Tarantula Hill is a one mile round trip with a trail that spirals up a visibly prominent hill in the heart of Thousand Oaks. After two long hikes I wanted to back off this week but not quite this much. I planned to hike a segment of Los Robles Trail and a couple other trails but accidentally locked my keys and most of my gear in the trunk of my car. Long story short, I lost about 5 1/2 hours tracking down a phone and waiting for help to arrive. I decided to do a short hike, about 4 miles on the two segments of Potrero Ridge Trail. I had done some research on this hike and picked up a map at the trailhead which is just up the road from my original trailhead. I soon ran into a dead end and made my way back to my car after only two miles or so. I wanted to complete some trail that day. I saw Tarantula Hill from Potrero Ridge, searched around for it and finally found it. A unique trail and a fitting end to a strange day.
Photo 1 – In addition to the mountain view, notice the water tower on the left. Photo 2 – Hidden in the afternoon haze is the spiraling trail on Tarantula Hill as seen from Potrero Ridge.
Santa Monica Mountains – Point Mugu area panning from left to right.
Photo 1 – The trail started as a fire road. I took a detour to the left and figured I would meet up with the trail somewhere down the line. These antennae, shot with a fisheye effect, are at the top. Photo 2 – The trail switchbacking up the hill in front of me is the one I want, but how do I get down there. Photo 3 – I circled back and returned to the road. I passed the water tank I pointed out earlier. Photo 4 – I came to a junction – one trail went to what I would guess is a of treatment plant, and one follows this hairpin turn back in the direction of where I started. I took the turn but wasn’t seeing it on the map. I turned back.
I headed toward the treatment plant as I thought the trail might pick-up somewhere ahead. There is a trail going around the edge of the fence but it dead ends on the other side. I returned to my car and began my search for Tarantula Hill.
Looking up from the foot of Tarantula Hill.
Mount Clef Ridge comes into view.
Photo 1 – Straight on view from the bench Photo 2 – Pig earring left on the bench
Driving home, I pulled off of Kanan Dume Road at the overlook just before Newton Canyon. I often see people stopped here as I drive past. Here is the view.