Las Virgenes Open Space Loop
- Location: Calabasas. From the 101 Freeway, take the Las Virgenes Road exit and head north for 1.4 miles. Parking is available at the end of the street.
- Agency: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
- Distance: 2.3 miles
- Elevation gain: 250 feet
- Difficulty Rating: G
- Suggested time: 1.5 hours
- Best season: Year-round (hot during the summer)
- USGS topo map: Calabasas
- Recommended gear: sun hat
- More information: Trail map here; trip report here
- Rating: 6
This short loop in the southern end of the popular Las Vergenes Canyon Open Space makes for a great before- or after-work hike. It’s short enough that it can be done even during the summer, although be advised that there’s little shade along the route. If you have time, there are plenty of other trails to explore in the preserve.
From the end of Las Virgenes, head north into the park on the fire road. After 0.3 miles, you arrive at a junction, marking the beginning of the loop. Done clockwise, as described here, you get a chance to get warmed up before beginning the ascent.
Head straight, crossing a creek which may or may not have water. You pass by an electric generator, and soon you come to another junction. Our route heads right, passing another creek, and entering a wide meadow reminiscent of nearby Palo Comado Canyon. The area is dotted with huge oak trees.
At the next junction, where there’s a Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area sign, head right and begin the only significant ascent of the trip. A climb of 200 feet brings you to a saddle, where you get nice views of the rolling Simi Hills. Several false trails branch off, but the main route should be pretty obvious. You head downhill, soon meeting up with the East Las Virgenes Canyon Trail. Head right, descending gradually. Stay right at the next two junctions, and two miles from the start, you rejoin the first trail. Head left and retrace your steps to the parking area.
Note: this loop should not be confused with the nearby Las Virgenes Overlook and Las Virgenes Trails in Malibu Creek State Park.
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.