The big day had arrived- the day of hiking 10 miles to go surf. Once we set forth from camp, the CityWild crew wandered down Las Virgenes road for about half a mile before dropping into the Malibu Creek Canyon. While walking through an emerald green meadow just off the hot black pavement, I turned and asked Adam, “When does the trail start?” With a sly grin he replied, “I don’t know- you’re on it I suppose”.
Pictured: Billabong Tank
Without a precise route, we decided to find the creek knowing the outlet would lead to our destination. There was a sort of single-track trail that is probably most commonly used by true locals, like deer and coyotes.
Disconnecting from the sounds of the highway and cell service, we followed the skinny streamside trail through oak forests and over massive boulders.
The trail switched back and forth between the southside and northside of the river. We had to cross it often by hurdling our bodies and gear across gaps of water in between boulders. The riskier the maneuver, the bigger our smiles got, especially since there were no gear or human casualties.
Hiking with a surfboard and pack is a feat in itself. One minute you think you’re going forward and the next your precariously teetering on the pinnacle of a boulder hoping your momentum carries your body forward. I admit that I wasn’t so fortunate in one of those instances and tumbled backwards into a pile of brush. No harm, no foul.
Although we were having fun being trailblazers, we all know you can’t keep surfers out of the water for long. We paused about halfway through the canyon to loosen up our bodies in a pool that we wished would surprisingly produce a freak set wave and carry us to Malibu faster.
The further downstream we got, the more beautiful the canyon proved itself to be. But eventually we ran out of trail and had to scramble our way up the canyon walls. Earlier we had been teasing Andy about lugging his heavy-duty climbing rope but luckily he ignored us and brought it anyways. It came in handy numerous times throughout the trip and allowed us to (fairly) easily scale our way in and out of the canyon.
We re-entered the canyon at the Rindge Dam, which I kind of wish I would have had armor for. The slope was super rocky and loose stones were flying all over the place. The dam itself is majestic and has stood strong for 100 years. The best part—people were flying there. See that speck behind Shane (above)- yep, human not bird! Adrenaline called to a few of us but we didn’t have time to attempt the cliff jump. The ocean was calling and the sun was setting.
As we came closer to Pacific Coast Highway, I remember being surprised by how fast the hike had flown by. Even though it was an arduous trek, stories, positive vibes, and tons of laughs kept our heads up and the hike never seemed like a chore.
Waves are served next week on SeaMade as the hike commences at Malibu…
GO THERE: Malibu Creek State Park
#CityWild is an original series created by Madison Olson & Adam Reynolds. We couldn’t have made this initial extraordinary journey happen without our amazing crew: Melissa Ryan, Andy Reynolds, Pat O’Malley, Shane Passantino, Eveline Van Brande, Sean Johnson, Katie Dillon, Dom Russo, John Martini, Charles Isaac, and Jess Cohen.
Follow the native wanderings: #CityWild