Charmlee Wilderness Park

Malibu, California 90264

Charmlee Wilderness Park

Charmlee Wilderness Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Charmlee Wilderness Park (also known as Charmlee Natural Area), 590 acres of meadow, oak woodland, sage scrub, and chaparral, was first opened to the public in 1981 as a unit of the Los Angeles County park system. Today the City of Malibu administers the park, which lies on that coastal city’s western extremity. Never designed to accommodate a large number of visitors, Charmlee’s parking lot is often full on the weekends."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Day Hiking Los Angeles (The Mountaineers Books)
Casey Schreiner
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"Lovely, mostly easy trails dot this former ranch. Old buildings survive in the meadows and woodlands, many trails feature phenomenal coastal views, and the park staff leads guided hikes and events from the excellent nature center. In the spring, the combination of rolling green hills, bursts of wildflower color, and the long line of the Pacific Coast is not to be missed." Read more
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Los Angeles (Menasha Ridge Press)
Laura Randall
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"Despite a confusing lack of signage, this hike is a hassle-free trek past open meadows, coastal sage scrub, and seasonal wildflowers. Some of the unmarked trails lead to 1,300-foot bluffs and wonderful ocean views that extend as far as the Channel Islands. Naturalists praise the park for its dozens of species of wildflowers, which include dove lupine, wild hyacinth, hummingbird sage, golden poppies, deerweed, sticky monkeyflower, and coastal lotus. On the other hand, the park is also home to many nonnative trees such as eucalyptus, Italian pine, Mediterranean palm, and New Zealand myoporum. Even in the fall and winter, this is a good place to hike because of the park’s stellar clifftop ocean views." Read more
Best Hikes Near Los Angeles (Falcon Guides)
Allen Riedel and Monique Riedel
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"It isn’t a coincidence that the name Charmlee evokes visions of a charming and magical place. Nestled on a meadowland bluff above the Pacific Coast Highway, Charmlee Wilderness Park is an idyllic setting for hikers of all ages." Read more
Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad
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"Charmlee Wilderness Park (aka Charmlee Natural Area), 590 acres of meadow, oak woodland, sage scrub, and chaparral, was first opened to the public in 1981 as a unit of the Los Angeles County park system." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Conejo Valley (Falcon Guides)
Allen Riedel
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"Hike along a high coastal plain, overlooking magnificent vistas of Malibu and the clear blue of the Pacific. Charmlee Wilderness Park is managed and owned by the city of Malibu, but is incorporated into the larger Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. While admittance is free, parking is not. No doubt there will be some people that choose to park along Encinal Canyon Road, avoiding the parking fee while adding 0.5 mile to the overall trip. However, don’t be a cheapskate. This is an astonishingly beautiful area with a splendid nature center and clean restrooms. Think of it as a worthwhile cause. Natural areas are horribly underfunded in the state of California. Charmlee Wilderness Park could easily be renamed Charming Wilderness Park, as most visitors will be truly won over on their first visit." Read more

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
500 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
1½ hours
8 a.m.–sunset, all year
Santa Monica Mountains
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-minute Triunfo Pass
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018