Stagecoach Inn Museum - Newbury Park

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The Stagecoach Inn Museum is a replica of a Monterey style inn, the 1876 Grand Union Hotel. The complex also includes a Chumash Indian village, an early California adobe, a pioneer house and a few other buildings. There is a nice park adjoining the property along with nature trails and a stream that make this a nice place to bring the entire family.

Spanish Adobe structure at Stagecoach Inn is a replica of housing that would be seen in the Conejo Valley in the early 1800s.

Spanish Adobe structure at Stagecoach Inn is a replica of housing that would be seen in the Conejo Valley in the early 1800s.

The Stagecoach Inn Museum is State Historical Landmark No. 659.  The original structure was destroyed by fire in April 1970 but has been rebuilt and relocated.  It was originally located at the corner of what is now Ventu Park Road and the Highway 101, where a historical marker has been placed.

The Stagecoach Inn is located at 51 South Ventu Park Road, Newbury Park.  Call 805.498.9441 or visit www.stagecoachinnmuseum.com for more information. As of May 2019, it is open from 1 pm to 4 pm Wednesday to Sunday. Adults $5, 62+ and ages 13-21 $4, kids 5-12 $2.

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Rancho Potrero Open Space in Newbury Park

The Rancho Potrero Open Space area is located in Newbury Park off of Lynn Road, just east of the intersection with Rancho Dos Vientos. The area includes an equestrian center where Rocking K Horse Rentals is located and is adjacent to the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Map excerpt courtesy of Conejo Open Space Foundation (www.cosf.org)

Map excerpt courtesy of Conejo Open Space Foundation (www.cosf.org)

A new parking lot and restrooms were built in 2015 allowing for easier access to the Rancho Potrero Open Space (although notably the parking lot closes at 4pm, well before sunset). It is accessible just west of Rocking K off of Lynn/Potrero Road.

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There is a trailhead further west of the parking lot, just before Potrero (Lynn) Road takes a sharp right turn.  You can usually find parking off pavement here. A short (1/4 mile) walk up the hill gets you pretty darn nice views looking towards Camarillo and the Channel Islands. Take the adjoining Palomino Trail east towards Rancho Sierra Vista and the Satwiwa Native American Indian Cultural Center.

The entrance is further east off of Potrero/Lynn Road

The entrance is further east off of Potrero/Lynn Road

About a 1/4 mile gets you to the top of a hill that gives you views as far as the Channel Islands.

About a 1/4 mile gets you to the top of a hill that gives you views as far as the Channel Islands.

Can you believe this view!? Anacapa Island seen clearly through from Rancho Potrero.

Can you believe this view!? Anacapa Island seen clearly through from Rancho Potrero.

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The views towards Boney Mountain from this area are quite nice too.

The views towards Boney Mountain from this area are quite nice too.

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Rancho Sierra Vista / Satwiwa in Newbury Park

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We are fortunate to have such great trails and views of Boney Peak from in Newbury Park. At Wendy and Potrero is the Western edge of the Santa Monica Mountains where Sycamore Canyon cuts through Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa and Point Mugu State Park.

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Roughly a mile easy hike from Wendy/Potrero gets you to the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center where you can explore some native Chumash items and educational information and chat with rangers. This is a nice little hike to take the kids on. There are restrooms and water at the center, which is open from 9 to 5 on weekends.

Learn more about hiking in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa at THIS LINK.

You can get easier access to the center by parking in the adjacent National Park Service parking lot via Lynn Road to the access road at Via Goleta in Newbury Park.

Another mile and a half of hiking gets you to a small waterfall, which is fun to check out with the kids but somewhat more strenuous of a hike. Note that in recent years (2012-2015), the waterfall has barely flowed due to low rainfall.

Here is more information about the Boney Mountain Trail, leading up to Hidden Valley Overlook, the waterfall and Danielson Monument.

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Click here for a pdf file describing these and other local trails or go to the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/samo.  Visit www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/rsvsatwiwa.htm for a map and site information on the National Park Service website.

