Hikes in Ventura County

Below is a collection of trails in Ventura County, California. These hikes are listed from west to east, but the table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, maps, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these hikes. You can also view hikes around Ventura County on the Hike Finder Map.

Highlights of Ventura County

  • This level 1.5-mile loop in Emma Wood State Beach in Ventura borders the Pacific Ocean, the Ventura River, and an estuary flocked by seabirds.
  • This 19-mile hike follows beautiful Sespe Creek to a relaxing hot springs in the Sespe Wilderness of Los Padres National Forest.
  • This 0.8-mile hike leads to the lower tier of a lovely two-tier 300-foot waterfall in Los Padres National Forest.
  • This 0.7-mile loop explores the creek and forest on a nature trail around a 70-site campground in Los Padres National Forest.
  • This 4.75-mile hike climbs to a summit in Rocky Peak Park in the Santa Susana Mountains on the border of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties with views over Chatsworth and Simi Valley.
  • This 2.1-mile loop is action-packed, crossing through an impressive cave to climb to a rocky peak with views over the San Fernando Valley.
  • This 40-foot waterfall in Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks can be reached via several trails for hikes of 2.5 miles or more.
  • This overlook on the north side of the Santa Monica Mountains has views across the Conejo Valley and can be reached via 4-mile and 7.6-mile hikes.
  • This 1.5-mile hike visits a short seasonal waterfall in a coastal canyon in Point Mugu State Park on the west end of the Santa Monica Mountains.
  • This 11.5-mile loop offers incredible ocean views, exploring Point Mugu State Park on the west end of the Santa Monica Mountains.
  • This 6.25-mile loop summits the tallest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains with sweeping 360-degree views.
  • This 3.5-mile hike visits a creek flowing through a talus cave in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
  • This 2.7 to 3.5-mile loop takes in tremendous ocean views above Big Sycamore Canyon in Point Mugu State Park.

Hiking Ventura

Ventura County is at the south end of the Central Coast of California. The area has several great hikes that make nice day trips from Los Angeles. The west end of the Santa Monica Mountains extends into Ventura County, providing plenty of trails around Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks.

Inland from the coast is the city of Ojai, which lies on the southern edge of Los Padres National Forest. There is excellent hiking in the green mountains around the city. Route 33, Mariposa Highway, heads north of Ojai, offering a scenic drive into the mountains with numerous hairpin turns. Along the way, there are several places to hike and camp. The largest campground in the area is Wheeler Gorge with seventy sites and a pleasant one-mile loop trail. The tallest waterfall in the Los Padres, the two-tier 300-foot Rose Valley Falls, is located three miles off Route 33 and is easy to get to from the campground. East of the waterfall is Sespe Wilderness, where backpackers can trek to more remote locations, including Willett Hot Springs.

An adventure pass is required to enter Los Padres National Forest. Day passes cost $5 and an annual pass is $30. The passes may be purchased within the park, at various local retailers, and online. The passes are valid at other national forests in California as well, like Angeles National Forest.

