Difficulty PG13 Distance 5.1 to 10 miles General information: Cellular Service General information: Dogs allowed General information: Hikes with free parking Rating: 7-8 Season: Fall/Early Winter Season: Late Winter/Spring Thousand Oaks/Simi Valley

Angel Vista from Potrero Road


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Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands from Angel Vista
Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands from Angel Vista
Through the meadows and hills on the Los Robles Trail
Through the meadows and hills on the Los Robles Trail

Angel Vista from Potrero Road

        • Location: Potrero Road and Wendy Drive, Thousand Oaks, north of Rancho Satwiwa and Point Mugu State Park.  From Highway 101, take the Wendy Drive exit and head south for 2.9 miles to its end, at Potrero Road.  Park in the lot.
        • Agency: Conejo Open Space Foundation
        • Distance: 6.4 miles
        • Elevation gain: 1,100 feet
        • Difficulty Rating: PG-13 (distance, elevation gain)
        • Suggested time: 3 hours
        • Best season:  October – May
        • USGS topo map: Thousand Oaks
        • Recommended gear: hiking poles; sun hat
        • More information: Trail map here; Everytrail report here; trip report (whole Los Robles Trail) here
        • Rating: 7

You already know how to get to Angel Vista from the east end of the Los Robles Trail and via the Rosewood Trail, so why not try a different route to this panoramic spot? With great views of the ocean, Boney Mountain, Thousand Oaks and the Satwiwa meadow, this approach is arguably the most scenic, especially if visibility is good.  While it never really escapes the noise of the nearby freeways, it’s still one of the better hikes in the area.

Trailhead at Rancho Satwiwa, on Potrero Road (click thumbnails to see the full-sized versions)
Trailhead at Rancho Satwiwa, on Potrero Road (click thumbnails to see the full-sized versions)

From the parking lot on Potrero Road at the end of Wendy Drive, head south into Rancho Satwiwa Park. Almost immediately, you come to a four way junction. Head left on the Los Robles Connector Trail. You follow the single-track for a pleasant half mile, with the road on one side and an oak-lined canyon on the other.

0:01 - Turn left on the Los Robles Connector Trail (times are approximate)
0:01 – Turn left on the Los Robles Connector Trail (times are approximate)

You reach Potrero Road (no crosswalk, but traffic is likely to be light) and access the Los Robles Trail on the north side of the street. There’s a parking area here which, if open, can be an alternate starting point. (The sign indicated that the gate was open from 9 am to 4 pm, but when I arrived at 10:30, it was still closed.)

0:14 - Crossing Potrero Road (be careful!)
0:14 – Look both ways (Potrero Road)

The trail makes a quick ascent, crossing a service road and reaching the top of a ridge. You then head downhill, taking in nice views of Thousand Oaks. The trail clings to the north side of the ridge, passing by some houses. At 1.8 miles from the start, make a sharp right turn as another trail joins in from Felton St. You make a few tight switchbacks (watch out for mountain bikers), and then the trail briefly levels out–giving you a chance to catch your breath before making the steepest ascent of the route.

0:19 - Service road
0:19 – Service road

You face two short but intense climbs, the second of which skirts the side of some private land. After ascending more than 200 feet in a quarter mile, you begin a descent into a meadow, where you get nice views of the Santa Monica Mountains. A series of switchbacks brings you to a junction where the Los Robles trail continues east. Head left, and make another quick left at the next split, where you follow a spur a short distance to Angel Vista.

0:44 - Trail junction (sharp right)
0:44 – Trail junction (sharp right)

Here, you can sit on a picnic bench and reward yourself with a view that includes Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands, the Santa Monica and Santa Susana Mountains, and possibly even the distant San Gabriels.

0:51 - Feel the burn!
0:51 – Feel the burn!

Return via the same route, or if you’ve arranged a shuttle, you can take either the Rosewood Trail or continue east on the Los Robles Trail to Moorpark Road.

1:01 - Looking east from the top of the steep ascent
1:01 – Looking east from the top of the steep ascent

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

1:30 – View of the San Gabriels from Angel Vista

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.


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