Bark Park and Millennium Trails (Calabasas)
- Location: Calabasas Bark Park. From Highway 101, take the Las Virgenes Rd. exit (32) and head south for 0.9 mile. The Bark Park is on the left, across from A.E. Wright Middle School. The trail begins on the north side of the dog park.
- Agency: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
- Distance: 4.2 miles
- Elevation gain: 700 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Best season: Year-round (hot during the summer)
- Recommended gear: hiking poles sun hat
- Dogs: Allowed on leash; exercise caution during the summer on the exposed trails
- Cell phone reception: Good
- Water: None
- Restrooms: Chemical toilet in Bark Park parking lot
- Camping/backpacking: None
- More information: Trip report (Bark Park Trail and a different section of the New Millennium Loop Trail here; Area trail map here; Map My Hike report here
- Rating: 5
The Bark Park Trail connects Las Virgenes Road to the 10-mile New Millennium Loop, a network of several trails in the hills above Calabasas and the Malibu Creek area. Hikers who don’t have time or energy for the entire New Millennium Loop should consider this more moderate excursion to a vista point with panoramic views of the area. A 3-mile round trip detour to the Las Virgenes Overlook can be added as well.
Follow the Bark Park as it ascends steadily, making a few switchbacks across a hillside sparsely dotted with oaks. While noise from Highway 101 is hard to ignore at first, it becomes less as you make your way farther from the roads. At 0.6 mile, you reach a junction. The Bark Park Trail continues left. The right route is a return option for a possible loop, but this trip is more scenic and stays farther away from development when done as an out and back.
At 1.1 miles, the Bark Park Trail reaches the New Millennium Loop. Head right on a section of the loop simply called the Millennium Trail which begins an ascent that is somewhat steeper than earlier, before leveling out and briefly descending. The trail bends south and makes one more ascent, this time reaching a barbed wire fence (1.9 miles.) Bear right and follow the fence, taking in views of the Calabasas Peak area to the south, before turning right on a spur that heads uphill. At 2.1 miles from the beginning, you reach a junction at a high point on the ridge with views of Castro Peak and the rest of Malibu Creek State Park to the west and the Simi Hills to the north. Unfortunately, the view is somewhat inhibited by the barbed wire fence and there’s no real place to sit, but it’s still an enjoyable spot to stop and catch your breath.
From here you have several options: retrace your steps for a 4.2 mile round trip; continue left (south) and downhill for 1.5 miles to the Las Virgenes Overlook, or head straight, also downhill, eventually hooking up with the Bark Park Trail at the junction you passed earlier.
Photo Gallery (click thumbnails to see full sized versions)
Text and photography copyright 2016 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.