Hill and Hawk Canyons
This trail is a very pleasant surprise, especially for those who think of the Conejo Valley as being dry and monotonous. While the trail can be hot during the summer, there’s some shade near the end, and the walls of the canyon help block out the heat, also creating some pleasant breezes. As for scenery, expect mountains, geology, meadows, oaks and even a seasonal stream.
From the parking area, follow the road to a bridge. You cross a creek and continue to a T-junction where you head left and into the canyon. On the left, you get nice views of Mt. Clef Ridge, with its volcanic outcrops. The trail follows the west side of the canyon, reaching a four-way junction in just over a mile. The right and left forks are the Western Plateau Trail, a fire road that loops through the area, climbing out of the canyon. For this hike, stay straight and follow the single-track into Hawk Canyon.
The trail bends southwest and passes through a small grove of oaks. At the next split, head left and downhill, into a wooded canyon (watch out for poison oak). You cross the stream and follow its banks for half a mile, before reaching another junction with the Western Plateau Trail. From here, the Western Plateau Trail ascends in both directions: east to Conejo Center Drive (half a mile and 200 vertical feet) and west, deeper into the plateau. Both are options if you want to extend your hike, but for a moderate 4-mile round trip, this is the turnaround point.
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.