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Open space for everyone in the Conejo Valley

Posted on March 25, 2022 by Claire Marcus

Date: March 9, 2022

We are sitting in our car eating the delectable pastries purchased last night at Carrara’s in the Conejo Valley city of Agoura Hills.

The Italian confections go down easy — creamy, chocolatey and not-too-sugared. Glad I packed these plastic forks.

Hey, we deserve this.

We’ve just completed a tough 4-mile hike on the Los Robles Trail in Thousand Oaks. The trail and expansive countryside, wearing its finest spring green and colorful wildflowers, is ours to relish, thanks to the Conejo Open Space Conservancy Agency.

Composed of the City of Thousand Oaks, Conejo Recreation & Park District and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the agency’s mission is to preserve, protect and manage the 12,700 acres of open space and 170 miles of trails in the valley.

This easily accessible outdoors is what makes Conejo Valley (pronounced Co-NAY-ho) a desirable place to live and visit — a destination where you “can catch your breath and see another side of California.”

And in this pandemic and post-pandemic world, we need plenty of this.

From North County, it was a 2½ drive to Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills (population 128,000 and 21,000 respectively). We headquartered at the recently renovated Best Western Plus Thousand Oaks, making it easy and quick to visit the valley’s attractions during our 44-hour visit.

The trailhead for the Los Robles Trail is a three-minute drive from the hotel. Our climb to the summit was arduous, but the reward — a 360-degree view of the Conejo Valley — is easy to take in.

Below us lay a distinguished landscape of rolling foothills, peaks and bluffs and the dramatic Santa Monica Mountain backdrop.

It’s obvious that the geologic history of Conejo Valley is chaotic. The undulating topography was created eons ago by earthquakes, multiple volcanos, flowing magma and hardening lava.

Today, subdivisions, business parks and retail centers are tucked between the fingers of the foothills, but plenty of green oases remain on what was once a flat ocean floor.

If expending a little less energy to take in the area’s natural scene is your speed, head to the Conejo Valley Botanical Garden, just a few-minutes’ drive from the hotel.

The garden’s 33 hillside acres, enveloped by 72 varieties of mature trees, hold multiple collections of native plants and many from Australia, South Africa and Chile.


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