My Daily Workout
This is the trail where it all began for me. I moved to Westlake Village with my parents when I was 9 years old back in 1971. I looked at all of the trails that I could see from my house and I wanted to explore them. My first hike was a week or two after moving in. My mom bought me a pair of cowboy boots to protect me from rattlesnake bites, because she was sure I would be bit every time I hiked. I trashed the boots after the first hike because they gave me too many blisters. As for being bitten by rattlesnakes every time I hiked, that didn’t happen until I was 15 and it only happened once.
I spent most of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s running these trails. They were fantastic training trails. I started running track in the 7th grade and discovered that training in these hills made me pretty good. In no small measure, running in these hills help me become national champion in the United States Track & Field Federation 14-15 year old 800 meter run in 1978.
As close to roads as this hike is, there are sections of the hike, particularly down in the canyon on the White Horse Trail, where you can’t hear anything but nature. I’ve seen 2 mountain lions on this hike, a couple foxes, countless deer and coyote, many retiles. What I don’t see a lot of are people. That’s the charm of this hike to me.
After a few years hiking closer to home I’ve been back on these trails because they are a much better workout. There are two basic loops that I do. The regular loop heads up the Brookview trail and then down a fire road to the Los Robles Trail. The loops continues westward to the White Horse Trail after a short distance down the White Horse Trail you travel up an unmarked trail that was actually a fire break created by a fire department bulldozer fighting a brush fire in 1976. This trail intersects with the Brookview Trail which can be taken back to the trailhead. The total length on this lollipop loop is 3.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 660 feet.
An alternative route has you staying on the White Horse Trail past the fire break until the White Horse Trail meets the Brookview Trail. It was on this section of the White Horse Trail that I saw the largest Southern Pacific Rattlesnake in my life. This trail is an old double track ranch road and snake lay across entire width of the trail with its head more than a foot off on one side of the trail and its tail more than a foot off the other side of the trail. I estimate the snake was 8 feet long. That was back in 1984. The total length of this alternate route is 4.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 800 feet.
I rarely hike just one loop usually hike 2 or 3 loops. The beauty of this hike is you can tailor it to your fitness level and time availability.
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.