverse on the South(?) side to get to Stumbling Blocks. Then walk on the south side some more till you can hop to a boulder in the water (right after the cave on the north side and before Ghetto Wall) and traverse the north side then walk across to Ghetto wall. The north side traverse is slightly more sustained than the first traverse. Staying higher seems to be easier, but i would be wary of falling because there are some rocks at the base under the water.

EDIT: I think there is a picture on here of the second traverse.
By Slater
Apr 11, 2010
NEW ROUTES near Guerrilla Drilla-

Just left of The Third Degree (shares start?) is a 5.10+/.11a looking route to new anchors. Anyone have any info? Name?

ALSO - With Guerrilla Drilla at your back, by the tree there is a 5.6 4 bolt route on the right of this rock, and down below (steep start) there is a 9 bolt 5.9+ route that goes up to the roof by the tree and then up the arete (just left of the new 5.6). Can anyone pass on some info? Names? Confirm ratings?

ALSO on right side of Mt. Gorgeous gully, below Toddler Terrace there are two new long slab routes (both around 5.7+) with 7bolts and 6 bolts (l to r). Info please... Thanks!
By Tristan Burnham
From: La Crescenta, CA
Oct 4, 2010
Those 2 long slab routes are gone! blots and anchors have been pulled out.
By Jan Tarculas
From: Riverside, Ca
Apr 28, 2011
Words of advice for climbers here and everywhere else. PLEASE PLEASE put your own draws up top if you are planning on top roping. A lot of the anchors here are open shuts or fixed caribiners so it is VERY temping to just clip into them, get lowered down, and use them for TR for rest of your group. So PLEASE use your own quick draws to TR the climbs! Also please rappel as much as possible to also prevent wear on the anchors. THANKS!
By Kyle Wills
From: Chicago, IL
May 30, 2011
I just want to say, first of all, is that this place is awesome. You LA kids are super lucky to have such a perfect warm summer day sport crag. The creek and fairly unique way of accessing a lot of the climbs make this crag a blast in the socal climate.The routes were awesome steep sport lines. Having been to New Jack City once I still think this place reminds me most of climbing in Red River Gorge ( where I am from) where NJC was just mostly ugly.

Now I only need someone to open up a Miguels nearby.....oh and octuple the amounts of routes here.
By Kyle Wills
From: Chicago, IL
Jun 5, 2011
Also, how can this place be so popular and still have such outdated information. Hey Regulars! post some photos and and better beta photos. Get all the new route information on the database!
By AlexK
Jan 19, 2012
I always tell newcomers: everything's fun in malibu creek. From easy warmups to pumpy overhangs, you'll have a good time.
By Jen Levine
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jul 14, 2012
Where do climbers camp around here? I looked up Malibu Creek State Park and it looks like they only have 5 very expensive campsites that are always booked on Saturdays making a weekend stay impossible. Help!!! Also, what's the best guidebook?
By Thomas Ferrer
Jul 3, 2013
was at the park yesterday evening and was really impressed with the sport climbing. while my buddy and i were finding routes we couldn't help but notice all the amazing 15 plus foot boulders.

is there a established guide book for the boulders in the park?

If anyone has any more information please contact me here or via email
By Slater
Sep 20, 2013
For what it is worth... my Southern California Rock Climbing guidebook has 2 routes listed in it on page 207: Scratchy Beard 5.8 and Slip N Slide 5.8. Apparently these routes were put up violating some basic common sense practices and were removed. Please respect the wishes of the locals and don't take it upon yourself to re-establish these routes. I in no way intended to legitimize these routes, but was simply recording what I saw and climbed. Locals trump guidebooks. Climb on, Tom
From: Los Angeles, CA
Sep 21, 2013
The trash all around the park is pretty awful. Please do the community a favor and pick up some items and throw them away-a little goes a long way if everyone pitches in.

