About Leo Carrillo State Park – South Beach in Malibu, California
South Beach at Leo Carrillo State Park is located at the mouth of a creek that flows out (rarely) of Arroyo Sequit and drains part of the Santa Monica Mountains in Western Malibu. This park is popular for hiking, camping, surfing, and tidepooling.
The beach created at this location is narrower than the park’s North Beach and is therefore less suitable for sunbathing. The waves at South Beach break around a picturesque point called Sequit Point and are popular for surfing.
Several sea caves and tunnels can be found in the rock walls at Sequit Point and they are the real highlight of this beach. Some of these caves are only exposed at low tide and others are higher above the surf, but watch your kids if they are exploring the point. At low tide there are excellent tide pools to explore at South Beach. The southern part of this cove is Nicholas Canyon County Beach which you can walk to, except at high tide.
South Beach at Leo Carrillo State Park is across Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) from the main parking lot just inside the toll booth entrance. Near this parking lot there is a popular large campground and a beach access trail that goes under PCH to South Beach.
Hiking trails also start at this parking lot and take adventurers up into the hills of the state park. The easy trail, known as Yellow Hill Trail, is an old road with a moderate grade. The harder option ascends a single-track trail called Nicholas Flat Trail for several miles and eventually reaches Nicholas Flat Natural Preserve with high elevation viewpoints. Near the campground there are trails that are wheelchair accessible.
Dogs are not allowed at South Beach, but they are at North Beach north of lifeguard tower number 3 as long as they are on a leash.
Note that if you don’t want to pay the entrance fee, and if you get lucky, there might be free spots along PCH near the park entrance.
- 35000 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265
- Park Name
- Leo Carrillo State Park, Nicholas Flat Natural Preserve
- Other Names
- Sequit Point, Arroyo Sequit
- State Park
- Pet Details
- No dogs allowed on the beach
- Fees for parking in state park lots (free spaces on shoulder of PCH)
- Hiking, Surfing, Tidepooling, Fishing, Scuba Diving, Camping, Swimming
- Campground, Trails, Lifeguard, Restrooms, Showers, Sea Caves, Tide Pools, Accessible Features, Seashells
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