New Millennium Loop

A 13.7 mile loop in Calabasas with a thousand and one switchbacks.  This was a challenge both physically and mentally.  A rare treat, I didn’t meet a single person on the trail all day.

1     2   I parked off of Las Virgenes Road at the Bark Park.  The early morning frost still coated the plants on the trail.  The Bark Park Trail connects to the New Millennium Loop after 1.2 miles.

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Now on the loop trail.  There were so many changes of direction.  Even though I was always going in the right direction I felt confused.  The map I was using didn’t seem to always match what I saw at ground level.  Photo 4 – Looking north up the 101 Freeway at Ladyface Mountain.

7     9     8   Huge, surreal looking hills and mountains.

10     11     12   Photo 1 – These stairs were to the left of the trail. I have no idea where they go.  Photo 2 – Eventually I heard and then saw this creek running next to the trail.  Photo 3This thing was standing out in the middle of nowhere.  These trails are pretty new so maybe they just haven’t decided what to put in the blank spot – I vote for a trail map.

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Soft, crumbly rock wall by the side of the trail.

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Photo 1 – Barbell-shaped dog toy  Photo 2 – Barbell-shaped cloud

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24       25   The trail ends at a paved road but picks up again in a few dozen yards.  Photo 2 – Look closely at the center to see a very long and steep staircase leading from the top to the bottom.  I wonder if people are allowed to use it for exercise.  Photo 5 – I crossed over a bridge and began to climb up the hill to the water tank at the top.

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There are not many places to sit and rest on these trails.  I had my lunch here, which felt like the halfway point.

27   Things now gets even more interesting.

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The trail from here on mostly clings to the side of the mountains – more exposure than I am used to.  Just don’t look down.

30     33   The community below and the mountains beyond.

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Looking back at the first steep switchback section.

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The trail runs on along the side of the hill and then crosses over Parkway Calabasas.  There are no more junctions for another three or so miles.

39     40     41   Nice view of Saddle Peak, with tower to the left and Saddle Peak’s multiple antennae on the right.

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45   Mansions below the trail.  Finally, beyond this point there seemed to be less civilization.

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The sign on the right warns of more steep switchbacks.

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Don’t Look Down Part II

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The trail is narrow but firm.  There were a couple of spots that looked, from a distance, like a slide had made them impassable.  I came upon the first and wondered what I would do.  I had just a couple more hours of daylight, was 10 miles into the loop and thus turning around and retracing my steps was not an option.  Luckily I was able to keep going.

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Sometimes I felt like I was hiking at the foot of a tidal wave.

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Panorama

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After hiking all this way I came to an unsigned fork in the road.  I was pretty sure I was supposed to turn right.  The trail that runs straight connects with Las Virgenes View Trail, I assume, but wasn’t on my map.  Photo 2 shows what the turn-off looked like on this day.  Turn right at the barbed wire fence.

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Totally exhausted at the end of this one.  Very interesting day.

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