Tucked along the 101 in Agoura is the northernmost section of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (the SMMNRA, as the cool kids call it). Echoing its not-so-distant past of ranching, the rolling hills and shady canyons are popular with equestrians. Before the ranchers, Chumash Indians and grizzly bears tromped out the slender trails in the native grasses that became today's open fire roads. Rabbits, bobcats, owls, hawks, deer, and coyotes still call the sycamores, oaks, streams, and sulfur springs of the canyons home. Cheeseboro Canyon is home to the largest concentration of birds of prey outside of Alaska, as well as the Valley Oak, the largest oak trees in the US (possibly the world!).
Our 8 mile hike will carve a lollipop pattern out of the network of trails and connect Cheeseboro Canyon to adjacent Palo Comado Canyon before returning us to our cars. The trails are mostly wide, sometimes shaded, sometimes open to a glorious, blanketing sky. Total elevation is about 1500', broken up as we climb over from one canyon to the next.
From LA and east of Agoura- exit the 101 at Chesebro Rd and turn right at the top of the ramp (Palo Comado Rd). Turn right almost immediately onto Chesebro Rd and drive .7 mile to the park entrance, on the right (right after the equestrian field). Go through the first parking lot to the second one.
From Westlake Village and west of Agoura- exit the 101 at Chesebro Rd. Go through the stop sign at the end of the ramp, and turn left at the next one (Palo Comado Rd). Cross the freeway, and turn right onto Chesebro Rd. Drive .7 mile to the park entrance, on the right (right after the equestrian field). Go through the first parking lot to the second one.
*The exit is Chesebro Rd, the access road into the park is Cheeseboro Canyon Rd. Yes, I'd like to shoot whoever named these places, too.