As a resident of the Conejo Valley for over 25 years, a long distance runner and a father with active kids, I've run, walked, hiked and rolled over thousands of miles of trails within and surrounding the Conejo Valley.
Over the years I've noticed interesting, old items on the sides of the trails. These relics from the past always make me wonder how they got there and why they remain. I've attempted here to document these automotive blasts to the past on the trails of the Conejo Valley.
This was the first vehicle we encountered on the trails of the Conejo Valley. Seen here after the winter rains (and resulted lushly green surroundings) is an old coupe of some sort on the Westlake Vista Trail at Triunfo Creek Park in Westlake Village. How did this vehicle get here? I don't know, but it must have been an interesting ride! This relic is located just off of the trail and you can walk up and touch it if you'd like.
This interesting fellow is found off of the Hawk Canyon Trail in the Western Plateau area of the Conejo Open Space. You can get to it from the Western Plateau Trail (trailhead is near the City of Thousand Oaks Municipal Service Center) to the Hawk Canyon Trail, or from the Conejo Canyons Bridge in the Santa Rosa Valley. Apparently it was used for target practice. It is located in a creek next to the trail and is not particularly accessible. (NOTE: As of March 2019, the Hawk Canyon Trail and Conejo Canyons Bridge are still closed as a result of the Woolsey Fire of November 2018.)
Here's another vehicle in the Western Plateau section of the Conejo Open Space. This one is located just off the Western Plateau Trail, probably best accessed from the Conejo Canyons Bridge. Kind of feels like you're in the middle of nowhere back here. This auto is located just off the trail but is easy to miss with the growth surrounding it.
Here is yet another vehicle in the Western Plateau section of the Conejo Open Space. This is on the southern section of the Western Plateau Trail, west of the Hawk Canyon Trail. I've noticed a trend in these abandoned relics; they are either rust or white in color. This is perhaps the best looking of the bunch, but is not reachable. It took some solid camera zoom to get this shot.
Ultrarunner Kira K pointed out the above truck bed of some sorts in the creek below the Conejo Canyons Bridge. I've crossed the bridge dozens of times yet never saw this until Kira tipped me off.
This low mileage beauty can be found near the top of the China Flat Trail in Oak Park, located down a steep, slippery path. You can definitely access this vintage vehicle but you'll have to trek maybe 30 or 40 yards down, then back up. My 4th grader and his friend hiked down to check it out. I waived on joining them but waved at them.
A must-do hike in the area is the roughly 5 mile round trip to the M*A*S*H set at Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas. The show ran from 1972 to 1983 and was filmed back here and restored in 2007 with a shaded picnic area, military vehicles, ambulance, signpost and other items. Always a popular weekend jaunt.
OK, this is not exactly an automobile, but this lonely piece of farm equipment residing in the Serrano Canyon section of nearby Point Mugu State Park makes one think, who used this and when did they leave it behind. It is a bit remote but you can get to it from Sycamore Canyon.
This truck can be seen from the Potrero Grade between Newbury Park and Camarillo on the north side. I actually ran to CSU Channel Islands from Newbury Park one day, which gave me a better view down the slope on the north side of Potrero. Looks like a dump truck.
The "Scary Dairy" at CSU Channel Islands University Park is not in the Conejo Valley but is just around the corner. This abandoned dairy farm used to support the Camarillo State Mental Hospital, which operated from 1936 to 1997. But the farm was disbanded in the 1960s and the grounds have fallen prey to vandals over the years. No auto relics these structures are quite old.
All righty then! This should give you some fun pursuits around town. I suspect this list is not complete, so contact us if you are aware of other relics around town.
We're gonna add some additional non-automotive relics here. There are loads of relics, mostly torn down, dilapidated old ranch houses, in Point Mugu State Park at the juncture of Ranch Center Road and Wood Canyon Fire Road near Newbury Park. Round trip from Rancho Sierra Vista you're probably talking an 8 to 10 mile adventure.