CIRCLE X RANCH GROUP CAMPGROUND, CA
I spoke to Beth and decided to book a trip for October, 2014 (the booking window at Reserve America is six months in advance and bookings go about as fast as Bruce Springsteen tickets, so...) But when I logged in to make a reservation for Leo Carillo I noticed this foreboding message in big red digital ink:
OCTOBER 24th and 25th (Friday and Saturday nights)
Leo Carrillo Group Camp Closed to Construction: Construction project at Leo Carrillo will take place in and around the campground from June 1st thru December 31st, 2014. Expect noise and delays Monday thru Friday, 7am to 7:30 pm. No vehicle access to North Beach parking lot.CONSTRUCTION: Large portions of Leo Carrillo campground will be closed for construction between the months of September 2014 through March 2015. Expect delays and noise Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
So, I decided it was time to try something new, and the closest campsite to our fair city is the Circle X in Malibu. I have never been and in truth have always wanted to, so now is our chance.
I hope I don't jump the shark by posting this before the upcoming Leo Carillo trip, but I get excited about these things if you have not noticed already.
Circle X Malibu Creek looks like a great spot and perfect for those who want to just come up for the day.
The website lists these activities:
Enjoy a visit to the Grotto or a creekside picnic at the trailhead next to the campground.
Grotto Trail 3.5 miles round trip, moderate to strenuous; no bikes, no horses. This trail traverses hillsides and leads down to the West Fork of the Arroyo Sequit. The trail is downhill from the Ranger Station, which means an uphill return. The Grotto area is rugged terrain; be careful and wear appropriate hiking attire. The last 1/8 mile is through an unimproved streambed and dogs are not allowed.
The Ranger Contact Station can provide you with free hiking maps of Circle X Ranch. A publication of park-led activities for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is also available. Visits to nearby Malibu and the Pacific Ocean are just a short drive way.
The group site looks very nicely situated away form the other individual sites as well.
And get this, it is really inexpensive? At first I thought I was doing something wrong, but the total cost for the two nights is less than half of Leo Carillo. This must have to do with the fact that it is not a part of the California Parks and Recreation, but the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation. When I searched for it at ReserveAmerica.gov (where I book all the previous trips), I was re-directed to Recreation.gov. I will have to do more research on the whys and hows of this.
About the only downside I can see is that I believe they do not allow firewood fires, only charcoal. It is a bit confusing to me as they have fire pits listed, but maybe they only allow charcoal in those as well. A small price to pay for a camping trip 30 minutes away from Hedgerow!
We are well prepared for the remainder of 2014!