With its cool, crisp breezes and warm sunny rays, December is one of the most pleasant months for outdoor activities in Los Angeles, biking especially. So, the other day, Drew and I started looking for a new trail to blaze, which is when we came upon this Hollywood classic, biking along Crag’s Road to the exterior set of MAS*H.
Some of you might remember MAS*H from TVLand back in the day, to be honest I only remember flipping by it, wondering when The Wonder Years or I Love Lucy was going to come on. But, little did my young self know that this show was, and is, one of the best shows ever made, garnering over 100 Emmy nominations during its 11 season, 251 episode run, attracting a record-breaking 125 million viewers for its season finale.
Our journey to this historic set started at Juan Bautista de Anza Park (map here) in Calabassas. We parked the car here (free), strapped on our gear and rode along the beautiful rolling hills of the Las Virgenes Trail for about 4 miles, following signs along the way.
Once we arrived to Mulholland Highway, we found ourselves at the entrance of Malibu Creek State Park (map here) where we then continued along the epic Grasslands Trail for 2 more miles.
Far from the Kodak Theater and the Walk of Fame, Malibu Creek State Park holds its own bit of Hollywood history. Along with M*A*S*H, Planet of the Apes, a number of Tarzan movies, Pleasantville, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Robin Hood: Men in Tights were also filmed here.
Once we made it to the junction of the Grasslands Trail and Crags Road, we found ourselves bouncing through the one-track rock garden trench (not for the faint of heart) that soon lead us to the famous remains of MAS*H’s Korea-resembling set, where filming took place from 1972 – 1983.
Now on display are the rusting hunks of the old military Jeep and the Army Ambulance used on set, along with a recreation of the iconic signpost and multiple informational panels displaying photographs of the original set that align with the famous “Goat Buttes” and other surrounding peaks in the background.
You can also eat in comfort at one of the shaded picnic tables where the actual mesh tent was on the TV series! And if you’re lucky, you may even have the pleasure of sharing your meal with one of the many incredible birds that you can find living in Malibu Creek State Park:
We had no idea that we would be so blown away by the set of a show that we had never even seen before. After learning about the history of the set and the show’s plot, I now understand why TVLand seemed to air constant reruns of this timeless classic. You can bet that MAS*H has now been added to our “must watch list.”
Roundtrip Distance: 14 miles