On a recent hiking trip to , my family got an up-close look at the diversity of the area.
Our journey began on a cool Sunday morning; with our backpacks filled with supplies, we were ready to embark on a family adventure.
As we meandered down Crags Road, the kids enjoyed a game of “tossing rocks into the creek,” the one who got the biggest splash won. In the summer months you can easily cross the creek, but not at this time of year.
While my husband and daughter decided to jump in and brave the cold water, my son and I took the high road to avoid hiking in soggy shoes.
We all met up at the park’s visitor center, where we learned of its interesting history.
The structure that houses the center was built in the 1920s by Willis P. Hunt as a vacation home.
In the 1990s, he and other businessmen bought land that is now part of Malibu Creek State Park and started the Crags Country Club.
In 1946, Twentieth Century Fox purchased the home and owned it until 1974, when the State of California bought it. It’s now used as the park’s visitor center, where people of all ages can learn ground’s history. One of the park's docents greeted us upon arrival; he was well informed about the area and was happy to share his knowledge with us. We saw a replica of a Chumash village, photographs of Indian cave art and a large collection of arrowheads.
Touching is encouraged at the many wildlife displays where kids can feel the pelts of skunks and opossums or crush acorns with a stone mortar and pestle.
My daughter enjoyed using stamp pads to replicate animal tracks in the sand while we watched a short film about the many movies filmed on location here.
I was interested to learn that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was filmed here, and when we saw Robert Redford jump off the cliff, we knew it was time to head out and do some rock climbing of our own.
As we headed towards the rock pool, the kids found tons of rocks to climb on; I’m not sure who had more fun, my husband or the kids. After we enjoyed a snack we headed back on the high road toward our car.
Everyone agreed we’d be back next week to check out and the site where . Experiencing the great outdoors is a wonderful way to spend family together.
The visitor center is open most Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.