And DON'T smoke in the is incredibly dry I was amazed at the number of climbers smoking and then dropping the butts in the dry bushes!
By Ian Gargle
Oct 14, 2013
I lost a tiny blue scarpa velcro shoe at the creek this weekend. Its probably somewhere near ghetto blaster. If anyone finds it please contact me on here. Thanks a lot.
By Kat Colella
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Jun 9, 2014
My husband and I went to Malibu Creek this past weekend (mainly to camp and stay the night, but we got one quick route in). The $45 you spend on a tent camp site might as well go towards a hotel, seeing all you get for $45 is a 50/50 chance at a shaded site (the trees are generous if you happen to be assigned such a site), and many of the sites are sloped--and unless you bring your own shovel, you're stuck with camping on a hill. Did I mention the loud neighbors who are prone to blaring their music from their car stereos, running their generators till 11pm, and constantly locking and unlocking their vehicles (urbanites who, granted, have probably not been taught camping etiquette).

When you do head out to the climbing area proper, be sure to bring gloves and a trash bag--you could pack out a 30L bag of garbage. Don't hike out barefooted; watch for glass shards. Be prepared to have to yell to your climbing parter in order to communicate; not due to wind, but due to the whooping, hollering, and screams of the locals enjoying the swimming hole. Most of the accessible rock under 10ft high has graffiti sprayed across what would have been quite beautiful rock; eye-sores galore.

Pumpy, juggy, overhanging, fun routes... but with all the other issues, I am not sure it is worth the trouble.

Trad climbers: stay away!! I heard the words, "Why aren't there bolts on this crack? It would make such a sick route if it were bolted!" come out of a "local climber's" mouth. John Sherman, where are you??
By brucy
Apr 14, 2015
We recently returned from our first visit to Malibu Creek. We did find it both beautiful and- get ready for this- quiet. Figure that out. The camping mid-week (from Sunday afternoon till Friday morning) has maybe 10% occupancy. Low season rates are $35/night + another $12 for any additional vehicle. High season- after March 1st: add another $10/night. Shower tokens are had at the first restroom machine or by the camp host. The state camping website lists a local number that nobody bothers either answering or returning any voice mails left- a big joke!

The climbing: is on pocketed volcanic rock that resembles sandstone. The jury is still out whether it's sticky underfoot or not. The traverses to get to the various crags upstream are bogus. Carrying both heavy backpacks and ropes with muddy shoes is really a hassel when one is frictioning and 5th classing on the traverses. Life would really be made much easier if somebody bolted a rebar step or two (vis a vis Queen Creeks Pond area or the approach to Aurora at the Owens River Gorge). It really felt juvenile- as tho some grade schooler was putting a prominent sign on his bedroom door...Stay Out! What's the logic: to keep the "civilians and gumby's" away and limit visitation to "manly" climbers? Labeling this an "urban crag"- how convenient. It's as to saying that this is an area not really worth fixing because locals come here for the day?

The two guides to the area were vague as to delineating which route was what at the Stumbling Blocks and beyond. Beware of- thankfully rare- single bolt anchors on some of the climbs, the mosquitoes boiling out of the creek, and the ubiquitous poison oak.

So, can one have a nice experience here? for sure. As long as you understand the caveats and plan on some laborious and time consuming approach times (easily double any estimates given by locals who assume that you inhabit "their" minds and understand implicitly everything they say about the smallest minutiae).
By Coon
Apr 18, 2015
Let's be real, this is practically an urban crag right at the edge of LA county. It's got some good climbs but I have no idea why anyone would want to travel here to camp here. This nor Echo are that type of crag. If you're expecting Holcomb, J-Tree, New Jack or Bishop vibe, you'll be tremendously disappointed. It's good if you're nearby and want to get a good burn, but it's not the type of place you want to make a weekend out of.
By Catherine Pavlov
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 6, 2015
I found someone's key here last weekend. Anyone looking for a house key? Had no keychain.

