This was our first hike of the year on Xena’s birthday. Another name for this hike is Secret Passage to Simi Peak.
I had to take a photo of her morning face to share. She’s never been a morning dog. When I used to be motivated for super early hikes, I had to carry her to the car because she refused to get out of bed.
This hike is located in Oakbrook Trails and Open Space near Thousand Oaks, CA, and rated challenging. Plenty of free street parking is available near the trailhead. Park on the opposite side of the Lang Ranch Neighborhood Park and go through the yellow gate.
Stay on Oakbrook Vista Trail for 1.4 miles, then take the trail on the left. This is the Secret Passage to Simi Peak. The loop part begins here.
There are no signs and some parts on the Secret Passage to Simi Peak were overgrown and hard to navigate, so I recommend you follow a map. I will leave a .gpx file in the Good to Know section below for anyone who wants to follow my route. We hiked the loop clockwise.
Oakbrook Vista Trail
Gorgeous day! Both pups rocking it!
It requires some scrambling in the first half and some sections are quite steep. I recommend trekking poles for this hike.
Someone is finally on the same page with me by mid-morning.
Some hikers enjoy bushwhacking. I am not one of them. But sometimes it’s just inevitable, especially when you are lost. Ha. Do you see what I did here? I sent my team up to scope it out. It turned out there was no trail in sight over that hill either. So far, we hiked 2 miles.
According to GPS, we are right on the trail. Well, I couldn’t figure out the path. So, we decided to have a snack break while I regroup and contemplate while studying the map.
While we took a break, a group of hikers caught up with us. They followed the same path and reached the dead-end as we did. Then, the group leader recognized the tree on the other side between the rocks (in the photo) from his last hike and directed the group to climb toward the tree. One by one, we saw them disappeared behind the tree.
Now we knew what we needed to do next.
It’s happens every time. When you get stuck in your problem, stop and do something else. The solution will eventually appear naturally.
Expect some scrambling in this section. Take your time.
Embrace yourself. The challenging ascent doesn’t stop at the tree. But soon, the trail levels out a bit. I was happy to see a trail. From here to Coba Arch is about 0.5 miles and the trail is easy to follow as you are hiking on a ridge.
We caught up with the big group who wanted to say hi to the pups.
After 0.5 miles, we reached Coba Arch.
We continued hiking for 0.2 miles until the trail split. From here, if you want to add Simi Peak to your hike, continue on straight toward the mountain ahead. Simi Peak is 0.5 miles away from the this junction.
As for us, we skipped Simi Peak. We went to the right to start to loop back. We started working down our way to the fire road (Oakbrook Edison Road) while enjoying the view.
We all have a preference. I love trails. I like following a trail wondering where it would take me. Just even seeing a dirt trail in a photo makes me giddy.
On the other hand, Xena likes bouldering. I am pretty sure she was a mountain goat in her past life.
We made our way down to the fire road. We saw a couple of hikers in the distance. After working my butt off in the first half of the hike, I didn’t mind a bit boring but easy fire road.
After 1.5 miles, we completed the loop portion of the hike. From there, we took the same route back to the trailhead via Oakbrook Vista Trail.
Xena and Coco taking a break after a challenging but super fun birthday hike
Good to Know:
- Hike Date: 1.2.21
- Distance: 6 miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 1,620 ft.
- Max Elevation: 2,280 ft.
- Difficulty Level: Challenging
- Fee/Permit: None
- Download this route
- Trailhead/Parking: 3222 Lang Ranch Pkwy, Thousand Oaks, CA
- No toilet, exposed, overgrown, bouldering and scrambling at times