Los Robles Trail in Thousand Oaks crosses a chaparral-covered mountainside leading to Angel Vista, one of the premier overlooks on the north side of the Santa Monica Mountains. There are a few routes to the viewpoint, including this 7.6-mile round trip hike up the east end of West Los Robles Trail. The hike charts a steady course along a mountain slope, gaining 800 feet to reach the vista above the Conejo Valley. For a shorter climb, check out the 4-mile round trip hike to Angel Vista via Rosewood Trail.
The ascent is quite gradual and the start of the hike is easy, beginning with a fairly level half mile. There are a few junctions to be concerned with during the opening act, but once West Los Robles Trail begins to climb, the route is very straightforward.
West Los Robles Trail starts from the end of Moorpark Avenue, just half a mile from the 101 Freeway. Pass through the Moorpark Gate and get warmed up hiking over level terrain, entering Hope Nature Preserve, a 359-acre park donated by Bob Hope. After a tenth of a mile, stay to the right past a trail that heads up into the mountains. At the following junction, stay to the left past a marked junction with Oak Creek Canyon Loop Trail, a short extension. Next the trail will split, with East Los Robles Trail heading off to the left. Stay to the right on West Los Robles Trail. Finally turn left at a junction with Spring Canyon Trail, about half a mile from the start, to remain on West Los Robles Trail as it leaves the flatland and begins to climb.
The popular mountain biking trail eases higher and higher, delivering mounting views back over the start of the trail. At around 1.7 miles from the start, the switchbacks lead to broad view over the Conejo Valley. The 101 Freeway runs below complimented by a panorama of hills around Thousand Oaks.
Juan Bautiste de Anza, after whom Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is named, led a group of settlers from Mexico to San Francisco, passing through the Conejo Valley in 1776. Amazingly, much of the 101 Freeway still follows his original route, including the lanes of traffic seen below. Los Robles Trail parallels and overlooks Anza’s route, and was designated as the official recreational route of the historic trail by the National Park Service.
After 2.15 miles of hiking, Los Robles Trail passes a landing on the mountainside and actually turns temporarily downhill. A short spur to the right delivers a panoramic eastward view. Ahead, you will pass a private property sign, which explains that hikers are permitted to continue as long as they stay on the trail. Los Robles Trail levels out, offering easy to enjoy views over the Conejo Valley. The trail gradually ascends to 1,475 feet before dropping 125 feet over a series of switchbacks down to a dirt road, 3.15 miles from the start. Cross the road, which leads up the mountain to a nearby ranch, and continue toward Angel Vista. The viewpoint is just 2/3 of a mile away!
Angel Vista comes into view after another third of a mile, when you also gain sight of the ranch. Reach a junction with Rosewood Trail and turn right. Hike a short distance to a split and take the path to the left for Angel Vista, reaching it after less than a tenth of a mile. There is a bench and a picnic table at Angel Vista, so relax and enjoy the view.
Angel Vista lies at 1,600 feet and delivers the most sweeping view of the hike, looking west over Thousand Oaks into Ventura County. Conejo Mountain is the most prominent summit in sight, directly to the west. The north side of the Boney Mountains rise to the south, containing Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountain Range.
Return the way you came. This trail is dog and mountain bike-friendly. No fee or permit is required to hike West Los Robles Trail to Angel Vista, so get out and enjoy!
To get to the trailhead: Take the 101 Freeway to Thousand Oaks to exit 44 for Moorpark Road. Drive south for half a mile. Pass Greenmeadow Avenue and pull into the dirt lot on the right. The trail begins from the kiosk at the northwest corner of the turnout.
Trailhead address: Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361
Trailhead coordinates: 34.171903, -118.881004 (34° 10′ 36.48″N 118° 54′ 46.09″W)
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