Charmlee Wilderness Park is perched on a bluff overlooking Malibu’s alluring coast. Operated by the city of Malibu, this 590-acre regional park has eight miles of interwoven trails, making it easy to “build your own” hike between two to four miles, easy to moderate. In spring, Charmlee puts on a champion’s display of wildflowers. The ocean views are a knockout!
The two points in the park that you should be sure to hit are the Ranch House Ruins and Ocean Overlook. One possible hike through Charmlee Wilderness that sees both these highlights is a 3.25-mile loop that also explores the trails on the edges of the park. From the parking area for Charmlee Wilderness Park, where a $4 day use fee is charged, you’ll start by walking through a native plants garden. Study the plants and placards and see how many living exhibits you can spot along the trail (probably a lot). Pick up a park map from the trail kiosk and hike down Carmichael Road (also known as Old Ranch Road), a dirt trail continuing from the end of the paved road into the park. You will hike beneath a canopy of oaks, immediately passing through Oak Grove Picnic Area, a car-convenient spot to roll out a picnic.