Arroyo Conejo Trail

Hiking in the Thousand Oaks area again this week.  This trail wound up coming just a few yards from Lynnmere Trail which I hiked a few weeks ago.  The con with hiking Thousand Oaks and the other towns in that vicinity is the inescapable development – houses, shopping malls and business parks, huge power lines, etc.  On the plus side, Thousand Oaks always seems to have the most beautiful morning light and some great views of the local mountains.

1     2   I parked in Rancho Conejo Playfield parking lot, which is less than a half mile from the 101 freeway.  The trailhead is in the corner of the parking lot.

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5   I spotted Mount Clef and Wildwood park in the distance.  Photo 2 – Close-up on the ridgeline of Mount Clef  Photo 3 – Close-up of the hill on which Lizard Rock rests

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Beautiful clouds on the day

7     9     8   The trail is pretty easy to follow.  What starts out as a single track soon becomes a fire road.  Photo 3 – Gazebo perched on the edge of a cliff

10   There is a little waterfall to the left of the trail.

11     12     13   I knew this was a creekside hike but figured, because of the time of year, that the creek would be dry or just trickling.  Boy was I wrong.  The water was flowing freely.  There are several creek crossings. The first few have little footbridges to help make your way.  Photo 3 – The fence line shown here was my turnaround point for my Lynnmere Trail hike, right next to a big water treatment plant.  That day I looked down at the road I was now on and wondered where it lead.  Today I would find out.

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19   There was some rock hopping to be done at the later creek crossings.  The rocks sometimes were pointy and unstable or slightly underwater and not always ideal for stepping on.  On the last crossing a sturdy looking rock shifted under my foot, and my other foot went deep in the water, filling my boot.  I passed the water treatment plant which had a strong smell, kind of like a dirty dumpster or trashcan.  Photo 4 – A wetlands area has been created using water from the plant.  It’s beautiful and shady and the birds love it.  There was a big crane that kept flying overhead and making a bunch of noise.  Photo 5 – Interesting tracks by the shore of the creek.

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Lovely wetlands

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22   After passing through the wetlands the trail rises out of the canyon on a steep trail.

23     24   There is a concrete structure that water runs through something called an Energy Dissipator.  I wonder who came up with that name.  Photo 2 – Attached to the Energy Dissipator, a reflective sign all shot to hell.

25   Nearing the top of the climb, a look over into Wildwood Park.

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Close-up on the awesome ridgeline of Mount Clef

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I reached the top of the hill.  To the left was a business park and a road.  I continued straight ahead on the dirt road.

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It looked simple enough – just go down the hill and meet up with the road ahead.  But the road ended and the trail got really sketchy and steep.  I couldn’t see over the edge of the trail to assess exactly how steep it is.  My original goal was to go another mile to a park that has a large bridge but I turned around here instead.

30     31   Now back down by the water treatment plant.  There was a lot of activity going on – trucks running on the dirt road and landscapers using weed whackers and woodchippers.  I made my way past all that and back up the hill.  I’m thankful for another great day of hiking.

 

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