Sunday, October 15, 2017
Tapia Park to Century Reservoir
A 6.0 mile out-and-back run with 900 feet of elevation gain. Pay to park in Tapia Park or park for free in the small dirt lot at the intersection of Las Virgenes Rd and Piuma Rd.
Malibu Creek is worth seeing. If you visit, ask yourself whether the Goat Buttes seem familiar.
The run is worthwhile for the sights and the convenience: there are several water fountains along the way. I can't say that about any other trail run.
As described in 50 Trails Runs in Southern California the run is mostly possible, though I wasn't able to find the trailhead described by the book—perhaps it is no longer there. I recommend taking a left when entering the park and finding the dirt road which runs parallel to Malibu Creek.
The dirt road is called Dorothy Dr on some maps. The book would have us take another trail I could not find between Dorothy Dr and Malibu Creek. I think Dorothy Dr was closed to vehicles at some point after which the trail became redundant and fell into disuse.
Tapia Spur Trail takes the runner through a notch in the hills and into Malibu Creek Park proper. Go right where the trail ends at a gravel road, and go left where the gravel meets pavement. Follow the pavement across Stokes Creek and take a left on a dirt path. Turning left before Stokes Creek puts you on an interpretive trail which leads to a dead end. Turning left at the correct place leads to a bridge over Las Virgenes Creek.
The turn-around point is somewhat arbitrarily chosen as the Lookout Trailhead. The runner could add mileage by taking Lookout Trail or by continuing on Crag Fire Rd.
On the return trip the book recommends taking High Rd instead of crossing the bridge at Century Ranch. It also recommends taking left on a short trail which connects with the Grassland Trail. Take a right on the Grassland Trail.