Tapia Park resides within Malibu Creek State Park. In 1804 Malibu fell into the hands of Jose Bartolome Tapia, the park’s namesake. He farmed cattle and lived on the land until his death 19 years later. Today the park that bears his name is a popular way for visitors to enter Malibu Creek State Park. Hikers heading for the famous M*A*S*H set or the Reagan Ranch can head out on Tapia Park’s trails as they lead into the rest of the state park.
The Day Use Area is often crowded with families. Dogs are welcome in the Day Use Area and the campground so long as they are on a leash, although they are not permitted to join hikers on the trails. Picnic tables are scattered among the oak trees, and several barbecues of varying sizes are available. This is a common place for groups to meet up before heading out to explore the greater area.
While the hustle and bustle of humans socializing is likely to scare away large animals such as bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions, they do live in the park. Mice, voles, and frogs keep the hawks and eagles well fed. Bats and owls wait until night to come out, but you might catch a glimpse of them if you stay in the nearby campground. Keep an eye out for Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes as well.
People come to visit Malibu Creek State Park from all over the world. The most well-known attraction is the M*A*S*H set, but other areas have been featured in films dating back to 1919. Of course, many visitors are just looking for an authentic outdoor experience near Los Angeles. Whether you spend your time hiking, riding horses, splashing around in Rock Pool, kayaking in Century Lake, or climbing up the Planet of the Apes Wall, the Tapia Park Day Use Area is a great place to unwind after a day spent exploring the park.