El Matador State Beach is one of the more popular long sandy beaches in Malibu, California. El Matador State Beach is actually a pocket beach in Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach which belongs to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. People like to come to this beach to see the natural formations like large rugged boulders, arch rocks, and tide pools.
From the upper cliff, you can look down on the blue ocean and large boulders. Many people like to come to the beach to perform activities like bodyboarding, body surfing, and sunbathing. When in the water, you must be careful as there are rocks strewn all over in the bottom. There is no lifeguard services during the weekdays. On the weekend, there will be one person acting as lifeguard for the entire beach.
You can access El Matador State Beach by driving along the Pacific Coast Highway. There is a sign that says you are near to El Matador Beach. The only car park is a dirt parking lot with limited spaces. Purchase of a parking pass is required in order to park your car in the parking lot. You pay for the parking by the hour which makes it affordable for people who do not plan to stay there for the whole It is not recommended that you park by the street as there are cops constantly patrolling the area and giving tickets to anyone that park in the area with the no parking sign. The car park is open from 8 am to sunset.
To reach the beach, you have to descend a steep dirt path. After the steep dirt path, you will come to a dirt stairs with rail. The dirt path is the only way to reach the beach. Since it does not have any rail, it can be dangerous for people with mobility problem and children. The toilets are located at the car park and can be tiresome to climb up the walkway again when you want to relieve yourself. There are also some picnic tables next to the car park. You should also bring along your own refreshments to avoid climbing up the cliff to buy food.
During the day time and at sunset, you can see a lot of photographers taking photos with their cameras due to the beautiful scenery. Even though it has limited parking spaces, the beach is constantly get crowded. Once you have make it down, you will be rewarded with the beautiful scenery of the unspoiled beach. There are lots of arch rock formations that you can walk through during low tide. Some arches are at a height that is tall enough for you to crawl through.
The north section of the beach is better than the south section as there are less people visiting and has more sand. If you decide to go to the north side, make sure you reference the tide chart first. If you are not familiar with the tide chart, you should not stray away from the main beach.