Great Ocean Views
While not nearly as high as nearby Sandstone Peak, Tri Peaks and Boney Mountain, Conejo Mountain is a prominent peak in Newbury Park. The first time I summited Conejo Mountain I was taken aback by the sight of airplanes flying lower than where I stood as the approach nearby Camarillo Airport.
My history with this mountain goes further back than my first summit. As a freshman and sophomore at Newbury Park High School I ran cross country and track. I frequently ran up a trail that we called Powerline to within a few hundred feet of the summit. After reaching the high point of the run we would drop down into a large plain that was known as Farmer’s Land. At one time this property was a citrus orchard and cattle ranch. By the mid-70s, when I was running through there the all that was left was dead citrus trees and cow pies. Back then the entire run was on private property and we did not have permission to be there.
Farmer’s Land is now Dos Vientos Ranch, an upscale community and the trip from the trailhead to the summit of Conejo Mountain is considerably shorter than it used to be. The trailhead is located on Via Ricardo between Via Pisa and Via Sandra. The trail is all uphill. It starts out meandering up a mild downhill. Then as the slope steepens the trail becomes one very long switchback before reaching a saddle where there is a trail junction.
At the trail junction you can continue on down the other side of the saddle which follows the path of a large power line (Hence the name my teammates and I gave the trail 40 years earlier). To the left is a spur trail that head up to one of the power line towers, which will take you worth up the side of Conejo Mountain.
There are two game trails that you can take to get to the summit. The first is where the trail makes a large semi-circle around a ravine before continuing on to the tower. This is a shorter steeper trail than the second game trail. The second game trail begins right at the tower. This trail heads up and over the east peak which is about 100 feet lower than the west peak. Then the second trail meets the first trail and becomes a well-worn game trail to the west peak. On a clear day Conejo Peak offers some of the best ocean views in the Thousand Oaks area.
In May, 2013 the Spring Fire burned all of Conejo Mountain. As of August 2014, the vegetation has a long way to go until it fully recovers, thanks to a near record drought. The one benefit to this lack of vegetation is the less obscured views. I’d rather have the vegetation personally.
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.