Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons in Agoura Hills

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Cheeseboro and Palo Comado Canyons include 4,000 acres in the northernmost section of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, in the Simi Hills. Stroll to Sulphur Springs or hike to the top of Simi Peak for panoramic views of Oak Park, Agoura Hills and Simi Valley. The Chumash lived in these canyons for thousands of years. Many trails within the canyons may have originated with the Chumash and then were expanded by the ranchers who followed.

Cheeseboro Canyon has some of the best cycling and running trails in the area. The lower trailhead is accessed from Cheseboro Road and there is plenty of parking. (On a side note, no one has been able to explain to me why Cheseboro Road is spelled differently than Cheeseboro Canyon.)

Cheeseboro Canyon Trail (CCT) is a 4.6 mile, fairly easygoing main artery into the park, whereas the 4.4 mile Palo Comado Canyon Trail, which largely parallels the CCT, is much more challenging. The Cheeseboro Ridge Trail also parallels the CCT and seems to be favored by cyclists with its long, rolling hills, though distance runners also will enjoy this trail.  Take CCT up through Sulphur Springs and you'll be running through a small (usually) stream bed and a brief rotten egg smell. Then soon the trail becomes more desert-like as you make your way up to the Sheep Corral Trail and the Shepherds' Flat area. It is really beautiful up there though it can get pretty hot, so carry some water!

While there are plenty of steep hills in this area, this is also a great place for strollers, as many of the trails are quite wide and flat.

The only bathroom that I'm aware of in these trails is at the Cheseboro Road trailhead and is not particularly pleasurable to use...just a heads up.

Visit www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm to learn more and to access a nice pdf trail map. The trailhead is located at 5792 Cheseboro Road. Contact the visitor center at 805.370.2301. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash at all times.

Excerpt of Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyon Map (Courtesy National Park Service)

Excerpt of Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyon Map (Courtesy National Park Service)

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The Morrison Ranch House in   Cheeseboro Canyon   was   destroyed in the Woolsey Fire of November 2018  . Rancher John Morrison and his family occupied this house in 1904 and lived and worked in the home for nearly 60 years. This original ranch house, modified over the years, dated back to the late 1800s.

The Morrison Ranch House in Cheeseboro Canyon was destroyed in the Woolsey Fire of November 2018. Rancher John Morrison and his family occupied this house in 1904 and lived and worked in the home for nearly 60 years. This original ranch house, modified over the years, dated back to the late 1800s.

The sign survived the Woolsey Fire but the house did not, except for a lone bathtub (hidden by the sign).

The sign survived the Woolsey Fire but the house did not, except for a lone bathtub (hidden by the sign).

Malibu Creek State Park

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Malibu Creek State Park is accessible in Calabasas, at 1925 Las Virgenes Road, south of Mulholland. The park contains over 8,000 acres of rugged, beautiful hills, trails and scenery. It stretches from Agoura Hills down to Malibu, down to Malibu Lagoon State Beach, covering much of the 25 mile Malibu Creek that flows from Boney Mountain down to the Lagoon. Malibu Creek is the only stream channel that crosses through the Santa Monica Mountain range.

There are three natural preserves in the park, Liberty Canyon, Udell Gorge and Kaslow, which protect Valley Oaks, rare plants and volcanic formations.

Things to do in Malibu Creek State Park include hiking, running, biking, camping, picnicking, fishing and checking out the wildlife. There are over 35 miles of trails and fire roads throughout the park. A fun added bonus is the old M*A*S*H series set, filmed from 1972 to 1983, that resides there.

Dogs are not allowed in Malibu Creek State Park trails.

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Malibu Creek State Park contains roughly three dozen different trails, many easy, and some...extraordinarily challenging, such as the Bulldog trail, taking you to 2,500 foot peaks with panoramic views out to the ocean and surrounding peaks and valleys.

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Parking for the day at Malibu Creek State Park is currently $12, or $3 per hour. You can also park at the corner of Mulholland and Las Virgenes and make your way into the park via the Grassland Trail.

The campground at Malibu Creek State Park has 62 campsites and 4 RV sites. Visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=614 for more information. It has been closed since June 2018 as a result of a fatal shooting. It was still closed as of 4/18/19 but the ranger I spoke to was hopeful that officials would re-open it next month.

The old M*A*S*H site is about 2 1/2 miles from the parking area.

The old M*A*S*H site is about 2 1/2 miles from the parking area.

M*A*S*H site with plenty of picnic tables

M*A*S*H site with plenty of picnic tables

The Visitor Center is only a 10 minute walk from the parking lot and is generally open from noon to 4pm on weekends.