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Trailhead at the corner of Wendy Drive and Potrero Road in Newbury Park. Park on the dirt on the south side of Potrero or on the street on Wendy.

Western Plateau Trail Loop Hike From Newbury Park

If you're looking for a trail a bit off the beaten path, check out the Western Plateau Loop from Conejo Center Drive in Newbury Park.

The trailhead for this hike is adjacent to the City of Thousand Oaks Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 2010 Conejo Center Drive, Newbury Park. You can park in the dirt lot next to the trailhead and head on your way.

The trailhead on Conejo Center Drive.

The trailhead on Conejo Center Drive.

It is mostly downhill over the first half mile or so of this 5 mile round-trip hike until you get to the Hawk Canyon Trail turnoff.

It is mostly downhill over the first half mile or so of this 5 mile round-trip hike until you get to the Hawk Canyon Trail turnoff.

You can either go straight from here and do a clockwise loop via the Western Plateau Trail or you can turn right on Hawk Canyon, which is a direct route to the Conejo Canyons Bridge.

Hawk Canyon Trail is a fairly narrow, mostly single-track trail.

Hawk Canyon Trail is a fairly narrow, mostly single-track trail.

The Hawk Canyon Trail is a fun, narrow trail surrounding by trees and other vegetation, like you're in the middle of nowhere. There's an old car in a crevice as you approach the Conejo Canyons towards Santa Rosa Valley.

Odd to see this old car out in the middle of nowhere. steep embankment makes it somewhat challenging reaching it.

Odd to see this old car out in the middle of nowhere. steep embankment makes it somewhat challenging reaching it.

Bring a snack and sit at a picnic table in the middle of what feels to be nowhere. Then either head back the way you came or find your way to the Western Plateau Trail and loop back counter-clockwise back towards where you parked.

See the Conejo Open Space Foundation's map of this trail at www.cosf.org/website/html/western-plateau-hikes.html.

It can get a bit overgrown in the spring as seen here on the Hawk Canyon Trail but quite beautiful nonetheless!

It can get a bit overgrown in the spring as seen here on the Hawk Canyon Trail but quite beautiful nonetheless!

Rocking K Horse Rentals - Newbury Park

Rocking K Horse Rentals, open 7 days a week, is located at 4790 West Lynn Road in Newbury Park. Horses are available for rent, guided tours, birthday parties, summer camps and more. 

Minimum age requirement is 6. Minimum height requirement is 44 inches tall. Maximum weight is 260 lbs. All children under 16 are required to wear protective headgear. Helmets are provided but you may also bring your own.

Visit www.rockingkhorserentals.com or call 805.499.9512 for more information.

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El Rincon, El Cerro and Las Brisas Trails in Dos Vientos Section of Newbury Park

In the heart of Dos Vientos (Spanish for Two Winds), there are three trails that are accessible from multiple spots by walkers, hikers, runners and bikers. These are the El Rincon, El Cerro and Las Brisas trails. These trails are all nicely maintained, single track and provide great views of the surrounding areas. Other trails surrounding Dos Vientos include the Vista Del Mar Trail, Sierra Vista Trail, Sumac Trail (kind of parallels Sierra Vista Trail), El Encanto Trail and Powerline (Edison Road) Trail, as well as the Potrero Ridge Trail.

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Access to the El Rincon Trail is near the corner of Via Rincon and Rancho Dos Vientos. The trail is about 4/10ths of a mile and connects with the El Cerro and Las Brisas trails.

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Access to El Cerro and Las Brisas trails is at the juncture of Via Las Brisas and Calle Del Prado and several other points. Visit www.cosf.org/website/html/dos-vientos-map.html for a trail map on the Conejo Open Space Foundation website.

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Ranch Overlook Trail in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa in Newbury Park

Trailhead to the Ranch Overlook Trail starts at the juncture of Sycamore Canyon Fire Road (paved road that runs through Point Mugu State Park) and the access bridge to the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center.

