• No Products in the Cart

Summer never looked so good!: Camping and Hiking in Malibu

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, thorn hill broome beach, mr and mrs adventure, malibu couple

Malibu, known as the play ground of the rich and famous – home of Ellen, Will Smith, Madonna, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, to name a few – is also the play ground of Mr and Mrs Adventure. While we may not be not quite as rich or quite as famous, this past weekend we definitely felt like we had the best beach-front property of them all:

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping, thornhill broome beach

As we drove along the “27 miles of scenic beauty” to our destination, we reminisced about all our favorite memories made along this stretch of the PCH over the past 3 years. There was hiking our favorite SoCal mountain (about 100 times), mountain biking a killer 28-mile loop, running in the Malibu Half-Marathon, exploring Eagle Rock in Topanga Canyon, biking to the rusty set of MASH and rock climbing “Planet of the Apes” in Malibu Creek State Park. Needless to say, there has never been a dull moment in Malibu, and this weekend was only going to put an exclamation point at the end of that statement…!

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping,

Filled with the excitement of making more momeries, we pulled into Thornhill Broome Beach campground. Reservations must be made at least 2 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 7 months in advance. We made our reservation back in January because, if you want to camp here during the summer,  you absolutely must reserve exactly 7 months ahead of your arrival date, as spots will sell out by midnight on that day. We now understand why:

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping, thorn hill brooke beach camping

After buying some firewood from the Ranger Station ($7), we drove on over to spot #55, aka. our little slice of paradise. As soon as the car stopped, we ran out to shore to feel the cool kisses of the Pacific at our feet and the warm glow of the summer sunshine on our faces.

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping, brittany rouille, mrs adventure

We walked along the coast, followed by a family of jumping dolphins, and watched as our footprints filled with the sun’s golden light and disappeared as the waves rolled over, taking them to sea.

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping, thorn hill brooke beach camping, sand footprints, footprints

Staying in that moment as long as we could, we then set up camp and got ready to cook by the light of the fire.

Step 1: Smooth over a nice plot of land, removing any rocks, sticks or other poke-y items:

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping, thorn hill brooke beach, how to build a tent

We may have skipped a couple steps, but VOILA! Our beautiful, newly built, beach-front property with the freshest air around, and complimentary ambient sounds and lighting too:

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping, drew neumann, mr adventure

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping, thorn hill brooke beach camping

As our potatoes, haricots verts and mushrooms roasted over the fire, Drew literally chased after his burger patty as a seagull tried to drag it away! Learn from this example and do not leave any food unattended at the picnic tables. Luckily the patty was still in a ziplock bag, so Drew was able to retrieve it (relatively) unharmed. No photos or video of this incident unfortunately, but you can definitely imagine the scene 🙂

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping, thorn hill brooke beach camping, camp fire, camp food

Cozy by the sea, we watched as the fire crackled in the dark night sky and stared in awe at the hundreds of stars that glittered above. It’s amazing how we could be so close to one of the busiest and brightest cities, and still feel like worlds away.

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping, night camping, camp fire, mr and mrs adventure

Lulled to sleep by the sound of the crashing waves, the temperature couldn’t have been more pleasant. That night we slept in our bathing suits and awoke to something even better than our dreams:

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping, night camping

The first thing we did was jump into the ocean and soon enough we were joined by a pair of playful seals and an impressive line up of pelicans overhead!:

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, camping on the beach, rei tent, malibu beach camping, night camping

pelicans, point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer

After our morning dip, we continued with our walk along the beach and decided to cross the PCH and climb “The Giant Sand Dune (map here). ” We had seen people trekking up and down it the day before and had to try it out for ourselves:

thornhill broome beach, giant sand dune, sand dune pch, camping in malibu, sand dune in california, things to do in Malibu, things to do in southern california, climb the giant sand dune in malibu, mr and mrs adventure

It probably only took us about 3 minutes to summit, but boy did we feel the burn! Think stair steppers in quicksand… ya.

thornhill broome beach, giant sand dune, sand dune pch, camping in malibu, sand dune in california, things to do in Malibu, things to do in southern california, climb the giant sand dune in malibu, mr and mrs adventure

Short of breath and with tired legs, we reached the top and all of that was replaced with grateful hearts and sweet, sweet relief:

thornhill broome beach, giant sand dune, sand dune pch, camping in malibu, sand dune in california, things to do in Malibu, things to do in southern california, climb the giant sand dune in malibu, mr and mrs adventure

Tip: Go early in the morning before the sun starts shining on the west-facing dune, unless you’re ok with burning hot sand..! Another idea, bring shoes 🙂

Hungry and ready for breaky, we raced back to camp and fired up our grill and JetBoil for a breakfast of champions. We surfed, relaxed and stuck around until 1pm (check-out is at Noon, but luckily they are pretty relaxed about it). Next on our list of things to do for the day? Summit Mugu Peak!

