Friday, February 11, 2011


Date: Friday February 11, 2011
Miles: 2.25
Elevation Gain: 150 Feet
Time: 45 Minute
Difficulty: Easy, other than a few tricky rocks crossing the shallow creek 
Reward: Satisfaction by identifying the start of the creek which eventually flows into Wildwood. 
Description: An open trail with several creek crossings
Where: Newbury Park, CA
Directions: From the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks, exit on Lynn and drive North to the first traffic light.  Turn left on Hillcrest.  Drive a little bit more than a quarter mile down and look for the small driveway just after you pass a wooden fence with a cement wall behind it.

I wouldn't recommend parking your car here.  There is no place to park on the busy street, but I can get away with this on my bike.

I don't see any problem hiking thru here.  This is an important hike for me because it symbolizes the farthest point to begin hiking along a creek flowing all the way to Wildwood.  I am on a mission to complete the Rancho Conejo Open Space Map and in doing so, I am finding these unknown trails between the neighborhoods.  Unlike the Dead End Trail that I took the other day, this route is completely safe and legit!

Less than a half mile and 50 foot decline down the trail, you'll encounter the first crossing.  The water comes from a drainage system in Thousand Oaks.  I wouldn't suggest drinking it but I did see some ducks bathing.  The creek is about 2 feet deep in it's deepest spot here.  The rocks to cross it were somewhat slick and unsteady, but I had an easier time than the kid on the horse.

This was the first real sign that you are beginning to make your way into a canyon.  You will cross the creek one more time and then approach a second creek.  This one comes from the aqueduct that flows from Newbury Park between Hillcrest and the 101.  Crossing it is no big deal but then you are faced with a decision.  If you turn left, that will lead you back up to Hillcrest near Ventu Rd.  I went this way just to cross it off my list. 

There was a fork in the road if I would have gone straight.  I suspect this would have lead me near the Dead End Trail.  Due to time constraints, I had to save this path for another day.  On my way back shortly after crossing the aqueduct creek, I did venture off up a hill.  The short single track trail leads up to a street in the Lynn Ranch neighborhood.  When I come back another day to connect the dots, I will drop down from that trail.

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