Viewers were hooked on “M*A*S*H” when it aired from 1972 to 1983, and it is still a beloved television program to this day. The Emmy-nominated show was filmed in various locations, and Malibu Creek State Park contains the show’s original outdoor set. Much like the characters in the show, the actors were working with generators and water that arrived via tanker trucks. This leant the show a realistic quality. The set began to deteriorate after filming concluded; plants grew up around the vehicles and buildings, obscuring some of them completely. It was the site’s worldwide popularity that convinced Malibu Creek State Park officials to launch a restoration project. The utmost care was taken to respect the plants that surround the set.
Hikers hoping to explore the set head out along Crags Road, one of the park’s largest hiking trails. There are a few different places from which you can start, and the length of the hike depends on which of these you choose. Beginning on Cistern Trail will shave off a few miles compared to setting out from the parking lot, and starting on South Grassland Trail lengthens the hike by nearly a mile.
Along the way you will likely spot valley oak trees, sycamores, and a variety of shrubs and wildflowers. Keep an eye out for snakes and lizards on the trail, as well as chipmunks and mice. If you are lucky, you might stumble across a rabbit or deer. Ravens, sparrows, bluebirds, and falcons are just a few of the birds that soar above the park, so make sure to look up from time to time. You might run into an area that looks familiar before you even reach the “M*A*S*H” site as the park has set the scene for over a dozen movies, including “Tarzan Escapes” and “Love Me Tender.” Also, be sure to stop by and check out the park's Rock Pool formation.