The boldly named Angel Vista is one of the top viewpoints in the Santa Monica Mountains, a coastal range running between Los Angeles and Ventura. Angel Vista soars over Thousand Oaks, presenting panoramic views of the west end of the range, which includes the Boney Mountains, the rocky crown of Santa Monicas. A few trails lead to the vista point, including the 7.6-mile round trip trek up the eastern half of West Los Robles Trail to Angel Vista. Rosewood Trail offers a more direct option, climbing 850 feet in 2 miles to make it the shortest route to the top.
While the 4-mile round trip hike up Rosewood Trail begins in a narrow green alley shouldered by rows of houses, do not be dissuaded. The trail quickly transitions to development-free slopes preserved by the Conejo Open Space Foundation. The trail starts along Lynn Road in Newbury Park, but the trailhead lacks roadside parking. Instead, warm up by walking a tenth of a mile up the road from a nearby parking area. The free lot runs alongside a grassy park associated with the Stagecoach Inn Museum (where you can find an easy trail through the pioneer park). Carefully cross the lanes of traffic on Lynn Road and turn right, walking west to the start of Rosewood Trail.
You will find the dirt trail heading up a shaded ravine at the base of the mountains. Ascend a corridor between residential streets to reach a trail kiosk about 0.4 miles from Lynn Road. Leave the houses behind and enter a mountainside draped in chaparral. Spring brings vibrant colors to the side of the trail including sage and orange monkeyflower. You may even spot a hummingbird along the trail to Angel Vista.
After angling west for a quarter mile, the trail presents a clear view over the 101 Freeway carving up the Conejo Valley. This is a preview of the panorama to come at Angel Vista, and the view grows larger as you hike higher up the mountain. Follow a mile of switchbacks in and out of a draw as you climb to new heights, attaining a southeastward view toward West Los Robles Trail and a ranch in the mountains above the trail.
The first junction of the hike comes 1.75 miles from Lynn Road and a few steps from a T-junction with West Los Robles Trail. Turn right before you reach the end of Rosewood Trail, following the sign for Angel Vista. The viewpoint will be in sight, roughly a tenth of a mile away. A bench and a picnic table at Angel Vista allow you to relax and enjoy the view.
Angel Vista lies at 1,600 feet above sea level, delivering the biggest views of the hike. Not only can you look west over Thousand Oaks and Newbery Park in Ventura County, but you can also look south toward the orange pinnacles of the Boney Mountains containing Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountain Range. Another prominent summit rising above the valley due west of Angel Vista is called Conejo Mountain.
Want to hike a little more? A bump on the ridge about 10 feet higher than Angel Vista has broad northward views. To reach it, hike back down the spur trail to Angel Vista, cross Rosewood Trail, and walk up a path heading east a tenth of a mile up the rise. A bench at the top provides a seated view overlooking Thousand Oaks and the rolling foothills dotting the Conejo Valley. The green mountains protected by Los Padres National Forest loom large in the background. This higher vantage offers views to the northeast not visible from Angel Vista, making it a worthy addition.
Return by hiking down Rosewood Trail the way you came. No fee or permit is required to hike Rosewood Trail, which is dog and mountain bike-friendly, so get out and enjoy!
To get to the trailhead: Take the 101 Freeway to exit 46 for Ventu Park Road. Drive south for half a mile to Lynn Road and turn right. Make the next right on Susan Drive to enter the parking area alongside the Stagecoach Inn Museum park.
Trailhead address: 1617 Lynn Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Trailhead coordinates: 34.1768, -118.9128 (34° 10′ 36.48″N 118° 54′ 46.08″W)