To get to the Deer Leg Trailhead hike along Yearling Road that is partly paved from the parking area off of Cornell Dr. Once you arrive at the Reagan barn at the end of the road you can pick up the the Deer Leg Trail
. The trail will then wind through large oak trees and crosses over Udell Creek. After a mile of hiking you'll reach a junction with the Cage Canyon Trail
and the Lookout Trail
. At this point the Deer Leg Trail
comes to an end and you'll follow the Lookout Trail
toward the east.
The Lookout Trail
then climbs up a ridge covered in oak trees until it reaches a juncture with the Cistern Trail. At this point there are some great views of Malibu Creek and much of the state park. Stay right and follow the Lookout Trail
as it descends 1/2 of a mile down the hill's slope until it runs into an intersection with Crags Road
, at which point the Lookout Trail
ends. Take a right and follow this portion of Crags Road
to the northwest, past Century Lake, until you come across a divergent trail on the right side. This is the Cage Canyon Trail
Follow the Cage Canyon Trail
as it rapidly and steeply ascends the canyon northward, with minimal switchbacking, among oak and sycamore trees for 3/10 of mile before reaching the juncture with the Deer Leg Trail
and Lookout Trail
. Turn left to follow the Deer Leg Trail
for a mile back to the original trailhead, completing the loop.
Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store
Ronald Reagan once owned the ranch and barn on this land. He bought the 300+ acre ranch in the 1950's to raise horses. In the time after he bought it, land in the surrounding area rose in value significantly, as did taxes. This experience of raised taxes influenced Ronald Reagan's political and economic policies during his career as a politician. In 1966, Reagan became the Governor of California and he sold the ranch to movie company and since then it has become part of Malibu Creek State Park.