Leo Carillo State Park (followed by Beach “potluck” post run snacks)
The basic loop without any additional out & backs: 8 miles – 2,200 feet elevation gain
Adding out & back sections as desired will give you up to 14-15 miles.
Leo Carillo State Park is part of the Santa Monica Mountains, it’s a hidden heaven for big adventures.
This club run is a relative short run all on single track (8miles with a total elevation gain of 2,200ft. and amazing ocean views) with the option to add more miles on two optional out & backs.
The start of this run is at a short distance beyond the official State Park entrance on the right side.
The first couple miles are steep climbing up the “Nicolas Flat Trail”. In the short distance of 2,5miles we will have climbed 1,700ft., don’t be afraid to hike the steep sections! But after that we’ll enter the beautiful “Nicolas Flat Meadows”. We will loop around this very special place with it’s Nicolas Pond and newly rebuild trails, all relatively flat, working our way around via the “Ridgeline Trail” that brings us back on the “Nicolas Flat Trail”. For the final 1 mile descend we take the fun “Willow Creek Trail”.
The course will be marked as the 8 mile loop but will add an optional arrow for an out & back into the beautiful Nicolas Canyon with amazing meadows and ocean vistas where you can run out for two miles max so that will give you an extra 3-4 miles if desired. A possible second out & back can be done at the Malibu Springs Trail with exceptional views of the Sandstone Peak mountain range that takes you down in 1.9 miles to Mulholland, so here you can add 3.8 miles of blissful (this section is possibly overgrown and inaccessible) single track trail.
NO WATER so bring plenty and some calories if you plan to run more miles. You’ll get a great workout here on beautiful trails without the crowds!
Parking without fee along the PCH across the official Leo Carillo State Park entrance, obey parking signals. Along the PCH are stairs that bring us right down on the beach. Bring a towel, a sandwich and some drinks. Soak the sore legs in the cold ocean for a little bit and then go warm up in the sand, have a relaxing pic-nic on the beach while socializing with the group. Leo Carillo is one of the coolest beaches we have, with low tide it’s a great tide-pool spot also!