Hike the Anza Trail in Calabasas
by Steven Ross, Anza Trail Outdoor Recreation Planner
The Anza Expedition camped at a site Anza called Agua Escondida (hidden water) on February 22, 1776. The historic campsite was located in the Las Virgines Valley in the present day city of Calabasas, Calif. The expedition and campsite are commemorated with a scenic recreation trail as well as a local park bearing Anza’s name.
TRAILHEAD DIRECTIONS AND ROUTE:
This 1.4-mile long segment of Anza Trail connects a West Trailhead at Las Virgenes Road to an East Trailhead at the end of Calabasas Road. For a 4-mile round trip hike, branch off and follow the signs for the Anza Loop Trail (see map).
The West Trailhead is located on the east side of Las Virgenes Road next to the onramp to southbound Highway 101. From the West Trailhead, the trail ascends through grasslands and oak trees to a small hill that offers views of the Calabasas Grade between the San Fernando and Conejo Valleys. An interpretive sign at this location includes Pedro Font’s diary pages describing the Anza party’s travels through the area.
The trail then descends to cross and follow a small drainage with sycamore trees and other riparian vegetation before reaching the East Trailhead, located at the west end of Calabasas Road. Connecting trails include the New Millennium Trail and the Bark Park Trail. The property is managed by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
This natural surface trail follows a graded dirt road. Trail signs at intersections indicate the names of connecting trails and distances. Expect sun exposure; remember water, hat and sunscreen, and watch for rattlesnakes. There are no restrooms or water at the trailheads.
EVENTS AND ATTRACTIONS:
Juan Bautista de Anza Park is located at the intersection of Las Virgenes Road and Lost Hills Road, about 2 miles south of Highway 101. The park has trails linking to the adjacent Malibu Creek State Park. The Leonis Adobe Museum, located at 23537 Calabasas Road, allows visitors to experience California ranch life in the late 1800s. The Sepulveda Adobe is located at the corner of Las Virgenes Road and Mulholland Highway in Malibu Creek State Park.