Charmlee Wilderness Park: an outdoor adventure

Sandy Glover, front, leads a group on a guided hike through Charmlee Wilderness Park. Photo by Devon Meyers.

On a foggy morning, a group of early birds tightened their hiking boots for a 9 a.m. hike at Charmlee Wilderness Park. Although the morning was cloudy, hikers were led through the wide-open trails while taking in the history, landscape, and views of the Pacific Ocean. 

Located on Encinal Canyon Road and over 532 acres within the Santa Monica Mountains Coastal Slope Environment, Charmlee Wilderness Park includes over eight miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, native plants, and a nature center.

Instructed and led by Sandy Glover, participants were provided with a history of each plant and flower seen during the hike.

“Our hikes are very casual,” Glover said. “We tend to go slow and look at things.” 

Jeff and Margie Hausman participated in the hike on April 2. 

“We are outdoorsy, kayaking and other things but saw this in the paper and said, ‘let’s hike!,’” Hausman said. “If you want to stay healthy you have to be active.”

Charmlee Wilderness Park sustained substantial damage during the Woolsey Fire that burned 96,949 acres in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The fire damaged thousands of acres of state, national and county parkland as well as land and structures inside Charmlee. The city began to repair the trail system and erosion control on June 3, 2020, then reopened for public use on October 19, 2020.

In November 2021, the Community Services Department placed wildlife cameras at Charmlee Wilderness Park; sightings have included a male bobcat, quail, a fox, coyotes, deer, rabbits, skunks, owls, and various birds.

The next Charmlee Wilderness Park Hike is scheduled for May 7, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. for ages 7 and up and on May 15 for ages 10 and older. The city also offers Sunset Hikes for adults and children 10 and older on Sunday, May 15, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. To sign up, visit

Charmlee Wilderness Park is located at 2577 Encinal Canyon Road, Malibu, and is open from 8 a.m. to sunset daily. The Nature Center will also remain closed until further notice.