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Leo Carrillo State Park

This 3,000-acre park is at the northern end of Malibu, on the floor of a sycamore-shaded canyon that opens to a sandy beach with tidepools. The park extends on both sides of the Pacific Coast Highway. A pedestrian and vehicle underpass allows access to a picnic area overlooking the beach and ocean. There are several accessible campsites for tents and RVs.

The mile-long beach is divided into two areas, north and south, by Sequit Point, which has sea caves and a natural tunnel. There are two distinct day-use parking areas. The beachside lot has picnic areas with barbecue pits, but the only view of the ocean is through a fence. Access to the beach is only possible with a beach wheelchair. There are great ocean views from the inland parking area, and a sloping walkway leads to an underpass below the highway that's painted with colorful sea creatures; on the other side is a paved area with a view of the waves crashing into the sea stacks offshore. Between November and May you may see gray whales passing by.

At the park's southeast end is Nicholas Pond Trail,  a gentle half-mile trail that passes through a wooded area, then opens to meadows and a pond. We did not review it but have been advised by park rangers that it is accessible.

Visitor center: A small visitor center near the park entrance has books, maps, and small displays, including a tidepool with interpretive signs.

Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Visitor Center: Accessible

Beach Wheelchair: Yes

Inquire at beach entry kiosks

Accessible Parking: Yes

Inland and oceanside day-use areas, and at the Nicholas Pond trailhead at the end of Deck Rd.

Accessible Restroom: Yes

At north and south beach; an accessible porta-potty is in the inland day-use parking lot

Accessible Picnic Tables: Yes

At north beach day-use area and campground store

Other Things of Interest

Other beaches along the Malibu coast (El Pescador State Beach, La Piedra State Beach, and El Matador State Beach) have blufftop parking lots with ocean views, but the paths down to the beach are too narrow and steep for wheelchair riders. Each lot has an accessible parking space and accessible chemical toilets. Malibu Lagoon State Beach, also known as Surfrider Beach, has no accessible facilities or features.

Near the Malibu Pier, between Surfrider Beach and Malibu Lagoon, is the Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum, a California historical landmark that offers a wonderful and moderately accessible view of local history. It was built in 1929 as a showcase for Malibu Potteries. From the main courtyard (with uneven but navigable stone paving) you enter a museum of ceramic art and design in the former garage. The rear courtyard (a three-inch step up from the path) is filled with vibrantly colored hand-painted tiles.

Museum parking is in the Surfrider Beach lot, but if you show your disabled parking placard you can drive through the gate to the Adamson House. If you park in the lot and walk to the house, you can enjoy the gardens, interpretive signs along the path, and views of the lagoon. Accessible restrooms (which also showcase the tiles) are in the carriage garage.
Mural at underpass
Mural at underpass (Candace Cable)

Features icon key

  • Beach Wheelchairs Available
  • camping
  • hiking
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic

Additional Information

View Map  
Managing Agency: CA State Parks
Address: 3500 block of Pacific Coast Highway
Phone: (310) 457-8143
Hours: Day use: Dawn to dusk. Visitor center: Tues.–Sat.,10 am-2 pm
Fees: Camping
Dogs: In restricted areas
Allowed only in day-use areas, campground, and on the beach north of lifeguard tower 3
Public Transportation: Metro
Reviewed by Candace Cable, August 12, 2013
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

Accessible Restrooms Icon looks like a women and men restroom signBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing