Leo Carrillo State Park has 1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing and beachcombing. The beach also has tide pools, coastal caves and reefs for exploring. Giant sycamores shade the main campgrounds. The park also features back-country hiking.
Among the many great features of Leo Carrillo, the most engaging activity for me and the kids has been the tidepools. They are exposed twice daily at low tide and provide hours of engagement with sea stars, anemones, mussels, sea slugs and more amongst the thousands of rocks on shore.
Nature walks and campfire programs are offered and a small visitor center has interpretive displays. During the summer, children's programs are available.
Trails include Yellow Hill Fire Trail for panoramic views of the beach and the Channel Islands, and the steeper Nicholas Flat Trail, which brings you to a pond.
There are 135 family camping sites at Leo Carrillo with restrooms and token-operated showers (which accept ONLY one dollar bills...plan ahead). Call 800.444.7275 or visit www.parks.ca.gov to make reservations.
The park was named after Leo Carrillo (1880-1961), actor, preservationist and conservationist. Leo Carrillo served on the California Beach and Parks commission for eighteen years, and was instrumental in the state's acquisition of the Hearst property at San Simeon. He was related by blood and marriage to a long line of distinguished original Californians. Leo's greatest fame came from his portrayal of Pancho, the sidekick to Duncan Renaldo's Cisco Kid, an early 1950's TV series.
Leo Carrillo is located at 35000 W. Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. The park office phone is 310.457.8143. Visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=616 for more information. Parking is currently (as of March 2012) $12 in the parking lot and free on PCH.