Trailhead to the Ranch Overlook Trail starts at the juncture of Sycamore Canyon Fire Road (paved road that runs through Point Mugu State Park) and the access bridge to the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center.

This is the bridge heading the other direction from the Ranch Overlook Trail sign leading to the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center.

This is the bridge heading the other direction from the Ranch Overlook Trail sign leading to the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center.

The one mile Ranch Overlook Trail is located in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa in Newbury Park.

The trail extends from just west of the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center to the Palomino Trail in the Rancho Potrero Open Space.

The trail is about two wide and you’ll find hikers, runners, cyclists and equestrians all sharing it. The east portion is moderately flat, leading to a moderate hill. At the peak, you’ll have nice views toward the Rancho Sierra Vista main parking area and adjacent ranch structures as well as towards Boney Mountain.

Continue west down the trail to a juncture where you can either veer right towards the parking area and road into Rancho Sierra Vista, or you can continue straight until the next juncture. At the next juncture, if you take a left, you’ll soon be transitioning from Federal land (Rancho Sierra Vista) to Conejo Open Space land (Rancho Potrero). Though you won’t find a trail sign that indicates this, the trail that continues westward is the Palomino Trail.

Do be mindful of rattlesnakes back here. They want nothing to do with you, so if you come across one crossing the trail, let them make their way across.

The “peak” of the Ranch Overlook Trail, looking southeast towards Satwiwa and Boney.

The “peak” of the Ranch Overlook Trail, looking southeast towards Satwiwa and Boney.

Peak of Ranch Overlook Trail, looking down towards main Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa parking area and restrooms.

Peak of Ranch Overlook Trail, looking down towards main Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa parking area and restrooms.

This is west of the peak of the Ranch Overlook Trail, a downhill section that takes you towards Rancho Potrero.

This is west of the peak of the Ranch Overlook Trail, a downhill section that takes you towards Rancho Potrero.

This sign is at the bottom of the west side of the Ranch Overlook Trail, facing east, if you opt to take the trail counter-clockwise from the parking area.

This sign is at the bottom of the west side of the Ranch Overlook Trail, facing east, if you opt to take the trail counter-clockwise from the parking area.

This ancient oak tree is adjacent to the Ranch Overlook Trail sign near the parking lot access. This was taken in September 2018. The large branch broke off earlier that summer. In the background is the parking area.

This ancient oak tree is adjacent to the Ranch Overlook Trail sign near the parking lot access. This was taken in September 2018. The large branch broke off earlier that summer. In the background is the parking area.

This is the Palomino Trail in the adjacent Rancho Potrero Open Space, looking east towards Rancho Sierra Vista, in June 2018. These areas do green up after the winter rains in the April/May time frame….but dry up fast.

This is the Palomino Trail in the adjacent Rancho Potrero Open Space, looking east towards Rancho Sierra Vista, in June 2018. These areas do green up after the winter rains in the April/May time frame….but dry up fast.

Old Boney Trail Hike in Pt. Mugu State Park

If you're looking for a hike of about 10 miles in the Rancho Sierra Vista/Boney Mountain Wilderness area, consider the Old Boney Trail loop from Newbury Park. You can park either in the National Park Service parking lot or at Wendy Drive where it meets Potrero Road.

You can do the hike clockwise or counter-clockwise since it is a loop course. I prefer clockwise, which starts by trekking through Rancho Sierra Vista to Danielson Road. Details of this path are at THIS LINK. This path gets you to a juncture where you can continue another 3/10ths of a mile to the Danielson Monument (which you definitely should do if you've never been there) or veer a sharp right up the Old Boney Trail.

Sign at juncture of Danielson Road trail and Old Boney Trail in Pt. Mugu State Park

Sign at juncture of Danielson Road trail and Old Boney Trail in Pt. Mugu State Park

I love the Old Boney Trail. It is narrow and covered with growth on both sides. Kind of like running through a chaparral jungle. This makes the trail mostly shade covered for the first couple miles of this 3.5 mile stretch of trail. You'll be treated to some nice views of Boney Mountain along the way.

