Posted by: GeekHiker | May 14, 2007

HIKE: Rocky Oaks Park

Rocky Oaks is one of those little chunks of parkland that the National Park Service has picked up over the years that remains unattached to any larger park.  Less than 200 acres in size, it’s certainly not the place to go to for a long distance hike.  It does, however, make a fine place for a leisurely afternoon wandering, or setting out a camp chair under an old oak and reading a book.

For a quick hike, start at the parking lot and follow the trail northeast towards the ampitheater, under the canopy of some stately oaks.  Swinging left, curve out of the shade towards an open rise.  When you reach it, you’ll find yourself on top of an old earthen dam.  Behind this dam is an old cattle pond, which I’ve seen both very full in wet years and completely dry during periods of no rain, or late summer.

Crossing the dam, make a left and curve around the ridge.  In about 700 feet or so, you’ll run into the Rocky Oaks trail; make a right here and ascend along the hillside.  A short spur trail on the left will take you to an overlook which gives you a good view down the valley.

Continuing on the Rocky Oaks trail you’ll eventually hit it’s intersection with the Pond Trail (and also Kanan Road).  Heading back south, you can take any one of a number of trails back to your starting point: the Pond Trail circles back around the pond, the Glade Trail through more oak canopy and open grassland.  If you’re there on a quiet morning, be sure to keep an eye out for deer.

During wet years, one of my favorite things to do is walk out to the pond with a camp chair, bringing a picnic lunch and a stack of reading, and spend a few hours.  Most of the time my company through most of the day is limited to ducks in the pond and raptors circling overhead.

Note: Rocky Oaks sits very close to two fairly busy roads.  You’re rarely out of sight (or earshot) of the traffic.  It shouldn’t dissuade you from visiting this lovely little park, but if you’re looking for complete silence, this is not the place.

Total Distance: ~1.8 (Pond Trail + Loop Trail + Glade Trail)


Directions: From Highway 101, exit Kanan Rd. south.  Drive south until you reach the intersection with Mulholland Highway and turn right.  Park entrance is about 200 feet from intersection on the right side of the road.

From Highway 1: Turn right onto Kanan Dume Road heading north.  Drive north to the intersection with Mulholland Highway and turn left.  Park entrance is about 200 feet from intersection on the right side of the road.



  1. Nice review, glad to know you’re spreading the word about Rocky Oaks. It’s not necessarily true wilderness but it’s a fun place to get out and stretch your legs, and there’s a surprising variety of scenery.

  2. […] More information: here; blog trip report here. […]

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