As seen in the Nobody Hikes in L.A. Guidebook!
Las Virgenes View Trail
- Location: Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu Creek State Park. From the Valley, take highway 101 to Las Virgenes Road and go south for 3 miles. The trailhead is on the northeast corner of Las Virgenes and Mulholland. From Pacific Coast Highway, head north on Malibu Canyon Road which becomes Las Virgenes, and park at the intersection.
- Agency: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
- Distance: 4.4 miles
- Elevation gain: 650 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Best season: October – June
- USGS topo maps: Malibu Beach
- Recommended gear: hiking poles; sun hat
- More information: here; Everytrail report here
- Rating: 7
This short but sweet hike visits a nice variety of scenery and takes in some good views of the eastern Santa Monica Mountains, providing a nice, moderate workout. I may sound like I’m trying to take revenue away from the California state parks system, but if you park (for free) at the intersection, you get a lot of the same scenic experience as in adjacent Malibu Creek State Park without the $12 price tag. (That being said, many people opt to park at the same intersection and take back routes into the park, but of course, you didn’t read that here). Note too that dogs are allowed on this trail, whereas not in the park.
For the first mile, the trail follows Las Virgenes, providing nice views of Malibu Creek State Park. Then you head northwest, through a canyon, where the ascent becomes a little steeper. Some shade from the oaks provides some nice relief from the heat.
You reach the top of a ridge and the trail curves to the south. You get great views on both sides, including San Vicente and Saddle Peak to the left (east) and Ladyface, the Goat Buttes and Castro Peak to the west.
After a fire break comes in from the left, the trail reaches a split. A spur leads to the overlook, where you get nice views of the area. The trail also continues to the left and continues to follow the ridge line before becoming overgrown shortly past the overlook.
Text and photography copyright 2012 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.