Week 215: Leo Carrillo State Beach

August 23, 2020

Walking Los Angeles, Leo Carrillo Beach Trail, 2.35 miles 

Barbara and I will be hiking the beaches until the heatwave breaks, and so we spent the morning at a new-to-us stunner. Leo Carrillo State Beach is a 1.5 mile stretch along the Pacific in western Malibu. North Leo Carrillo Beach and South Carrillo Beach are separated by Sequit Point, a rock formation that marks the dividing line between Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Although we used John McKinney's hike as a guide, there's no real trail. Park in the Leo Carrillo State Beach parking lot on PCH ($9), walk under the bridge to South Carrillo Beach, and just start strolling north (left) along the sand to explore the rocks a little, and then follow the trail on the right to a staircase down and explore the coves and sea caves on the North Carrillo Beach side. Tons of action: fishermen, surfers, sunbathers, and this end of the beach is dogs-on-leash friendly, so happy canine faces abound. We walked the shoreline north until we got tired, and then headed back, stopping only to talk to Eddie, the lifeguard at lifeguard tower #5. Say best job in SoCal? This extraordinary State Beach was named for Leo Carrillo (1880–1961), an actor, preservationist, conservationist, and 18-yr. member of the California Beach and Parks Commission. Leo's Old California lineage goes deep. Father Junipero Serra married Carrillo's great-great-grandparents, his great-grandfather was the Governor of Alta California (1837–1838), and his uncle was a three-time mayor of Los Angeles. Leo Carrillo appeared in ninety films, but he is best known for his TV role as the Cisco Kid's sidekick, Pancho, from 1950 to 1956. ("Oh, Pancho!" "Oh, Cisco!") It's fitting that this beach named for an actor has an enviable filmography. Leo Carrillo State Beach has appeared in films including, Gidget, Grease, 50 First Dates, The Usual Suspects, Cast Away, and The Karate Kid, and in TV's Rockford Files and The Mentalist. Note: go early. We arrived at 8:30 when the parking lot was empty. By the time we left at 10:30, the waiting line stretched down PCH. Do not miss this incredibly charming piece of the California Coast.









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