Rindge Dam

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Rindge Dam
Rindge Dam.jpg
Rindge Dam, seen from Piuma Road.
Location Malibu Creek State Park
Coordinates 34°03′53″N 118°41′58″W / 34.064594°N 118.699328°W / 34.064594; -118.699328Coordinates: 34°03′53″N 118°41′58″W / 34.064594°N 118.699328°W / 34.064594; -118.699328
Opening date 1924
Owner(s) May Knight Rindge, California Department of Parks and Recreation
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Concrete thin arch
Impounds Malibu Creek
Height 100-foot-tall (30 m)
Rindge Dam spillway.
Rindge Dam and Malibu Creek, in Malibu Canyon.

The 100-foot-tall (30 m) Rindge Dam on Malibu Creek is located in Malibu Creek State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains, about three miles from the Malibu coastline in southern California. Situated just northeast of Malibu Canyon Road, it is partially visible from the turnouts south of the tunnel.


The main concrete arch of the Rindge Dam was completed in 1924. The spillway of the dam was finished in 1926. The dam was built by hired workers of May Knight Rindge, who owned the Malibu Ranch, the former Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit, at that time. The frame of the dam was constructed out of the rails of a 15-mile railroad that went through the Malibu Ranch, after it was dismantled. The dual walls of the dam were built into an already-existing rock monolith in the center of Malibu Creek; the only place they meet is at the top.

The 600 acres (240 ha) behind the dam have been completely filled with sediment since around 1950, which creates a waterfall from Malibu Creek. The dam became incorporated into Malibu Creek State Park in 1976.[1]

Conservation — demolition[edit]

Fish advocates have called for the dam's removal because it is blocking Steelhead trout from accessing the upper reaches of the Malibu Creek watershed. Others have campaigned in vain for the designation of the Rindge Dam as a California Historical Landmark. The Rindge Dam is property of the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the structure has been in disrepair for decades. The dam was declared off-limits to the public in 2014.[2]

The dam will possibly be removed, but no conclusive decision has been made yet.[3] Estimates for the cost of demolition have been as high as $80 million. There has been much speculation as to what exactly would happen if the Rindge Dam were removed or collapsed, and to where its remnants and over 85 years of impounded sediment would go.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Malibucomplete.com: Rindge Dam history
  2. ^ Hayes, Rob (August 22, 2014). "Malibu Creek's Rindge Dam closed to public". ABC7. KABC-TV. Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "Rindge Dam removal feasibility study". Malibu Creek Watershed Advisory Council. Archived from the original on August 15, 2002. 
  4. ^ Damavandi, Olivia (December 17, 2008). "Corps gives update on Rindge Dam removal study". Malibu Times. Retrieved 12 March 2017. 
  5. ^ Tallal, Jimy (March 10, 2017). "Wide Support For Rindge Dam Removal — Specifics Cause Divide". The Malibu Times. Retrieved 14 March 2017. 

External links[edit]