Sandy beach
No
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
No
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Robert H. Meyer Memorial Beach is made up of three little beaches near Malibu. El Matador Beach is one of those beaches, set off of the Pacific Coast Highway. If you walk westward you will discover La Piedra Beach and El Pescador Beach. El Matador is a popular destination for photographers who are drawn to the unique rock formations, sea caves, and stunning sunsets. Surfers and swimmers enjoy the waves, although lifeguards are only around on the weekends when the beach fills up with visitors. Rocks sit in the water, and the waves get large in both the summer and winter. It takes a certain degree of determination to reach El Matador as it rests at the bottom of a 150-foot bluff, although there are stairs between packed dirt paths. Before you hike down to the beach itself, you will have a chance to pause at the overlook and take in a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean.

As you walk down the staircase, take a look around at the diverse flora growing on the bluff. Cacti, wildflowers, and shrubs are just a few of the plants you will see. California gulls, sandpipers, and double-crested cormorants fly from one rock formation to another. In the ocean, a kelp forest is thriving. The beach’s tide pools are full of hermit crabs, sea mussels, ochre sea stars, green anemones, and of course, algae.  

Portable restrooms at the top of the trail are the only facilities at Matador State Beach, so be sure to bring your own provisions to enjoy a day at this beautiful beach.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Pros

Iconic rock formations. Tide pools. Bird watching.

Cons

Very crowded during summer months. Dogs not permitted. Limited parking.

Features

Tide pools
Wildlife
Whale watching
Bird watching
Tide pools

Location

Field Guide

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