Top 5 hiking trails in Oak Park

A look into the most scenic hikes in our area

Oak Park offers several scenic hiking trails that anyone can enjoy. With trails ranging from flat to steep, rigorous, hilly or a simple loop, there’s a wide variety of options in the Simi Hills and Santa Monica Mountains, which are greener than ever thanks to the consistent rain. Now is the best time to begin exploring. 

Hiking is one of the healthiest forms of exercise to keep fit, stay strong and have a good mental headspace. Whether the trek is one mile or five, getting outdoors in the sun helps obtain a supplement of nutrients and vitamins that improves overall health. 


“As little as 20 minutes a day spent outdoors helps reduce stress,” the National Recreation and Parks Association cited. 

Oak Park is unique in the way that hikers can see wildlife they might not find in other places. For instance, it is common to see coyotes, snakes, rabbits and birds around the trails in their natural habitat. Some Oak Park residents have reported bobcats and deer in the neighborhood. Hiking is the best way to find those nooks and crannies that most people will miss on a regular day. 

There are many hikes throughout Oak Park with different destinations. Some of the favorites include Palo Comado, China Flat, Simi Peak, Inspiration Point and Wistful Vista. These five offer the most scenic views and new experiences that hikers will love. 



Palo Comado Canyon

This hike consists of a 6.8 mile loop through oak trees and a seasonal stream. Begin this hike at the top of Double Tree and Sunnycrest. A lone palm tree will indicate the beginning of the hike. Walk up towards a brown gate and continue straight. This hike has lots of twists, up and down hills and straight paths. Although this hike is ranked pretty mild, it is not recommended on a hot day.



China Flat

For this hike, you should park at the end of King James Court. Walk through the gate and up onto the path. This hike is constantly walking uphill. It is not recommended for people who have difficulty with walking long distances. It is also not recommended for runs and make sure to bring good grip shoes. Views of all of Ventura County are shown as hikers get to the top. The hiking distance is 3.7 miles from the trailhead. It is recommended for hikers who love amazing views. sights of clouds rolling over the mountain are visible at sunset/sunrise times. 


Inspiration Point 

This hiking spot includes a stone monument built by boy scouts, where hikers can leave notes regarding their own thoughts, wishes, and prayers. At the top of the hill there are sensational views of Oak Park Valley and Palo Comado Canyon. To get there, park at the Sunrise Meadows sign on Sunnycrest Drive. Go up the stairs, continue straight until an open path is revealed. Make a slight left turn and walk up. This hike is pretty extreme and is good for hikers who are able to walk up for continuous amounts of time.


Simi Peak

This 5.3 mile hike is a little farther than China Flat and is the highest peak in the Simi Hills at over 2,400 feet. Park at King James Court near Lindero. At the highest point in Oak Park, hikers will find an American flag waving at the top. Views of Simi Valley hills and Oak Park are sensational at the top.


Wistful Vista 

Wistful Vista features a straight uphill climb to a water tank and views of Red Oak Elementary School, Oak Park High School and the Community Center. To get there, park at Indian Springs Park and look for the trail that heads up the hill. The farther up you go, the more views that will appear. This hike is very hilly and pretty intense. Good gripped shoes are recommended. 


Spring is approaching and the weather is getting warmer. Hiking is now at its prime. The mountains are getting greener, the skies are getting bluer, and the flowers are beginning to bloom. Now is the best time to explore the beautiful wildlife and trails that are waiting for you.