The Visitor Center is only a 10 minute walk from the parking lot and is generally open from noon to 4pm on weekends.

There's also an interesting visitor center about 1/2 mile from the main entrance to the park. It is open on Saturday/Sunday from noon to 4pm, subject to availability of docents. Worth a stop as there are some neat things to see in there, including wildlife and rocks/artifacts and other useful information. You can also purchase drinks in there as well as a small assortment of other items.

Hike to the Rock Pool at Malibu Creek State Park!

Century Lake Hike at Malibu Creek State Park

Over 150 Movie Theater Screens Around Ventura County

Here's a handy list of 19 movie theaters with over 150 screens throughout Ventura County and adjacent areas. Click the links for theater websites and/or showtimes.

Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills

Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas at the Promenade at Westlake (100 Promenade Way, Westlake Village)  (8 screens). Order food and drink from your seat and enjoy. cinepolisusa.com/locations/cinepolis-luxury-cinemas-westlake-village

AMC Dine-In Thousand Oaks 14, 166 West Hillcrest Drive at The Oaks Mall. Tickets at www.amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/los-angeles/amc-dine-in-thousand-oaks-14. $5 Tuesdays all day for AMC Stubs members.

Regal Janss Marketplace 9 is located at Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks, 255 North Moorpark Road. Previously it was a Regency Theater (closed 12/31/15) and prior to that it was a Mann Theater. www.regmovies.com/theaters/regal-janss-marketplace-9/C00300689804

Former Muvico (now AMC Dine-In) Thousand Oaks.

Former Muvico (now AMC Dine-In) Thousand Oaks.

Century Riverpark 16 at The Collection at Riverpark

Century Riverpark 16 at The Collection at Riverpark

Edwards Camarillo Palace 12 and IMAX, 680 Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo (805.383.8879) (Located adjacent to The Promenade section of Camarillo Premium Outlets. www.regmovies.com/theaters/edwards-camarillo-palace-stadium-12-imax/C00287009669

Plaza Stadium Cinemas 14, 255 West Fifth Street, Oxnard (805.487.8380). www.santarosacinemas.com/plaza-14

Regency Buenaventura 6, 1440 Eastman Avenue, Ventura (805.658.6544). regencymovies.com/main.php?theaterId=14 Dollar Tuesdays!!

Regency Paseo Camarillo Cinemas (3 theaters), 390 North Lantana Street, Camarillo (805.383.2267). regencymovies.com/main.php?theaterId=3

Roxy Stadium 11, 5001 Verdugo Way, Camarillo (805.388.0532). www.santarosacinemas.com/roxy-11

Simi Valley/Moorpark

Regal Civic Center Plaza 16 & IMAX, 2751 Tapo Canyon Road, Simi Valley (805.526.0232). www.regmovies.com/theaters/regal-simi-valley-civic-center-stadium-16-imax/C00745385306

Simi Valley 10 Tristone Cinemas, 1457 E. Los Angeles Avenue (805.526.4329) simivalley.tristonecinemas.com

Studio Movie Grill at the Simi Valley Town Center opened on October 22, 2015, with 9 screens and over 950 seats. www.studiomoviegrill.com/quicktickets/california/simi-valley/2019/1/11

Other Local Theaters

Edwards Grand Palace Stadium 6, 4767 Commons Way, Calabasas (818.223.0223). www.regmovies.com/theaters/edwards-calabasas-stadium-6/C00791471576

Regency Santa Paula 7, 550 West Main Street, Santa Paula (805.933.6707). regencymovies.com/main.php?theaterId=19 Seats just $5 on Sundays!

Ojai Playhouse at 145 East Ojai Avenue (805.646.1011) (1 screen) - CLOSED FOR REPAIRS

CLOSED

Regal Malibu Twin at 3822 Cross Creek Road, Malibu (310.456.6990) (closed in September 2017)

Paramount Ranch Recreation Area in Agoura

NOTE: PARAMOUNT RANCH SUSTAINED DEVASTATING DAMAGE IN THE WOOLSEY FIRE OF NOVEMBER 2018. It was was re-opened to the public on December 3, 2018.

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Paramount Ranch Western Town Aerial View (Courtesy NPS)

Paramount Ranch Western Town Aerial View (Courtesy NPS)

Paramount Ranch is located in Agoura off of Cornell Road, between Kanan Road and Mulholland.  Click here for a map in a pdf file on the National Park Service website.

