Bulldog Loop Trail

HARD 112 reviews
#4 of 16 trails in

Bulldog Loop Trail is a 14.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Calabasas, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 14.6 miles Elevation Gain: 3,018 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

running

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bridge out

no dogs

hiking
bridge out
no shade
8 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

Did this counter clockwise with start and end in the Malibu creek state park parking lot. It was about 85 degrees when we left. Not much shade through the trail except for some patches the last 3ish miles on the descent. Bring your water and sunblock! Great views throughout! Completed in 6:10. I didn't find the overgrown parts or the water crossings to be too bad. September 5 2019

hiking
bridge out
bugs
no shade
1 month ago

This was tough hike for me. Over 90° and had to ration my water. good climb definitely a bit challenging.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun!

hiking
bridge out
bugs
over grown
3 months ago

I enjoyed the hell out of this hike! Amazing views at the top, got to add a rock to the spiral, and my sunburn was well earned! I went clockwise and boy, that climb was brutal. I made a few mistakes with directions and ended up with 17.5 miles in 5:41:33 yay! Thankfully, someone told me to keep an eye out for white arrows, and I followed them to the “wet” route which was crossing a river with some rocks to leap on. I didn’t even know there was a dry option until I saw the fork between “wet” and “dry” a quarter mile or so down. Just like other reviewers, the bridge is out when you pass the MASH site and try to cross Crass, so you have to continue down about 150 yards to the right where there’s a large tree and wooden planks to help you cross the river.

hiking
bridge out
3 months ago

It's Bulldog. What else can you say? If you trail run in SoCal, you know the 'Dog. As always, a steep fun trail. The wildfires and rains have taken their toll- the bridge near the M*A*S*H site is out and crossing is via a poorly marked downed tree 150yd upstream. Beware construction activity on Bulldog Motorway itself- the site is mostly idle but backhoes and debris are still present. Trails are overgrown in some parts but mostly accessible. Trail between Malibu Creek Parking and Piuma Road requires active GPS or you can road march on busy highway. No water on trail except bathroom near Piuma trailhead and the spigot at Malibu Creek Visitors Center. Streams on Mesa Motorway have dried up. Alltrails claims 14.6 miles, GPS says more like 17.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome views. Ran counter-clockwise and the trail up Bulldog kicked my butt. After that, a pretty reasonable route. Slightly overgrown in areas. Not much shade.

hiking
3 months ago

Going clockwise, first 3 miles are smooth. Miles 3-7.5 are steep but the view makes it worth it, but it’s hard. A good break spot is at Castro and backbone trail intersection ~7.5 mi. When approaching the campsites/las Virgenes rd, the trails have become a bit covered from a large spring growth of wildlife etc (~mile 12ish).

4 months ago

Really great hike with tons of spring wildflowers and cooling fog at the ridge. More like 16 miles, and felt even longer than that. Did it counterclockwise and it was getting dark so I walked the last bit on paved road through the camp and on Las Virgenes. Lots of butterflies, no snake sitings.

hiking
4 months ago

Walked this today, outstanding hike, counterclockwise in 5hrs. the main decent is at times a little relentless but was kept company by countless butterflies enjoying the wildflowers. when you come back down to the main road i used it briefly to cross the creek there as the trail became unclear and then i cut back into the trail as soon as I crossed the bridge overall many varied environments and big views to enjoy nature is busy fixing itself - green everywhere and often sprouting from very charred trees

hiking
bridge out
4 months ago

Great hike! 6.5hours counter clockwise completion. Heavy fog above 2000ft made summit cool and enjoyable but limited views. Highly recommend.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked this last Thursday. Went counterclockwise. Give yourself ample time (unlike I did) cause the scenery is impressive especially when you begin the ascent after the M*A*S*H site. The crowd really thins out after the set. Would've wanted more time to explore, but I started pretty late in the day and almost got lost after the final descent since it got dark out quickly. There were times when finding the main trail got confusing due to several forks. Felt like I had to rush it a bit. Almost stepped on a snake so be extra vigilant. Would highly recommend, but better to start early in the morning so you can explore more and take in the scenery.

hiking
bridge out
muddy
rocky
washed out
6 months ago

Long but beautiful hike. Thanks to the extensive rain, there’s lots of poppies, lupine, and other native wildflowers at the moment... not a superbloom, but perhaps heading that way. We took the northern approach to Castro Peak, past the M*A*S*H site up Crags Road to Bulldog Road and finally to the peak. The hike meets the backbone trail shortly past Castro Peak, and continues past the Corral Canyon caves and labyrinth until it comes back around to Las Virgenes. Lots of places to stop and explore, which we enjoyed. Including lunch and a bit of off trail exploration, it took us around 7 hours to do the whole thing. It’s been raining a lot, so if you go in the next few weeks, expect to cross the creek to the M*A*S*H site by using a makeshift bridge, hopping on rocks, or wading.

hiking
bridge out
6 months ago

Great Hike damaged by the Woolsey Fire.

hiking
7 months ago

Very green now. Bridge to MASH set washed out.

