Lizard Rock Trail, CA

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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.71 miles
Trailhead Elevation 325 feet
Elevation Gain 828 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 5.85
Backpack No
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16  2012-01-28 slegal
8  2010-03-18 slegal
13  2010-01-16 slegal
author avatar Guides 74
Routes 101
Photos 2,962
Trips 57 map ( 363 miles )
Age 60 Male Gender
Location Thousand Oaks, CA
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Preferred Apr, Nov, Jan, Mar
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Sun  5:15am - 6:46pm
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Nearby Area Water
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by slegal

The Lizard Rock Trail is one of my favorite trails in Wildwood Park. I hike this trail two or three times per week. The Trail is very well maintained on the southern section. The northern section is more of a well worn game trail. The good about this trail are the vistas of Wildwood, Box and Hill Canyons, Wildwood Mesa, Mount Clef Ridge, the Western Plateau and the Santa Rosa Valley. The bad is that the southern terminus of the trail is next to the Hill Canyon Sewage Treatment Plant. While Thousand Oaks has gone to great lengths to improve this plant including enclosing the holding tanks, it can still get a little stinky at times and it's not the most pleasing thing you'd like to look at on your hike.

In the early days of the trail the southern end of the trail was not widely used. The trail headed up a different ridge than its current route. The old route was very steep with very few switchbacks. Few mountain bikers risked a descent on this trail and not too many hikers ventured out on this trail either. I personally liked the old trail better because it was a better workout.

The Lizard Rock Trail can be accessed from several different places. Most access points require you to take at least one other trail before reaching this trail. There are the access points that only require you to take one trail. One trail is a dirt utility road out of Hill Canyon accessed from Santa Rosa Valley that switchbacks its way up a steep hill along side a natural gas pipeline to the northern part of the Lizard Rock Trail overlooking Box Canyon. Another is to take the Hill Canyon Sewage Treatment Plant road to the Wildwood Canyon Trail. Less than a half mile in on The Wildwood Canyon Trail you make a 180 degree hard left onto the Southern Terminus of the Lizard Rock Trail. The third is to take the Mesa Trail all the way to Lizard Rock where the Lizard Rock Trail crosses.

Accessing the trail at the southern end of the trail has you travelling along side of the sewage treatment plant for a little over a third of a mile. After that you head around a hill and leave the plant behind you. Now is a good time to warn you that you are sharing the trail with mountain bikers and some of those riders go too fast. Be alert.

About a third of the way up the hill you'll reach a bench. If you're feeling tired at this point the bench offers a good rest stop.

From the bench you'll head up one of the steeper sections of the trail until you reach a knoll. The knoll provides about a quarter mile of fairly flat terrain before you head up a series of four switchbacks, the final ascent toward the junction with the Mesa Trail. You head back to the parking lot via the Mesa Trail.

If you're feeling adventurous you can continue up to Lizard Rock, a nice vista point overlooking numerous points of interest inside and outside of the park.

Beyond Lizard Rock the trail heads north along a game trail that is very well worn. The trail is still named the Lizard Rock Trail even though this section of the Trail is not maintained. I like this trail because it's much less traveled and you'll rarely see bikes on this section of trail. You will head downhill for a short while. The trail gets steep in sections but isn't too difficult. The trail then heads back uphill a short distance until you reach a rock draw. You have to climb this draw to reach the Trail above. It's not too bad.

Shortly after you finish your rock climbing you reach an intersection with a game trail that drops down into Box Canyon to the right. If you go straight the trail becomes a dirt road that heads down to Hill Canyon Road. If you go straight you get a long downhill and it's a good workout coming back up.

To remain on the Lizard Rock Trail you need to head down the game trail to the right. A word of caution at this point is that the trail is very steep and very slippery. I prefer going up this section of trail rather than down. After you finish the steep descent you will cross a small dry wash. There is poison oak right on the trail here so look out for it. Shortly after that the Lizard Rock Trail ends at the Box Canyon Trail.

Check out the Official Route.

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2012-01-24 slegal
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From US 101 exit at Lynn Road and travel north to Avenida de los Arboles. The main parking for Wildwood Park is a dirt parking lot at the corner Avenida de los Arboles and Big Sky Drive. You will have to take one of many trails to reach the Wildwood Canyon Trail, all of which are mentioned in the hike description. There is a kiosk next to the parking area and there are usually free trail maps that will show where all of the trails are.
    page created by slegal on Jan 24 2012 10:04 pm
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