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Although the Old Boney Trail does not reach a peak for panoramic views, you'll still find several spots that reward you with views towards the Channel Islands and west Ventura County.

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About a mile or mile and a half into Old Boney Trail from Danielson Road, you'll see a turnoff sign to the right that takes you to the Fossil Trail, a mile or so drop back down to the bottom of Sycamore Canyon. The drop is about 1300 ft to 500 ft with plenty of rocky surfaces, so you'll have some fun going back down this way, for a shorter route. And of course, look closely and you'll be treated to surfaces covered with sea fossil imprints from millions of years ago.

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From the Old Boney Trail/Fossil Trail juncture, you have another 2.1 fun miles to the next juncture at Blue Canyon Trail at the bottom of the canyon. You'll get some more neat views of Boney Mountain during this stretch. At the juncture is the following sign on Blue Canyon Trail.

Sign on Blue Canyon Trail at the Old Boney Trail juncture in Pt. Mugu State Park.

Sign on Blue Canyon Trail at the Old Boney Trail juncture in Pt. Mugu State Park.

You will turn right on Blue Canyon Trail, which will take you to the Danielson Multi-Use area and the paved Sycamore Canyon Fire Road. A left-hand turn will get you lots of fun for another day, onward to Chamberlain Trail that gets you up to some might nice peaks, and Serrano Valley.

Sign at entrance to Blue Canyon Trail at the Danielson Multi-Use area (you of course will be looking at the back side of this sign if you're coming from the Old Boney Trail).

Sign at entrance to Blue Canyon Trail at the Danielson Multi-Use area (you of course will be looking at the back side of this sign if you're coming from the Old Boney Trail).

I've never actually seen anyone using the Danielson Multi-Use area but here's the picnic area.

I've never actually seen anyone using the Danielson Multi-Use area but here's the picnic area.

So you run through the Danielson area to the main paved road to the right (turning left of course will take you to PCH in about 4-5 miles). In another 3 miles you'll be back in civilization; these miles include the 800 foot, 3/4 mile ascent into Rancho Sierra Vista, which can be a bit brutal...perhaps my (and maybe your) least favorite section of this course. But once you're up the hill, you're home free! Time for breakfast, lunch, dinner or all of the above!

Sycamore Canyon Fire Road sign at the top of the hill in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa.

Sycamore Canyon Fire Road sign at the top of the hill in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa.

Of course, you can easily reverse this course and make your way DOWN Sycamore Canyon Fire Road, turn left onto Blue Canyon Trail, left on Old Boney Trail for 3.5 miles and then left on Danielson Road, back down into the canyon and up towards Satwiwa.

Sycamore to the Sea Hike, Run or Bike From Newbury Park to Sycamore Cove

Did you know that you can walk, hike, run or bike from Newbury Park to the ocean over 8 1/4 miles pretty easily, without dealing with automobiles? Park your car at the Wendy and Potrero trailhead or at the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa parking lot at Point Mugu State Park in Newbury Park and experience it yourself.

The entry to the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area.

The entry to the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area.

The   Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center   is a short walk from the parking lot.

The Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center is a short walk from the parking lot.

From there, take the paved road, called the Sycamore Canyon Fire Road, towards the ocean.

From there, take the paved road, called the Sycamore Canyon Fire Road, towards the ocean.

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This is a nice, wide paved road with trails along the side much of the way. Generally cool in the early morning year-round as you head towards the ocean, plenty of rest/pit stop areas on the way down and nice and peaceful and beautiful, full of canyons, trees and wildlife (of course, the Springs Fire of 2013 took a major toll on the area, but it has largely grown back as of spring 2018).

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The steepest descent on this course is a roughly 800 foot drop over a 3/4 of a mile into the canyon on the paved road after you see this sign. Coming back up if you do the full round-trip circuit is a bit of a challenge.

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After you drop into the canyon, it is pretty much smooth sailing. The paved road stops right around the Danielson Multi-Use area (see image below for that juncture). After that, follow the wide, dirt fire road towards the beach.