The water is slightly higher than it has been in the last year. There's also a narrow board over the hardest part of the traverse, so it's marginally easier now.
By Steph Q.
Sep 21, 2015
I lost my sunglasses case Saturday between the traverse and ghetto wall. Anyone pick one up? Its a large black case that closes by zipper and has a polarization test strip on the inside. Message me if you find it! Thanks!
From: Los Angeles, CA
Oct 3, 2015
There's tons of SAR activity associated with individuals inexperienced in climbing and backcountry skills going beyond the rock pool and injuring themselves. Making the traverses easier would make this problem much worse. While this is an urban crag, we try to minimize the impact as much as possible-installing a rebar step would not be a step in the right direction.

Furthermore, for climbers (even if they are "gumbys") who are capable of climbing back in the park the traverse should not be difficult. It's 5.2 at most and the water consequence minimizes risk of injury. The traverse to the Ghetto is more involved but so are the routes there-it's 5.5 and one shouldn't venture back there to climb mid 10's-13's unless they can do a 5.5 traverse. Period.

The approach is really quite trivial. Like anyone inexperienced with a new area, for locals it will be quicker. It's simply a fact of knowledge and the way the world works. After 1-2 visits, however, anyone can become a 'local' on the approach-it takes no more than 25 minutes to get to Stumbling Blocks from your car on Mulholland.

I could see someone camping for a few days and enjoying Malibu Creek. The scenery is stunning in the spring, and there is plenty of fun to be had for 3 days or so.

  • **PLEASE clean up trash when you come in-climbers are often responsible and we have to do the right thing and clean up the mess made by those drinking and throwing trash by the rock pool. There's a trash can on the way out past Planet of the Apes-just grab a couple of pieces and drop them on the way.***
By James Reed
Feb 10, 2016
VERY CLOSE CALL WITH ROCKFALL AT TODDLER TERRACE!! Warming up on slab routes at Toddler Terrace and at chain anchor on left most route shifted my right hand approxiately 4 inches up and right of right chain anchor, barely pressured it as I was clipping left chain and had 30 LB BLOCK FALL OFF. Barely caught
it with right hand, yelled and held on long enough for my belayer and other party of two at base one route over run for F@#$@#ing cover and tried to throw it away from wall to right. Hit and exploded about half way down. SUPER SUPER SCARY. BEWARE.
By Ian Bloom
Apr 4, 2016
Found a jacket at the ghetto wall. If you can describe it in a Private Message I'll get it back to you.
By Stephen D
Apr 18, 2016
Does anybody know the names/ratings of the last 2 climbs if you keep going past the ghetto wall, on the same side of creek? They're just a few hundred feet past the main ghetto wall area. They are all alone and don't appear to be listed anywhere on MP. Maybe whoever bolted them could add them.
They merge after the first 5 bolts and share anchors at ~35 feet up. The left one felt 5.10+ with a distinct crux just past a ledge at the 5th bolt and the right one was definitely a lot harder, but we didn't try it.
By Dustin Stephens
Jun 12, 2016
Seems like about half the hangers in the Canyon are spinning these days. Lots of stuff due for an upgrade to glue-ins sometime soon. In the meantime, bring a wrench to retighten what will still turn and avoid this place like the plague on weekends.
By Jeff Lee11
From: Thousand Oaks, CA
Oct 31, 2016
Lazy people rejoice! At the end of the traverse by the cave, someone laid a log there so people can just walk over the water. There are also some logs to get to Stumbling Blocks from the opposite side of the creek, but they look pretty balance-y, so I haven't tried getting over that way.
By Jason Schliekelman
From: Woodland Hills Ca
Jan 30, 2017
anyone have any idea how the water level is after the most recent rain?
By mdedischew
May 23, 2017
Does anyone have a water update as of today (recently)??
By Christian B
From: West Hills, California
Aug 15, 2017
Left a gri gri 2 either at Gorgeous, toddler terrace, or near K2. Pleas hmu if you find it.........

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