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground

Mugu Peak towers over the Pacific Ocean from a drastic elevation of 1,266 feet. There are a few different ways you can choose to summit this seaside mountain, we opted for the 6.5 mile journey from the bottom of La Jolla Canyon (Ray Miller trailhead map here) in Point Mugu State Park (just steps from our campground) with 1,250 feet of elevation gain.

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground, point mugu state park

The trail started out pretty gradual, but without a cloud in the sky and being in the bottom of the canyon, there was no denying that it was hot and dry:

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground, cactus

Grateful to have a full Camelbak, we continued onward towards the summit. We came across a couple forks in the trail and veered left at all of them, including the Mugu Peak Trail marker:

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground, point mugu state park

As we came to the first vista of our trek, we saw our campground down below and were in total awe of the turquoise colored water surrounding us:

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground

IMG_8848

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground, point mugu state park, pch

At this point the ascent became more rigorous. It was pretty much a climb until we reached the rocky switchbacks taking us to the summit, at which point it was definitely a climb… all the way to the top of the flag pole:

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, mr and mrs adventure, climbing flag pole

(It’s a good thing I trust him.)

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, mr and mrs adventure, climbing flag pole

The views at the top of Mugu Peak were absolutely ridiculous.

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, mr and mrs adventure, california hikes, channel islands

We could spot Sandstone Peak, aka. Mount Allen, in the distance:

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, mr and mrs adventure, california hikes, mount allen, sandstone peak

And to the West we could see the Channel Islands floating peacefully in the Pacific.

point mugu peak, hike to point mugu, best hikes in malibu, camping point mugu, things to do in malibu, road trip on the pch, things to do in southern california summer, mr and mrs adventure, california hikes, channel islands

After taking our time at the top drooling over the views and meeting new friends and fellow-summiters, we made our way back down and decided to take a scenic short cut, leading us right along the ledge of the mountain:

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground, point mugu state park, pch, california hikes

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground, point mugu state park, pch, california hikes

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground, point mugu state park, pch

Not only was the short cut something new to explore, but it also provided us with a cool breeze the whole way down. Note: We do not recommend this short cut for everyone as the ground was very loose and we were sliding all over the place in some spots.

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground, point mugu state park, pch, california hikes, mr and mrs adventure

After looking forward to this weekend for several months, it definitely exceeded expectations. Oh Malibu, you’ve out done yourself again.

point mugu peak, hikes in malibu, trailhead for point mugu peak, how high is point mugu, how long is hike to point mugu peak, thornhill broome beach camp ground, point mugu state park, pch, california hikes, mr and mrs adventure





9 Comments

  1. Reply

    Diana

    September 12, 2017

    Hi!

    Your hike looks amazing! I would really love to take the same trail you did. Is there a trail name for the shortcut way down? If not did you go back down the same side you came up or did you go down on the west side where the parking lot is and where Chumash trail starts? Thank in advance for your reply!

    • Reply

      Brittany Rouille

      September 20, 2017

      Hi there!! Sorry for the delay, we are traveling across Europe in our camper and have limited connectivity. Goodness, we did this hike over 3 years ago so it’s a bit hard to remember. I know we went down a completely different way than the trail we took up, it follows the ridge line back down to the road/parking… I don’t think it wasn’t hard to find. Hoping this helps! Just keep your eyes peeled and we are sure you will find it 🙂 Have a wonderful time! It’s a beautiful peak.

  2. Reply

    Tom

    March 6, 2016

    Great photos! I’ve lived in Malibu for 13 years and I’ve never seen it from that point of view. Didn’t even know there was a Magu trail. Now I gotta climb it!

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      March 7, 2016

      Haha! Always glad to help share a new perspective:)

  3. Reply

    sarah

    September 17, 2015

    How long did the Magu Peak take? I have someone in town Saturday and wanted to take them on a hike before Neptune’s Net for a sunset dinner (5:30-6pm), but I’m worried Magu Peak and Sandstone might take too long. We won’t be able to start until about 2pm in the afternoon. Not necessarily looking for anything strenuous… just trying to show an out of towner an epic time. Any suggestions? xo

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      September 25, 2015

      Hey Sarah! So sorry for the delayed response. We saw an instagram of yours at Neptune Net’s and we hope you had a wonderful time 🙂 We just returned back to the West from visiting family on the Eastcoast. We will send you our phone number so in the future we can help right away. To answer your question, Magu Peak is quite a bit more strenuous and longer since you are pretty much going right up the face of the San Gabriel Mountains from the north side of the loop or it’s a longer, hot trek up the exposed valley to the top from the South End. Sandstone Peak (aka Mt. Allen) would be the recommended hike with your time restraints. For this hike, you drive up majority of the elevation and the path is less steep and more covered by tall brush with a rocky trail. Either way you can’t go wrong with the beautiful lookouts. Hoping you had the perfect day and showed your out-of-towner a blast!

  4. Reply

    William Kreth

    June 18, 2015

    This was awesome, fantastic. I am now going to make it a point to get a campsite at Pt. Magu someday. Thanks

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      June 19, 2015

      Thanks for the kind comment! You will love it 🙂

Leave a Reply

RELATED POSTS