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There are numerous water spigots on the side of the road going down, which comes in quite handy on warmer days. If you use them, just make sure to turn them off.

About 3/4ths of the way down to the beach, you'll pass one of the most picturesque locations for a porta-john that I've ever seen.

About 3/4ths of the way down to the beach, you'll pass one of the most picturesque locations for a porta-john that I've ever seen.

A few miles after passing the above porta-john, you'll reach the Sycamore Canyon Campground, which has 58 campsites and is across Pacific Coast Highway from the ocean. Cross over PCH (be careful!) or find the underpass that takes you under PCH to the Sycamore Cove Beach area, with picnic tables, bathrooms, etc., and enjoy your day!

Sycamore Cove Beach in Point Mugu

Sycamore Cove Beach in Point Mugu

From there, you either head back up or call your significant other to pick you up. Or perhaps plan it out in the morning to leave one car at the beach, drive another car back (obviously you can't do this alone), park the 2nd car at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa, hike/walk/bike down the canyon to retrieve car #1. Or do what I did once, which was drive down to Sycamore Cove via Potrero Road/Las Posas/PCH, park the car, run (or perhaps ride) up to Newbury Park, then ride down with the kids and enjoy the beach. Fun! 

For a map of the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area with a portion of the Big Sycamore Canyon Trail, visit www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/upload/RSV-2-12.pdf (National Park Service pdf brochure).

Point Mugu State Park

Point Mugu State Park is located in the Santa Monica Mountains, stretching from Newbury Park on the north to five miles of ocean shoreline on the south. The park includes 14,000 acres of land with over 70 miles of trails popular with hikers, cyclists and runners.  It is truly an amazing place, with rocky peaks that include the prominent Boney Mountain State Wilderness that looks over the western Conejo Valley.

The sign in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa in Newbury Park indicating you are entering State-managed Point Mugu State Park.

The sign in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa in Newbury Park indicating you are entering State-managed Point Mugu State Park.

You can actually hike, run or bike from Newbury Park, from the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area managed by the National Park Service down to the ocean via Sycamore Canyon "Sycamore to the Sea," which is about an 8 mile trip one way. But do be aware - the initial 800 foot drop from Rancho Sierra Vista into the canyon via Big Sycamore Canyon Road is a bit more challenging coming back up.

The paved hill drops into the canyon via Sycamore Canyon Fire Road.

The paved hill drops into the canyon via Sycamore Canyon Fire Road.

There are four main canyons in Point Mugu State Park. Sycamore Canyon is perhaps the most well known, stretching practically the entire north/south length of the park, where at the bottom of the canyon you'll find the 58 space Sycamore Canyon Campground at 9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway (make reservations at ReserveCalifornia.com).

The Sycamore Canyon Campground connects to the Sycamore Canyon Fire Road, which is your access point to a day of fun and adventure in Point Mugu State Park trails.

The Sycamore Canyon Campground connects to the Sycamore Canyon Fire Road, which is your access point to a day of fun and adventure in Point Mugu State Park trails.

The La Jolla Valley Natural Preserve is on the western side of the park, with a main access point near Thornhill Broome State Beach at the Ray Miller Trailhead to the La Jolla Canyon Trail which connects with the Loop Trail. Another access point to La Jolla Valley is the Chumash Trail trailhead, a rocky, steep trail across from Point Mugu Beach. La Jolla Valley was purchased by the State of California in 1966 and was established as a Natural Preserve in 1972.

Wood Canyon is in the northwest section of the park, where you will find the north/south running Wood Canyon Fire Road, which connects to the Guadalasca Trail, among others.

Serrano Valley is accessible from the south off the Big Sycamore Canyon Fire Road/Trail about a mile north of the beach. A beautiful, serene, area, with a connection to the Old Boney Trail that takes you to the Danielson Monument in the Boney Mountain Wilderness.