Paramount Pictures originally purchased 2,700 acres here for use as a "movie ranch" in 1927 and since then, hundreds of movies and TV shows have been filmed there.  A permanent western town was built there in the early 1950s using old Paramount Pictures props.  You can walk freely around the buildings (but you can't walk inside them).  This is a site to behold for any fans of old movies.

Before the Woolsey Fire of November 2018.

Before the Woolsey Fire of November 2018.

The Western Town sign and bridge is still there but most everything surrounding it is burnt after the Woolsey Fire of November 2018.

The Western Town sign and bridge is still there but most everything surrounding it is burnt after the Woolsey Fire of November 2018.

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Western Town at Paramount Ranch destroyed in the Woolsey Fire.

Western Town at Paramount Ranch destroyed in the Woolsey Fire.

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A beacon of hope. Two structures were unharmed in the Woolsey Fire - this church building seen in the TV series “Westworld” and the train station.

A beacon of hope. Two structures were unharmed in the Woolsey Fire - this church building seen in the TV series “Westworld” and the train station.

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A list of movies filmed at Paramount Ranch is here.  These include films like The Last Outlaw (Gary Cooper), The Virginian (Gary Cooper), Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn (Jackie Coogan), Million Dollar Legs (W.C. Fields), Adventures of Marco Polo, Remember  the Night (Barbara Stanwyck) and many more.  From 1992 to 1997, the TV show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (featuring Jane Seymour) was filmed there.

In addition to the western town, there are restrooms, picnic areas and plenty of hiking trails at the park.  Please be very careful around the set as these are one of a kind and very old.  More information at www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/paramountranch.htm or call the NPS at 805.370.2301.

Peter Strauss Ranch in Agoura Hills

NOTE: PETER STRAUSS RANCH SUSTAINED MAJOR DAMAGE IN THE WOOLSEY FIRE OF NOVEMBER 2018 AND WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. CHECK THEIR WEBSITE FOR UPDATES. WE WILL ALSO STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES.

Peter Strauss Ranch sign on Kanan Road southbound before Troutdale.

Peter Strauss Ranch sign on Kanan Road southbound before Troutdale.

The 64 acre Peter Strauss Ranch is located at the juncture of Troutdale Drive and Mulholland Highway in Agoura Hills. The property is managed by the National Park Service (NPS) and is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. It features a ranch house, .6 mile hiking trail, restrooms and an amphitheater area.

Parking lot access off of Mulholland Highway on northeast side of ranch.

Parking lot access off of Mulholland Highway on northeast side of ranch.

The Ranch has quite a history. According to the NPS, auto manufacturer Harry Miller bought the ranch at the turn of the 20th century as his weekend retreat. He built many of the structures on the site in the 1920s, including the stone ranch house, lookout tower and aviary.  He lost the ranch in the Depression.

Warren Shobert and Arthur Edeson purchased the ranch in the 1930s and created “Shoson”—a fairyland of charm and a paradise for children and adults. Later, a dam was constructed on Triunfo Creek, creating a small lake. The resort was renamed “Lake Enchanto.” Competition from other, larger amusement parks and resorts led to the decline of “Lake Enchanto.” It fell into disrepair and closed around 1960.

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Actor Peter Strauss purchased the property in 1976, restored the site, lived there until 1983, and later sold it to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.  The NPS purchased the ranch in 1987 and the site will be preserved as part of our local natural and cultural history.

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Here is the ruins of the 640,000 gallon Lake Enchanto pool on the Peter Strauss Ranch site. The pool is said to be the largest of its kind west of the Rockies.

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More on the history of the Peter Strauss Ranch at peterstrauss.net/storyofranch.html.

Visit the NPS Peter Strauss Ranch page at www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/straussranch.htm.

Reagan Ranch at Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park is closed until further notice due to the November 2018 Woolsey Fire. State Parks lost some structures, such as employee residences, the historic Sepulveda Adobe, Red House, White Oak Barn and Reagan Ranch. For the latest information on how the wildfires have impacted state parks, visit www.parks.ca.gov/newsroom

Most folks start their day at Malibu Creek State Park from the main parking lot area off of Las Virgenes Road or perhaps by parking on Mulholland Highway at Las Virgenes and hiking in via the Grassland Trail to Crags Road, the main artery within the park. Another approach into the park is the Reagan Ranch, accessible from a parking area located off of Lake Vista Drive, just south of the juncture of Cornell Road and Mulholland Highway. What's nice about this parking area is that there is no charge for parking.

