If you didn’t already know, one of the best outdoor activities in Malibu happens every full moon.

Once a month on the evening of the full moon, a group of adventurous hikers meet at Charmlee Wilderness Park at 5pm for a night hike under the glowing moon. (Meeting time will change after Daylights Saving on March 13)

The loop hike around the park totals a distance of about 2 to 3 miles while hiking time can range from 2-3 hours depending on the trails and stops.

The hike itself is not difficult at all.  Most of the hike is level and the parts that do have incline or decline are easy to maneuver.  If anything, the only tricky part is watching your step once it gets dark, although the moon shines bright enough for this not to really be an issue.  In fact, the hike leader recommends not to use flashlights.

Charmlee is very family friendly, good for the young ones as well as the older folks.  All are welcome to join to the hike and there is no charge to participate.  The only charge is the $4 parking fee that must be payed in cash.  If you forget to bring cash, there is an area to park free on Encinal Canyon Road just outside the front gates of the park.  From there it is less than a 5 minute walk to the beginning of the hike.     Screenshot 2016-01-25 21.14.39

The hike is led by Sally Garcia, a representative from the Santa Monica Mountain Recreation Conservation Authority.

Sally clearly has a lot of knowledge of Charmlee Wilderness Park and the general Santa Monica Mountain area.  Every 15 to 20 minutes or so Sally stops the group to let everyone in the back to catch up.  While doing so, she lets the kids (usually at the front of the group) answer some wildlife questions and follows those with some fun facts about Charmlee wildlife and the Santa Monica Mountains.

Check out more information on Charmlee here!

The turnout for these hikes vary depending on the time of year and the the day of the week that the full moon lands on.  She has had as few as 3 people and as many as 200 (most recently during the most latest red moon).  The typical turnout for the hikes is somewhere between 20 and 50 people.

To see the dates of the upcoming moonlit hikes at Charmlee Wilderness Park, see the full moon chart to the right for 2016.


Q: When?

A: Every full moon starting at 5pm.  See the full moon chart for 2016.

Q: Where?

A: Charmlee Wilderness Park.  2577 Encinal Canyon Road.

Q: Who can come?

A: Open to all able bodies who want to come!

Q: How much does it cost?

A: Free!

Q: What should I bring?

A: Make sure to dress warm and bring some water.  You will not need a flashlight.

Q: How long is the hike?

A: About 2-3 miles an can last 2-3 hours.