Spring Canyon and Oak Creek Canyon Trails
- Location: Thousand Oaks, on the corner of Heavenly Valley and Hemlock Lane. From Highway 101, take the Lynn Road exit. Head south for a mile and turn left on Heavenly Valley Road. It may appear to be a private alley way, but public access is allowed. Drive 0.3 miles to the top of the hill and park on the corner of Heavenly Valley and Hemlock. From the west, take highway 101 to Ventu Park Road. Turn right and drive south for 0.5 miles. Turn left on Lynn Road, drive 0.4 miles and turn right onto Heavenly Valley.
- Agency: Conejo Open Space Foundation
- Distance: 3.2 miles
- Elevation gain: 400 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 3 hours
- Best season: Year round
- USGS topo map: Newbury Park
- More information: here; Everytrail report here
- Rating: 4
This enjoyable suburban hike takes in a nice variety of scenery. On clear days, you may get a glimpse of the ocean between the hills; you’ll also see the Santa Susana Mountains, the Santa Monicas and a nice panorama of Thousand Oaks. The Spring Canyon Trail also provides access to the longer Los Robles Trail if you want to extend the trip.
From the end of Hemlock Lane, follow a dirt trail uphill into a grove of oaks. This is the Spring Canyon Trail, which runs parallel to the backs of some houses before bending southeast at half a mile. You head downhill, leaving behind the noise of suburbia, and into the canyon. After 0.9 miles, stay straight as the Los Robles Trail branches off to the right (eventually heading up toward Angel Vista, also described on this site.) Shortly afterward, look for the Oak Creek Trail on the left.
This short loop is popular with mountain bikers, so be careful as you make your way through it. You can hike it in either direction. Assuming you head right, you’ll go down into a shady canyon and soon come out at Greenmeadow St. Turn left and walk 0.1 miles to a parking area where the second half of the loop trail starts. (This stretch of road has no sidewalk, and it can be hard to see the cars coming and going, so although traffic is usually light, be cautious.)
At the parking area, where there are picnic tables and restrooms, you begin walking on the second half of the Oak Creek Loop Trail, which is designed to be accessible for wheelchair riders and for the blind, with several Braille plaques describing some of the scenery. After 0.4 miles, you complete the loop. Head right and turn right again when you get back to the Los Robles Trail, and retrace your steps.
Although it doesn’t offer scenery as dramatic as other trials in the area such as Los Robles or those at Lang Ranch, this short trip is well worth a visit if you’re in the area; it makes a nice before or after work trip, and
Text and photography copyright 2012 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.