The main beach areas in Point Mugu State Park, running southeast to northwest, are Sycamore Cove, Thornhill Broome and Point Mugu. Sycamore Cove is a fun day-use park popular with families for gatherings with BBQ grills and picnic tables. Learn more about beaches in the Malibu area at this link.

This is the PCH overpass where on low tide you can walk underneath here to get from Sycamore Cove Beach to Sycamore Canyon Campgrounds and hiking in Point Mugu State Park. In higher tides, this area can be dicey, so be careful.

This is the PCH overpass where on low tide you can walk underneath here to get from Sycamore Cove Beach to Sycamore Canyon Campgrounds and hiking in Point Mugu State Park. In higher tides, this area can be dicey, so be careful.

If you are looking for beachfront camping, try Thornhill Broome Beach, with just over 60 spots available for RVs and tents. No hookups here and only porta-johns available, but can't beat the views! And across the street you can't miss the Giant Sand Dune!

Day use parking at the various sites is available for $12. There is very minimal street parking at Sycamore Cove but plenty of street parking adjacent to Thornhill Broome Beach.

Dogs on a leash are allowed in the Park's day use areas, campgrounds and beaches. Dogs are not allowed on the back country trails or dirt roads.

Keep driving northwest on PCH and you'll past the famous Mugu Rock and see Pt. Mugu Beach, which also has day use parking, with some parking on PCH. Learn more at the California State Parks website at www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=630.

Mugu Rock up ahead, driving north on PCH from Thornhill Broome.

Mugu Rock up ahead, driving north on PCH from Thornhill Broome.

Lastly, let's cover some of the highest peaks in Point Mugu State Park. The Boney Mountain Wilderness Area, ever so prominent from the Conejo Valley, is located in the Park. But Boney Peak itself, at 2828 feet, is actually in the Circle X Ranch area managed by the National Park Service, along with Sandstone Peak, the highest spot in the Santa Monica Mountains at 3111 feet.

Boney Mountain range overlooks the western Conejo Valley.

Boney Mountain range overlooks the western Conejo Valley.

Other peaks include Tri Peaks at 3010 feet, Laguna Peak (the peak which has equipment from Naval Base Ventura County below), La Jolla Peak and Mugu Peak

Map of Point Mugu State Park courtesy of National Park Service.

Map of Point Mugu State Park courtesy of National Park Service.

California Sycamore Tree - Historic Landmark in Newbury Park

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This extremely large and old California Sycamore tree was designated as a Ventura County Historic Landmark (#44) on May 1st, 1978.  The City of Thousand Oaks historical marker (see picture to the right) says the tree is over 250 years old.  It is believed that the Chumash Indians bent the lower branches to mark the location of groundwater.

This beautiful tree is located in the Stagecoach Inn Museum and complex at 51 South Ventu Park Road.  Park at the Stagecoach Inn parking lot and walk your way down the pathway to visit the tree, an Indian house and other old structures.

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Angel Vista Peak in Newbury Park

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The 1,530' elevation Angel Vista Peak in Newbury Park may well have the most spectacular views of the Conejo Valley. You can see the entire Conejo Valley, stretching from the Conejo Grade to central Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Hidden Valley, Boney Mountain and beyond from here!

Angel Vista can most easily be accessed via the Rosewood Trail at the southern terminus of Regal Oak Ct, off of Lynn Road) Or for a much longer hike, take the Los Robles Trail (either the Thousand Oaks side accessible at South Moorpark Road and Greenmeadow Ave or Newbury Park side off of Potrero Road). The Conejo Open Space Foundation provides a useful map at www.cosf.org/website/html/los-robles-angel-vista.html. There's a bench as well as a picnic table up there with wonderful views.

The hike is about 3 1/2 miles round trip.

You'll eventually see this sign if you make the trek up the Rosewood Trail.

You'll eventually see this sign if you make the trek up the Rosewood Trail.

The bench is in sight!

The bench is in sight!

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Fun to see at least a portion of Hidden Valley from up here.

Fun to see at least a portion of Hidden Valley from up here.