Ronald Reagan bought this 300+ acre ranch in 1951 and subsequently sold it to 20th Century Fox as a movie ranch in 1966 after he became Governor of California. It was later sold to the State and made part of Malibu Creek State Park.

After parking your car in the lot, walk up the paved road where you will see some older ranch buildings. These are used by California State Parks employees and are not accessible by the general public. But you may feel an aura of Reagan back here.

The "Yearling Trail" leads you towards the heart of Malibu Creek State Park. Less than 2 miles to Century Lake, just over 2 miles to the Visitor Center and 2.7 miles to the M*A*S*H site. Stay on the main trail, which about a mile in starts on an uphill. You'll see a sign that indicates you are on the "Lookout Trail." Continue on this trail and you will soon see why they call it that - look out and you will have great views of the main park and of Century Lake.

There are several other trails you can explore too back here.

Whizin Market Square in Agoura Hills

Located at 28914 Roadside Drive in Agoura Hills, Whizin Market Square is an eclectic mix of shops, eateries, services and entertainment. As of January 2015, restaurants and entertainment at the Square include The Canyon Club, Wood Ranch BBQ, Tifa Chocolate, Plata Taqueria, Carrara Pastrie, Numero Uno and Blue Table. You will find a variety of very unique, non-franchise type stores in here, including antiques, The Flying Owl Paper Boutique, beauty stores and more. Visit the Whizins Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WhizinMarketSquare and website at www.whizinmarketsquare.com for more information.

The Canyon Club - Agoura Hills

Looking for some of the top music acts of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s nearby in an intimate setting with a great dinner?  Visit the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills!

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Tickets vary in price based on the artist and reserved seating requires dinner reservations.  Unreserved seats typically require a two drink minimum.

The dinner menu includes prime rib, salmon, sauteed chicken breast, filet mignon, with a variety of mouth watering starters, salads, sides and desserts.  Dinners range in price from roughly $20 to $40.

Performers have included Kansas, Styx, Cheap Trick, Berlin, Peter Frampton, Blues Traveler, Boys II Men, Hootie and the Blowfish, Pat Benatar, Bonnie Tyler, Don Rickles, Davy Jones of the Monkees, The Smothers Brothers, B-52s, Air Supply, Rick Springfield, John Hiatt, Frankie Valle, Leon Russell, Jonny Lang, Foreigner and more.

You will also find some well-known comedians visiting The Canyon Club from time to time, Paul Reiser, Adam Carolla, Dana Carvey and Craig Shoemaker.

Visit www.canyonclub.net or call 818.879.5016 for schedules, ticket sales, menu and other information. Located at 28912 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills.

DISCOUNTED TICKETS FOR UPCOMING CANYON CLUB SHOWS AT GOLDSTAR.COM.

One of the most recognizable features of the Canyon Club...the blue star thingys hanging from the ceiling:

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Agoura Hills Recreation and Event Center

The Agoura Hills Recreation and Event Center is a 21,000 sq. ft. multi-purpose facility located at 29900 Ladyface Court. It opened its doors in January 2015.

The center includes a rentable 3,500 sq ft event center, kitchen, beautiful patio area with outstanding views and more.

The Center hosts a wide variety of activities throughout the year and can be rented for private functions like weddings and meetings. The facility has dedicated space for senior programs as well as a teen center, "The Garage."

Lastly, there is quite a neat little interpretative play area next to the facility with a Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area theme, including a Rattlesnake Seating Wall, Mountain Lion Climber, Bobcat Climber and Hawk Track Ride.

Reyes Adobe Historical Site - Agoura Hills

Reyes Adobe Historical Site in Agoura
Reyes Adobe Historical Site in Agoura

The Reyes Adobe Historical Site at 5464 Reyes Adobe Road, Agoura represents the first home built in Agoura Hills back in 1850.  The City of Agoura Hills purchased the site from Los Angeles County in 1983 and maintains the adobe structure as a museum and cultural center.  The home was built by Jose Paulino Reyes, son of Jose Jacinto Reyes, the second son of Juan Francisco Reyes, a Mexican soldier on the Portola expedition that was granted local land in 1837.

Check out the house, courtyard, barn and various artifacts preserved at the site by taking a tour.  And don't miss the annual Reyes Adobe Days celebration that takes place every fall (usually early October) at the site.

Adjacent to the site is Reyes Adobe Park.

Docent led tours on Tuesdays from 10am to 2pm and 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 1-4pm. Suggested donation is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors, $1 for ages 5-12 and free for 4 and under. More information at www.ci.agoura-hills.ca.us/visitors/reyes-adobe-historical-site or call 818.597.7361.