7 months ago

Creds: AllTrails Pro with GPS accurate mi and position. 16 mi and 3,110’ El Gain. Free parking if follow AllTrails directions. Otherwise $12 in formal parking. Started Friday 8 Feb 2019 8:am counter clockwise, per excellent recommendations. Best views. Solitude 100% after 2 mi in. Why aren’t people out hiking???? Although park significantly impacted by Woolsey Fire - still beautiful. Start walk through green meadows, then to wide flowing river and follow to MASH site. Just had serious storms that made river flow faster, deeper, and wider. The bridge crossing half way washed out so walk a little further to cross over logs. Pay off well worth it. Hike through MASH site, then up to Castro Peak at 2,800’. Have lunch soon after at the caves . All these way points marked on my map - that I didn’t see previous in AllTrails maps. The Woolsey First significant, but now can see mountains/ rocks / plateaus/ many creeks flowing down crevices. Hope trees planted to replace the devastation. Outstanding hike.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike, got to do it with a friend on a cloudy day. Both eleavtion and distance turned out to be more than the plan said. We both brought 3 liters of water, but could have used more. The view of the water was gorgeous.

hiking
Sunday, September 09, 2018

This hike's difficulty is largely weather dependent. I tried this hike today thinking there would be fog all day. Instead, the sun was blazing hot with very few spots of shade. Climbing continuosly uphill in dry desert-like 90 degree weather is very very challenging. My friend started showing signs of heat stress ( less than half way through). Another hiker on the road also experienced sypmtoms. Experienced Mountain bikers who passed by seemed unaffected. I loved the challenge and the scenery was breathtaking. However, I would highly recommend tackling this hike during cooler months/ very early in the morning. I will definitely return again to try in winter. About the trail: signs are marked very clearly throughout. The uphill is not the steepest (streets in SF are a lot steeper) but, it is a constant uphill (after reaching the MASH site) in grueling heat.

hiking
Friday, August 31, 2018

Three stars? There is so much beauty in the Santa Monica mountains but I didn’t like hiking the majority of this hike on fire roads. I liked the elevation gain challenge and there were amazing ocean breezes at the top. Using AllTrails map as a guide made navigating this hike easy. We parked in the lot for $12. The counter clockwise loop recorded at 15.2 miles.

hiking
Friday, July 27, 2018

Amazing hike - highly recommend, if you can make the whole thing.

hiking
Sunday, July 01, 2018

Loved this hike! I loved the challenge, length and beauty of this hike. So much to see. It was foggy in the morning, sunny by the end. We hiked counterclockwise and really didn't have too much difficulty finding the trail back to Malibu Creek SP. When you reach the bottom of Mesa Peak Motorway/Piuma trailhead (where the toilet is), go left down the well worn trail. There will be a couple of small trails to the right - take one of them. It will take you down to the road to the water treatment plant. Turn left, look for small sign that says trail. Across from it is a small sign that says Backbone Trail. Follow the many trails down to the creek and cross it. Hike up in the direction of Malibu Creek SP on one of the many trails. When you get to the next paved road, turn left through the road gate. Continue on that trail until you reach the Camp Gilmore junction. The trail is across the way. It sounds like a lot, but it's not really too bad.

hiking
Monday, May 28, 2018

I’ve done this hike twice, counterclockwise and clockwise . You can do this hike without walking on Las Virgenes road, but it’s difficult to find the trail if you do it counterclockwise. It’s also easier to find the trail if you download the satellite layer of the map. If you do it clockwise, it’s easier to find the trail, but you’ll have to cross Malibu Creek. There are some rocks that you can step on so that you don’t get your feet wet. I uploaded my route from 5/25/2018 going clockwise and not walking on Las Virgenes. This route is a steeper ascent, and the views aren’t as rewarding on the descent. The counterclockwise route provides better views on the descent and is less steep ascending. You’ll want to bring at least two liters of water and lots to snack on, including a lunch. I burned over 4000 calories on this hike. Since most of the trail is exposed with almost no shade, hiking is best done before June or on a cloudy day. One of my favorite hikes, if not my favorite, in the Santa Monica Mountains. The views and the breeze from the top are heaven.

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