Calabasas Peak in the Santa Monica Mountains stands at 2,163 feet and overlooks the Red Rock Canyon to the east and Cold Creek Canyon to the west. It can be reached from the north and south via the Calabasas Peak Motorway and a short use-trail to the summit. There are several options of how to get on the motorway: from the north via Mulholland Highway and Old Topanga Canyon Road, from the south via Stunt Road. Another option, which is described here, is via Red Rock Canyon Park to the east.
From the park head west on the dirt road past a gate and a house to the left. The first part follows the small creek on a gentle slope along oaks and sycamores. Soon a signed trail leads to the north, crosses the stream, and climbs uphill the chaparral covered slope. However, we stay on the dirt road, which soon pulls away from the creek and out of the shade. There are many interesting rock formations along this part of the trail with many use trails or even stairs leading to the rocks. Many caves and camping areas are reminders of the past Camp Slauson, a weekend camping area for boy scouts. The road now climbs more steeply to a saddle (at about 1.2 miles), which overlooks Cold Creek Canyon to the west. In spring time there are many beautiful wildflowers along the path. At the saddle there is a bench for those who want to rest here. The Calabasas Peak Motorway comes from the south (left) and leads north towards Calabasas Peak. The views at the saddle are magnificent with Saddle Peak to the south and Malibu Creek State Park to the far west.
Red Rock Canyon
From the saddle the motorway climbs north, first on the west side of the ridge, sometimes fairly steep. Beautiful views to the west over Cold Creek Canyon and Dry Canyon along the way. Gorgeous sandstone slabs are on the east side of the path reminding of the forces that formed these mountains. The fireroad eventually switches back south and continues to climb around Calabasas Peak to the south and east. The route turns north and reaches a saddle from which you can see the nearby summit and vast views north over the San Fernando Valley. From the saddle a broad use-trail leaves the fireroad and climbs first north and then sharply southwest to the summit of Calabasas Peak. The summit is a small open area with a summit cairn and chaparral on every side. However, the bushes are very low so they do not block the amazing views you have from the summit. At the time of this writing (June 2010) there was no register on top to be found.
The roundtrip to Calabasas Peak from Red Rock Canyon Park is about 4.5 miles with a little over 1,500 feet of elevation gain.
Take Old Topanga Canyon Road and turn left (if coming from the south) on Red Rock Road. Be cautious as the road can be easily missed. There is no sign to the park on Old Topanga Canyon Road. The sometimes very narrow road leads through a residential area, first paved then over dirt. The dirt road portion is not bad and should generally be passable to all cars. You will drive past several very impressive rock formations. After less than one mile you will reach the park entrance with parking spaces and some picnic tables. There is a day usage fee.