Just across the street from Las Virgenes View Park — the ascent of which was recounted here in a harrowing post a mere ten days ago — you will discover the entrance to Malibu Creek State Park. You can leave your car in the handy (FREE!) pullout at the intersection of Mulholland Highway and Las Virgenes Road. After you don pith helmet, sunblock 20, sturdy shoes and haversack, you may take your pick of the hiking trails that abound.
We chose to endure .8 miles of the boring Grasslands Trail (featuring grass and land) because it led to a hidden rustic bridge. Clomping over that dark, embowered bridge the intrepid hiker may proceed to the more picturesque and demanding Talopop Trail. It’s a 4.6 mile loop ascending 450 feet (1,500,436 meters) of a lightly forested ridge running parallel to Las Virgenes Road.
The Talopop Trail — named after the ancient village of Talopop where dwelt the feisty Chumash who didn’t think the name was the least bit funny — is a swell jaunt. The path is single-file narrow, and in many places hemmed in closely by brush, but it is smooth and unobstructed. Talopop offers nothing in the way of breathtaking alpine views, yawning abysses, or rocky rock formations — just sweet-smelling shrubs. cute lil oak trees and this pretty good vista of the once rip-roaring wild west town of Calabasas (now sedate), the Simi Hills, and the 101 Freeway chugging along:
Not super scenic, but Talopop offers you city slickers a nice steep climb to toughen up your shamefully namby-pamby sinews. Two hours (including peanut butter sandwich break) suffice to bring your newly hale body back to its waiting wheels.