Trail
Description
Distance
Location
Sespe Creek800Sespe Creek to Willett Hot Springs
This out and back hike follows Sespe Creek to a relaxing hot springs.
19 miles
500 feet
34.560349,
-119.16497
Rose Valley Falls810Rose Valley Falls
This out and back hike leads to the lower tier of a lovely two-tier 300-foot waterfall.
0.8 miles
150 feet
34.528041,
-119.180816
Wheeler Gorge Trail820Wheeler Gorge
This loop explores the creek and forest on a nature trail around a 70-site campground in Los Padres National Forest.
0.7 miles
100 feet
34.518444,
-119.271208
Emma Wood State Beach830Ocean's Edge and River's Edge Trails Loop
This level loop in Emma Wood State Beach borders the Pacific Ocean, the Ventura River, and an estuary flocked by seabirds.
1.5 miles
25 feet
34.28057,
-119.315346
La Jolla Canyon840La Jolla Canyon Loop
This hike explores Point Mugu State Park on the west end of the Santa Monica Mountains, offering incredible ocean views.
11.75 miles
1,250 feet
34.086097,
-119.03688
Mugu Peak850Mugu Peak
This out and back hike from La Jolla Canyon to the 1,266-foot summit features superb ocean and canyon views.
6.5 miles
1,250 feet
34.092697,
-119.055712
La Jolla Canyon Falls860La Jolla Canyon Falls
This out and back hike visits a short seasonal waterfall in Point Mugu State Park.
1.5 miles
250 feet
34.093047,
-119.043134
Overlook Trail870Scenic and Overlook Trails Loop
This loop takes in tremendous ocean views above Big Sycamore Canyon in Point Mugu State Park.
2.7 - 3.5 miles
450 to 550 feet
34.071305,
-119.012668
The Grotto Malibu880Grotto
This out and back hike visits a remote grotto in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
3.5 miles
500 feet
34.109292,
-118.937438
Sandstone Peak890Sandstone Peak
This loop summits the tallest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains.
6.25 miles
1,075 feet
34.111576, -118.926766
Tri Peaks900Tri Peaks
This 1-mile addition to the Sandstone Peak loop adds extra views to the hike.
7.45 miles
1,075 feet
34.111576, -118.926766
Angel Vista Thousand Oaks910Angel Vista via Rosewood Trail
This out and back hike is the most direct route to a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the Conejo Valley.
4 miles
800 feet
34.176802,
-118.912804
Angel Vista920Angel Vista via West Los Robles Trail
This out and back hike reaches an overlook on the north side of the Santa Monica Mountains with views over Thousand Oaks.
7.6 miles
800 feet
34.171903,
-118.881004
Tarantula Hill Thousand Oaks hike925Tarantula Hill
This out and back hike follows a paved trail to the top of a small, round hill in Thousand Oaks with views across the Conejo Valley into the surrounding mountains.
1 mile
275 feet
34.195528,
-118.885343
Paradise Falls930Paradise Falls
This loop visits a 40-foot waterfall in Wildwood Park, an open space in Thousand Oaks.
2.5 miles
260 feet
34.220053,
-118.902723
Lizard Rock940Lizard Rock
To add extra mileage and views to a visit to Paradise Falls in Thousand Oaks, consider placing Lizard Rock on your itinerary.
3.7 miles
530 feet
34.220053,
-118.902723
Rocky Peak950Rocky Peak
This hike climbs to a 2,715-foot summit in Rocky Peak Park in the Santa Susana Mountains between Chatsworth and Simi Valley.
4.75 miles
1,100 feet
34.268362,
-118.636155
Cave of Munits and Castle Peak960Cave of Munits and Castle Peak
This action-packed two-attraction loop crosses through an impressive cave to climb to a rocky peak with views over the San Fernando Valley.
2.1 miles
750 feet
34.195322,
-118.658543
View Central Coast trails and campgrounds in a larger map
Or explore hikes around Ventura County on the Hike Finder Map
hikespeak
Old Prospector Trail Pond Trail Loop Irish Hills Natural Area San Luis Obispo Prospector Hill Hike
Today the Irish Hills are like a gold mine for hikers, but the small mountain range in San Luis Obispo historically hosted several mines for chromium and mercury. The ruins of one of these mines can be visited on Old Prospector Trail, which opened in 2015 to join the growing group of trails in Irish Hills Natural Reserve. This hikers-only single track starts in Froom... Read more.
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Distance: 4.4 miles – Elevation change: 650 feet
By: hikespeak Last updated: March 18, 2015
Visit Montaña de Oro State Park Hiking Trails San Luis Obispo California
Montaña de Oro State Park has dramatic ocean bluffs and summits with sweeping views. The park covers over 8,000 acres and has 7 miles of undeveloped coastline, making it a rare treasure on the California Coast. There is one road into the park, entering from the north from the town of Los Osos, which is just west of the city of San Luis Obispo. For those staying... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: February 9, 2015
Cuesta Ridge Botanical Area hike West Cuesta Ridge Road San Luis Obispo Los Padres National Forest Cuesta Ridge Trail
Discover a tucked-away oasis of Sargent cypress straddling a ridge in the Santa Lucia Mountains north of San Luis Obispo. The evergreens are accompanied by coastal views that could have you imagining you're somewhere further north in California. The hike to Cuesta Ridge Botanical Special Interest Area is 6 miles round trip up a partially paved road with 950 feet of... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: February 7, 2015
Inspiration Point Tunnel Road Hike Tunnel Trail Jesusita Trail Inspiration Viewpoint Santa Barbara California Santa Ynez Mountains Mission Canyon
Located in the Santa Ynez Mountains, 1,800-feet above the Santa Barbara Coast, Inspiration Point attracts hikers with panoramic views over city and sea. Two routes lead to this picturesque perch. If you want to make a day of it, you can approach the viewpoint from the west on a moderate 7.55-mile round trip trek up Jesusita Trail to Inspiration Point from San Roque Road. ... Read more.
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Distance: 3.75 miles – Elevation change: 825 feet
By: hikespeak Last updated: January 28, 2015
Coon Creek Trail Montaña de Oro State Park hike Coon Creek Canyon Montana de Oro San Luis Obispo California
Coon Creek Trail explores a coastal canyon at the south end of Montaña de Oro State Park. The trail heads inland for 2.5 miles to a pleasant grove of Monterey cypress at the site of an old homestead that has since disappeared. Take a break in the shade of the cypress trees before turning around for a 5-mile round trip hike with 250 feet of elevation gain. Junctions... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: February 23, 2015