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“Beautiful new Accessible Trail at Nicholas Pond”

Leo Carrillo State Park and Beach
Ranked #10 of 52 things to do in Malibu
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Rosa, California
Level Contributor
56 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Beautiful new Accessible Trail at Nicholas Pond”
Reviewed 22 August 2013

Just took a hike on a beautiful new trail rebuilt by the State Parks. High above the mansions of Malibu at the end of Decker School Road is the trailhead for this wonderful half-mile hike to Nicholas Pond. At the end there is a great vista overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Decker Canyon.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Brian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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182 reviews from our community

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Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
45 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Amazing...but watch out for tar!”
Reviewed 19 July 2013

How can you not love this beach? Sandy and Danny spent some time here (for those of you familiar with the movie "Grease" ;)
There are beautiful rock formations surrounding the little coves of pale tan sand beaches. With a little bit of climbing around, you can find interesting creatures like starfish and others that I couldn't identify!
Even though we just loved the beautiful beach, there were tar spots all over that would stain your shoes, feet, clothes etc! We asked around on how to remove this with a suggestion of sunscreen ( not waterproof ). The park ranger there suggested baby oil instead which did the trick with a bunch of effort.
On the opposite side of where we parked were hiking trails and a camping area. We took a small hike but made our way back to the car with a few too many encounters with bumblebees that day.
*fee for parking only--and probably for camping if you choose to stay there

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Missy99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
38 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“From hammocks to motorhomes, there is room for all.”
Reviewed 27 May 2013

This was our second family camping trip (or better known as, the annual school camping trip) and our second time at a California State Park.
One of the many nice things about this park is it's close location to Los Angeles. About 28 miles up PCH(Pacific Coast Highway).
The camp site:
The camp site can handle the smallest tent to RV's.
We spent two nights and three days (over the memorial day holiday) at the park. We had space #25 (middle road, there are three "roads" that access the sites, like a circle with a road in the middle)(parking at site, 2 cars side by side, 3rd car blocks the other two, keep in mind if you need to get out and the blocking cars owners are at the beach or hiking). This was a very big space for the three families that were going to share the space, 6 adults, 6 kids).
There were lots of trees and brush surrounding our site. There was one metal fire "drum" and one picnic table. We brought in our own fire wood, but you can buy bundles from the camphost for $7. Having only one table ment that we really had to share space at the table. Kids ate at the table, adults sat in folding chairs. I would have like to have had another table. But It seems that each site just had one table.
One of the nice things about this camp site is the amount of trees. I saw a number of hammocks set up.
There is also a camp store that is well stocked, and you can get hot coffee there!

I give the park an "A" for trying to keep the bathrooms clean. At least once a day, I saw someone cleaning the bathrooms and restocking. For the amount of people at the site, they did a great job of keeping the bathrooms "decent to use."
Our site was between two bathroom/shower areas, with one being three sites away from ours. The showers require tokens ($1 for two tokens, 4 min of shower time). The showers we used (near site 30) did not have a token machine, so I ended up taking showers at the other shower area that did have a token machine (near the camp store). The shower water was hot.

I have only one negative comment about our time at the park. As I mentioned, our site was off the middle road. Due to the luck of the draw, our site was between two groups of friends who liked to stay up and party. Our site became the "shortcut" between the two. During the day, this was not a problem, but at night when the party fun began, it was bad. One of group did ask them turn down the music, but sound really carries and it sounded like the party was in our tent.
One night we went to bed around 10pm. A funny but sad moment came when the group of friends who had one to many bud lights, came trooping thru our site to get to the other site, yelling to each other that they had to be quiet because people(us) were sleeping, and to prove the point to each other, they shined their flashlights at our tents. I think the park rangers gave them a warning.

Granted, this was memorial day weekend and for some, this is a time to celebrate life to its fullest(and to see how many bud lights one can drink). And if it had been another weekend, I don't know if we would have had that type of situation. Bottom line, I would camp there again.

The beach:
You can walk to the beach from your camp site, the campsites are not on the beach but across the highway and in the canyon. What you can do, is take your car and park in the beach parking lot (that is inside the park). With kids, this might be the way to do it if you have a site up in the canyon.

This is a nice sand beach, a rocky at low tide (a good thing), bathrooms and outside shower near the beach. Lifeguard towers as well.

We spent the day playing at the beach and watching the locals and campers surf. If you are not a local surfer, I would check in with one of the lifeguards to find out what the local surf "rules" are and if theres anything unusual about the spot. I have found the LA County Lifeguards to be very professional and friendly. One of our friends was a paddle boarder and there is an area that they can be in. The two days that we were at the beach, there was not a lot of swimming, mostly kids playing along the water line.

At low tide, there are some great tidal pools and that was when all the kids went to see starfish and crabs, etc. As mentioned in other reviews, you might want to have watershoes for the tidal pools and don't pick up the sea life and respect the pools.
Bring a beach umbrella, sand toys for the kids and enjoy the beach.

Bottom line for both the beach and campsite.
I would comeback to both. And if you live in southern California, this is a great place to spend the day or a couple of nights.
Be sure to check out the website for the park: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=616

Visited May 2013
5 Thank Jack_Cara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Red Bank, New Jersey
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2013

All the beaches in Malibu were beautiful and each different from the other. California was a great place to visit with my little dog as most areas are pet friendly. Loved our stay here and enjoyed all the beaches and landscape!

Visited April 2013
2 Thank Madeline S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
1,631 reviews
1,093 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,310 helpful votes
“Visit at low tide”
Reviewed 16 April 2013

A very rocky beach but interesting sea life at low tide. Due to the rocks and configuration of the landscape there are tidal pools that are fun to explore especially, young children. It would be good to wear some type of water shoe to protect from the sharp rocks. There is a cave and various rocks that provide nice splashing from the waves on a windy day. You can park on the east side of PCH and walk under the highway via a tunnel.They give you 20 minutes free to check the place out. There are better sand beaches in the area, but this has a combination of ingredients that make it attractive. Camping is also available.
Leo Carrillo was the sidekick to the Cisco Kid...Poncho, back in the day. He was instrumental in getting San Simeon donated to the state as a park. Oh Cisco! Oh Poncho!...If you know what this is from you are 60+ or watch old TV shows.

Visited April 2013
4 Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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