Text and photography copyright 2010 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. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
Los Padres and Los Robles Trails
- Location: Thousand Oaks. From highway 101, take the Moorpark Road exit. Head south (left if you’re coming from the east, right if you’re coming from the west) and after about a quarter mile, take a left on Los Padres. The trailhead is almost immediately on your right.
- Agency: Conejo Open Space Foundation (phone: 805-449-2340).
- Distance: 3 miles
- Elevation gain: 700 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 1.5 hours
- Best season: September – June
- USGS topo map: “Thousand Oaks”
- More information: Trail map here (Note: for this route, turn LEFT at the junction with the Los Robles Trail and follow it to the spur leading to the 1450′ vista point.)
- Rating: 4
This three mile hike is one of many possible trips to take in the Conejo Open Space, a network of trails south of Thousand Oaks and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Even on a hot day, the first half mile of this hike–shaded by oaks–can be an enjoyable way to get out into nature without having to drive too far, and with an early or late enough start, you can explore the rest of this route, or any of the other trails in the area.
From the street, head into the woods on the Los Padres Trail. It parallels Los Padres Drive and residential Hillsborough Street, although most of the noise is blocked. After about a half mile of pleasant, shaded hiking under the oaks, the trail switchbacks out of the canyon and climbs a ridge to join the Los Robles Trail, a fire road. Take a right and go for half a mile, with views opening up as you climb, and you arrive at an intersection. To continue this route, head left, and soon look for an obscure single-track on the left that climbs up to an antenna installation. On the right side of the fence, the trail continues, bearing right and heading up to a slightly higher point (elevation 1,450), where you get nice views of Thousand Oaks to the north and the Santa Monica Mountains to the south.