How to get to Charmlee Wilderness Park, California

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

Best Malibu Hike With Ocean Views: Ocean Overlook Loop Trail

We found a charming coastal hike in Malibu! Charmlee Wilderness Park has well-maintained hiking trails perfect for all ages, including the little ones. But that's not all - the park also offers some of the cleanest and most immaculate restrooms I’ve ever been to, especially considering there's no admission fee and parking is free, for now. We took the Ocean Overlook Loop Trail and it was simply stunning, offering a charming panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Let's go!

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Travel Tips

If you're still looking for plane tickets check out Skyscanner, it's a great platform that our family used to compare flight tickets and we always get the best deals there.

If you're renting a car, Enterprise is a reliable car rental service that we have personally used without any issues. Consider renting a car for the whole duration of your trip as it may be more affordable than just renting for a short period. 

Places To Stay Around Malibu

Our family trusts when it comes to hotels with great deals. Try to find accommodation near Malibu as that will save you time traveling and make the most of your vacation days.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

How to get there: Charmlee Wilderness Park

Charmlee Wilderness Park is a hidden gem of Malibu. It's a beautiful 532-acre park that gives you the best views of the Santa Monica Mountains and the coastal bluffs of Malibu. 

Location: 2577 Encinal Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
Entrance fee: Free
Parking: Normally 4 USD for day use ( but when we went there last August 2023 no fee was charged)
Route: Ocean Overlook Loop Trail

Distance: 2.6 miles (out and back)
Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Elevation: 462 feet
Highlights: Panoramic ocean views

All trails link: Ocean Overlook Trail

How to Hike the Ocean Overlook Loop Trail At Charmlee Wilderness Park in California

Best malibu hikes with ocean views


We went on a weekday and parking was not a problem. They have a huge parking lot but as a rule of thumb try to get there early to avoid the crowd. Don't forget to use the restroom. As I mentioned in the introduction, the restrooms are very clean and they even provide tissues and even a mirror in the ladies' room - that's something!

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

Starting point: Botany Trail

It starts here! We tried to decipher the trail board but ended up using Alltrails as our map. 

We took the Botany trail and on our back, because it's a loop we exited on the other side at Carmichael trail.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

The clouds looked crazily beautiful that day as we went before the storm hit California, and the weather was cooler. We were mindful to do our weather research and religiously checked the clouds and the sky for any changes. 

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

We used the Alltrails map to find our way as there were a lot of trails inside Charmlee Wilderness Park. 

Check the trail for Rattlesnakes

Also, be mindful that there are rattlesnakes in this park. Rattlesnakes are an essential part of the ecosystem in most California parks. You'll find them mostly during the summer months from April to October. Just keep your distance and always look at the trail ahead of you. 

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

East Meadow Trail

We followed the East Meadow Trail that eventually led to the Ocean View Trail Sign. 

Poison Oak in the park

One more thing, there are Poison Oaks around the park which is also a natural native in California. They look like "Leaves of Three" and always be on the lookout especially if you have a toddler. That's also a reason why we always hike in long pants, I recommend my All-time favorite hiking pants if you're the type who wants them lightweight and breathable, while my husband loves his Convertible Hiking Pants.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

Follow the Ocean View Trail 

The ocean-view trail has a well-marked sign so you won't miss it at all.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

Our Favorite spot!

There were these big rocks we found along the trail and decided to check on them.  We found out it was a very pretty nice spot overlooking the ocean!

Best malibu hikes with ocean views
The boys already felt victorious! #daddycation

Best malibu hikes with ocean views
We wanted to have our snacks here but there was no shade at all and it wasn't that safe for our toddler too. Be careful climbing the rocks, they're not that high just make sure not to jump.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views


Going down now... having good traction hiking boots really helps to keep your balance.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

Prioritize your Comfort and Safety by Investing in Reliable Hiking Boots.

Our little adventurer loves his Timberland Toddler hiking shoes, which have kept his ankles safe as he hops and plays during our hikes. Meanwhile, we've been relying on our trusty  Columbia Men's and Columbia Women's Hiking Boots since 2019, and they continue to be durable and dependable companions on our hikes.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

My Husband Makes the Impossible Possible

I'm so grateful for my husband and his unwavering commitment to keeping our little boy safe. Thanks to him, we were able to enjoy numerous hikes together without any worries. I feel incredibly blessed to have his love and support in my life.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

Finally, this way to the Lookout!

After going downhill, the trail goes back to flat ground and it finally led us to the lookout. 

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

The Ocean Overlook 

Here you can see the beautiful Pacific Ocean and the Malibu coastline. Breathe it in.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views
We're smiling from ear to ear for completing the Ocean Overlook Loop Trail At Charmlee Wilderness Park in California.

The Santa Monica Mountains

The panoramic view of the ocean and the mountains was exhilarating! And this is why we go hiking!

Invest in Sunglasses Suitable for All Outdoor Activities.

For those who enjoy outdoor activities, we highly suggest the Polarized Hiking Sunglasses from Decathlon. Featuring anti-UV lenses, these sunglasses effectively block all UVA and UVB rays, protecting your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. The polarized lenses are also designed to reduce glare and provide a clear view of your surroundings. The wrap-around design offers extra coverage, and the rubber tips ensure the glasses stay in place during intense activities like hiking, running, and cycling. Learn more: Most Affordable Sunglasses For UV Protection And Polarized Lenses

Check out: Polarized Hiking Sunglasses US  I CANADA
Also, don't forget your little one too: Kids' Sunglasses  US  I CANADA

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

Please do not smoke inside the park

The park was severely damaged during the Woolsey Fire back in 2018 and it took around two years for it to reopen and here we found a cigarette butt! 

And yes, there's a twig in my boots. I got it when we took pictures on those big rocks we found on the trail and decided to keep it there for fun till we got to the parking area.

That's what the lookout looks like from afar.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views
There's also a bench where you can have your snacks if it's available. We just looked for a shaded area to have our snacks and off we went back to the trail.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

FYI: Uphill climb if you're doing the Loop...

There is going to be an uphill climb. This was the hardest part of the hike as we had to take turns carrying our boy as it was too steep and rocky for him. The overgrown bushes were trying to eat him. We did try to let him walk for a bit but when he dropped his bread while walking, that was it we carried him up all the way up.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views
Heading back, we took the easiest and flattest trail so our little one could have a good time.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

Trailhead .75 mile mark

Followed the Trailhead .75 mile mark all the way back to the parking area.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views

Trailhead .30 mile mark

We kept following the trail from this mark and decided to check on the Alltrails map for a shortcut.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views
 The trail gets confusing as there are so many unmarked trails along the way.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views
Shortcut according to Alltrails.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views
A bit bushy but it was a shortcut.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views
We ended up here which took us closer to the parking area.

Best malibu hikes with ocean views
Once you see the white building which was the beautiful restroom I mentioned then you just found your way back to civilization. Usually, it takes just 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete this route but with a 2-year-old toddler, it took us an hour more to complete the loop, 2 hrs 15 mins. 

Have fun and be safe ^__^

For my next adventure, we're going to Hike The Cistern Trail One of the Most Beautiful Trails I've been to in Malibu, California.

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