Los Robles Moderate Hike – Oak Creek Canyon, Los Robles, Los Padres Loop
Moderate five mile round trip with an elevation gain/loss of about 900 ft. Along this big loop, you’ll travel through a couple of very nice oak groves, and you will get some great views of the Conejo Valley, the Los Robles Trail system, and the surrounding area. There are two very short sections along streets/sidewalks to complete the loop.
How to get there: From the 101 freeway, drive to the south end of Moorpark Rd, turn right on Greenmeadow Ave., and go a half mile to the parking lot.
Map of This Hike
Detailed Hike Description & Photos:
|At the trailhead (adjacent to the parking area), you will find a toilet, a drinking fountain, and an informational kiosk.|
|This well cleared, level section of trail is through a beautiful oak grove, and is suitable for wheelchairs and strollers, as well as hikers of all ages.|
|There are informational signs in both English and Braille.|
|Also, there is a guide cable, and a rail fence separating the pedestrian path from the bicycles and horses.|
|A couple of picnic tables in the shade of the oak trees provide welcome sites to sit and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.|
|Continuing up the trail, we leave the “whole access trail”. Although the trail ahead is still well maintained, it is not suitable for wheelchairs or strollers. Where the trail splits, take the right-fork and follow the signs to Los Robles Trail East.|
|About a mile into our hike, the trail begins an ascent on a set of switch-backs. This lovely section of trail takes us up the hill through a semi-shaded area. (The amount of shade varies, depending on the time of day, and time of year.)|
|Near the top of the hill where the trail splits, we have a choice to make: The path to the right will take us down, and through the meadow. Continuing straight ahead leads up to the “scenic overlook” trail. Tough choice, but either is very nice! (The two trails will merge again after about 1/2 mile.)|
|At the top of the hill, there are wonderful views of the Los Robles Open Space and of the Conejo Valley.|
|This photo of a hiker walking through the meadow, was taken from the overlook trail.|
|The overlook trail re-joins the main trail, and not far ahead . . .|
|. . . is the junction of Los Padres and Los Robles Trails. We will eventually take Los Padres Trail, but first, we’ll continue about a half mile up Los Robles Trail to a picnic table that’s perfect for a snack break.
Option: By turning left onto Los Padres Trail at this point (eliminating the snack break), this hike would be reduced by almost a mile and by 150-200 feet of elevation gain/loss. Click to continue description of shortened hike.
|From this slightly higher elevation, we get more great views of the open space below.|
|Look for the picnic table under a big oak tree on the right. This is a nice spot for a break, and it’s our “turn-around” point.|
|Then, back down to Los Padres Trail and turn right.|
|From this section of Los Padres trail, we see Thousand Oaks below.|
|The scenery is ever-changing.|
|Watch for wildlife – lots of squirrels, rabbits, birds, etc.; and, if you’re quiet and lucky, you may see a deer.|
|Finally, the trail leads through a wonderful oak grove.|
|At the end of the trail, turn left onto Los Padres Drive, then left on Moorpark Road.|
|After walking four or five minutes along the street/sidewalk, Moorpark Road ends at the Los Robles trailhead.|
|Follow the trail west, and watch for a sign pointing to Oak Creek Canyon Loop Trail.|
|The last leg of this hike is on the eastern portion of the Oak Creek Canyon Loop Trail. It has short up and down sections through the chaparral, and is very different from the western portion where we started.|
|There are a few shady sections along the way, but the trail is mostly in the direct sunlight.|
|The trail ends at Greenmeadow Ave. To finish the hike, turn left and walk a short distance up the street to the parking area.|
|This completes the hike. However, if you’re not quite ready to leave this peaceful setting, you can linger at the lawn and picnic tables beneath some great old oaks near the parking area.|