- Location: Via Ricardo, Newbury Park, western Thousand Oaks. From the east, take the 101 Freeway to the Rancho Conejo/Borchard exit (47B). Head west on Borchard for 3.8 miles and turn right onto Via Ricardo. The trail head will be on the right in 0.5 mile. Park where available on the western side of the street. Alternately from Camarillo and points west, take the 101 Freeway to the Wendy Dr. exit. Turn left and follow Wendy Dr. for 0.8 mile. Turn right on Borchard and follow it 2.2 miles to Via Ricardo. Dos Vientos Community Park is an alternate trail head, adding about half a mile total to the hike.
- Agency: Conejo Open Space Foundation
- Distance: 5 miles
- Elevation gain: 1,000 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 3 hours
- Best season: October – May
- Recommended gear: hiking poles sun hat
- Dogs: Allowed
- Cell phone reception: Good, fair in spots
- Water: Available in the restrooms at Dos Vientos Community Park near the trail head
- Restrooms: Dos Vientos Community Park
- Camping: none
- More information: Trip description here; Area trail maps here and here
- Rating: 6
Not to be confused with nearby Conejo Peak, Conejo Mountain (elevation 1,750) straddles the boundary between Thousand Oaks and the Ventura coastal plain. In exchange for a somewhat dull two miles along a dirt road called the Power Line Trail which gets its name for an obvious reason, hikers are treated to a 360-degree panorama including Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands, the TopaTopa Ridge, the Santa Susana Mountains, Boney Mountain and much more. Ideally, do this one on later in the day for the sunset views and to take advantage of the west-facing ridges that provide shade for large portions of the hike (the route is completely exposed.)
From the trail head on Via Ricardo, climb up a ridge where you are greeted with ocean views. You’ll also see your destination to the northeast, almost one thousand feet above. The trail skirts the back of a residential neighborhood and drops to meet a fire road (0.4 mile.) Head steadily uphill on the fire road, climbing about 200 feet in the next half mile, before briefly dropping to a saddle and beginning another ascent. Though the power lines above dominate the scenery, you’ll also get views of the ocean, the Santa Monica Mountains and some interesting volcanic rock formations characteristic of the area.
At 1.7 miles, you reach a Y-junction. The right fork descends while the left continues its climb toward Conejo Peak. Another 0.4 mile and 200 feet of elevation gain brings you to the end of the end of the dirt road at a bench where you can enjoy some great views, despite the power lines.
From here, look for a faint use trail heading northwest up the ridge. It skirts the back side of a few granite outcrops before making a very steep and loose climb to a false summit. From here, Conejo’s true summit can be seen to the southwest. The trail drops briefly from the first bump and follows a ridge (the route is faint in spots, but if you use the summit as your guide, navigation shouldn’t be too tough.) At 2.5 miles, you reach Conejo Peak where you can enjoy an outstanding view of the area while resting your legs for the steep descent.
Text and photography copyright 2016 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.