Century Lake Malibu Creek State Park
Long before opening to the public and decades prior to a starring role as a movie ranch for 20th Century Fox, the land comprising Malibu Creek State Park was actually a country club. There was no caddyshack at Crags Country Club—which opened in 1910—but members did hunt, hike, and fish at what was then a decidedly remote spot. They also left their mark on the land, most notably Century Dam and Century Lake. The 1.5-mile (one-way) hike to get there starts on the Grasslands Trail, which edges golden slopes busy with dive-bombing swallows. Beyond an impressive Valley oak (the park marks the trees’ southern limit), the trail climbs up and to the right before dropping you into the valley toward Crags Road. Veer right again and savor the shade of a Coast Live Oak before reaching a junction with signs for the lake. As the road climbs, look left for a primitive path that leads to the foundation, with low walls and tile floor that survive from the old club’s Bavarian-style lodge. Back on the road, the route levels out and a trail on the left drops to a picnic table along Century Lake. It’s a gorgeous spot: lily pads and reeds hug the shore, and the still waters beautifully reflect volcanic formations above the dam. Chill out, then return the way you came.

The Grasslands Trail begins off Mulholland Highway less than .25-mile west of the intersection with Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Rd. Roadside parking is available on one side of the highway. If no parking is available, you can also reach Century Lake from Malibu Creek State Park’s main lot ($12) by following signs for Crags Rd. Photo courtesy of magnetic lobster.