2017-08-10 / Health & Wellness

Discover dramatic rock formations in Sandstone Hills

ACORN SERIES /// The Trail Less Traveled
By Dawn Megli-Thuna


THIS ROCKS—The view from the Sandstone Hills Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. 
DAWN MEGLI-THUNA/Acorn Newspapers THIS ROCKS—The view from the Sandstone Hills Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. DAWN MEGLI-THUNA/Acorn Newspapers This story was updated 10:47 a.m. Aug. 14, 2017.

Some hikes are about the journey. But the hike to Simi Cave on Sandstone Hills Trail is all about the destination.

With dramatic rock formations set against coastal sage scrub and chaparral, the hike affords panoramic views of the Simi Hills and the Santa Susana Mountains.

The trail winds through the Lang Ranch Woodridge Open Space, which contains 20 miles of scenic trails in 1,025 acres of open space and abuts 8,000 additional acres. It’s part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and features lush meadows, creeks, oak groves and native vegetation.

From the 101 Freeway, drive north on Westlake Boulevard. Turn right onto Kanan Road then left onto Rayburn Street. The trailhead will be on the left-hand side of the street after the first house.

The trailhead starts off as a Southern California Edison road as it climbs up to and past some power lines.

Follow the trail until it joins the Oakbrook Vista Trail and turn left. Take the first small trail that comes up on your right.

It will gain 300 feet in elevation in half a mile, revealing sweeping views of the prehistoric landscape below as it travels above striking sandstone hills that have eroded into caves, cliffs and crags. Many of the rocks in this area are ideal for bouldering, although the practice is frowned upon by the Conejo open space agency, which prohibits unauthorized travel off designated trails.

Reverse and return on the same trail or extend your hike by exploring Hidden Meadow on your way back to civilization.

Trails in the area connect to the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District open-space system to the north and to the Palo Comado and Cheesebro open spaces to the east.


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