Oakbrook Vista Trail to Scenic Overlook (Thousand Oaks)
- Location: Thousand Oaks. From Highway 101, take the Westlake Blvd. exit and turn right. Head north for 4.1 miles to Lang Ranch Parkway. Turn right and look for the Oakbrook Vista Trail sign on the right, at 0.2 miles. (If you reach Oakbrook Regional Park and the Chumash Museum, you’ve come too far.) From the 23 Freeway, take the Avenida de los Arboles exit and turn left. Go 1.6 miles and turn right on Westlake Blvd. Go 0.2 miles and turn left on Lang Ranch Parkway.
- Agency: Conejo Open Space Foundation
- Distance: 3.6 miles
- Elevation gain: 1,000 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Best season: October – May
- USGS topo map: Thousand Oaks
- Recommended gear: hiking poles; sun hat
- More information: here; Everytrail report here; area trail map here
- Rating: 7
This hike offers good views of the Thousand Oaks area, the ocean, the western Santa Monica Mountains and close-up looks at some interesting geology. Most of the trail is exposed, so plan accordingly; try to get off to an early start, especially in the warmer months.
From Lang Ranch Parkway, follow the trail into a grove of oaks (this is pretty much the only shade on the route.) You make a few switchbacks, quickly climbing up the slope. At a quarter mile, a bench makes a nice rest spot to sit and enjoy the view.
Continuing, you stay left at an intersection and follow the trail along the side of the ridge, with nice aerial views of Lang Ranch. At 0.9 miles, bear left onto a fire road. Soon you have another split, where you bear left on a single-track trail that closely hugs the side of the hill, with more nice views below. (The steep fire break heading right is an option if you want to challenge yourself; it meets again with the Oakbrook Trail.)
The Oakbrook Trail heads slightly downhill to a four-way intersection. Head left and make a short but steep ascent. The trail levels out briefly before making another steep climb, rough in some places, soon arriving at a giant sandstone outcrop.
If you are comfortable scrambling over rocks, it’s possible to climb to the top of the rocks, but a good alternative is to continue a little farther along the main trail to a knoll where you can sit on a rock and enjoy the panorama. Rugged Simi Peak stands to the east; it can be reached via the so-called “Secret Passage” trail; but for the casual hiker, this is a good turnaround point.
Text and photography copyright 2013 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.