Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve Trail is a 10 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Calabasas, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Neighborhoods along Las Virgenes Road have quick access into the vast Simi Hills trail network. Get to know the ancient oaks and sycamores along the nearly flat trail up the canyon. After countless years of battling developers, the lovely Ahmanson Ranch area is open to the public under the care of the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy . The first part of our hike takes you through gently rolling hills dotted with huge, spectacular oak trees. After a loop around Lasky Mesa, the hike heads northwest to Las Virgenes Canyon where a small creek nurtures a more densely covered area along the banks of the stream. As time was running short, we didn't make it all the way up Las Virgenes Canyon. This is a popular area for bikers so keep a head up for them. All the trail junctions can be a bit confusing, so you might want to print out a map from the Ahmonson.org web site.
I love this trail! I take it all the time with my dog. It's kinda dusty in the summer but there are lots of little trails to take along with it!
In my humble opinion, the best vista for the longest stretch of trail within an easy hike from the Las Virgenes Rd trail head is Crummer Ranch Rd through Laskey Mesa. It's 4 to 4.5 miles out and back if you hike all the way to Crummer Ranch. There's about 630 ft of gain with only one steep stretch which can be avoided by taking an adjoining trail that goes around it. The area is all dried up now but winter rains will hopefully bring some green to the hills. The views are extensive with limited infringement of residential structures. An excellent outing but not one to be done on even warm summer days. There is virtually no shade for the majority of the hike.
There are multiple trails and hike routes accessible from the Las Virgenes trail head. I haven't yet experienced a bad hike but some are better than others. You could spend many hours hiking or biking because the open space stretches from West Hills to Thousand Oaks. It's quite a remarkable amount of preserved open space given what must be incredible real estate value. The Las Virgenes trail head is a good place to start. There's an abundance of grasslands and scrub with a smattering of individual oaks and the occasional trail intersections with oak woodlands that occur mainly along the creeks. Go prepared with plenty of water, a hat, proper hiking shoes, and sun screen. Rattlesnakes are an obvious concern but they have this very helpful habit of giving fair warning when they feel threatened.