Arroyo Conejo

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Within Wildwood Regional Park, its gorge and its forty-foot cascade Paradise Falls are among the park’s most visited attractions.[1][2]

Arroyo Conejo (Spanish for “Rabbit Creek”) is the longest creek in the Conejo Valley,[3] sprawling over the cities of Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, and the CDP’s Casa Conejo and Santa Rosa Valley. Arroyo Conejo is the primary drainage for the City of Thousand Oaks [4] Its total area is 57 square miles; 43 sq. miles in the Conejo Valley and 14 additional sq. miles in the Santa Rosa Valley.[5]

It runs from the Conejo Hills of Newbury Park, crosses horizontally Casa Conejo, before entering Thousand Oaks and Wildwood Regional Park.[6] It originates in the Conejo Hills and streams into Hill Canyon and further into the Santa Rosa Valley, where it merges with Arroyo Santa Rosa and becomes Conejo Creek. Conejo Creek drains through the Pleasant Valley Basin and enters into the Pacific Ocean by its estuary at Mugu Lagoon at the north end of the Santa Monica Mountains.[7][8][9] Its northern border is made up by the Santa Susana Mountains, South Mountain and the Oak Ridge Mountains. Its southern boundary is compromised by the Santa Monica Mountains to the southwest and the Simi Hills to the southeast.[10]

The area surrounding Arroyo Conejo was once inhabited by the Chumash Indians, who also settled much of the region from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Conejo- and Simi Valleys, with their presence dating back 10,000–12,000 years.[11][12] There have numerous discoveries of Chumash artifacts and petroglyphs along the creek, particularly in the Santa Monica Mountains.[13][14]

Several people have drowned in the creek during the winter, when water levels are higher. A person drowned by Hill Canyon in 1992,[15] while another person drowned here in 2017.[16][17]


The Western pond turtle is an endemic species to Arroyo Conejo.

Some of the fauna found in the creek includes the Western pond turtle and numerous species of amphibians: the California red-legged frog, Western toad, American bullfrog, California toad and the Pacific tree frog. Fish species include the Brown bullhead, Green sunfish, Bluntnose minnow, and Mosquitofish. It is an important habitat for various species of freshwater-nesting birds in the Conejo Valley. Some of the species include the Great blue heron, White-faced ibis, Black-crowned night heron, Green heron, Black-necked stilt, Great egret, Snowy egret, Belted kingfisher, Black phoebe, Killdeer, Common yellowthroat, Greater yellowlegs, American coot, and Mallard.[18][19]


It is debated whether Thousand Oaks will make a multi-use pathway along the creek, similar to that of Arroyo Simi in Simi Valley.[20][21]

There are several parks and public open-space areas bordering the creek:


  1. ^ Schad, Jerry (2013). 101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore, and Desert. Wilderness Press. Page 18. ISBN 9780899977164.
  2. ^ Schad, Jerry (2011). Top Trails: Los Angeles: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone. Wilderness Press. Page 112. ISBN 9780899976273.
  3. ^ (Page 30)
  4. ^ (Page 30)
  5. ^ Brooks, Norman H. (1982). Storms, Floods, and Debris Flows in Southern California and Arizona 1978 and 1980: Overview and Summary of a Symposium, September 17–18, 1980. National Academies. Pages 155–156.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Murillo, Cathy (February 5, 1998). "Raw Sewage Continues to Spill Into Conejo Creek". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ (Page 30)
  11. ^ Starr, Kevin (2007). California: A History. Modern Library Chronicles 23. Random House Digital, Inc. Page 13. ISBN 978-0-8129-7753-0.
  12. ^ Gamble, L. H., & Enki Library eBook (2008). The Chumash World at European Contact (1st ed.). University of California Press. Page 26.
  13. ^ Ciolek-Torrello, Richard (2006). A Passage in Time: The Archaeology and History of the Santa Susana Pass State Historical Park, California. Statistical Research. Page 42. ISBN 9781879442894.
  14. ^ Whitley, David S. and Ellen L. McCann (1980). Inland Chumash Archaeological Investigations. Institute of Archaeology. Pages 155 and 255.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-21. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  19. ^ Maxwell, Thomas J. (2000). Hiking In Wildwood Regional Park: Natural History, Folklore, and Trail Guide. California Lutheran University (CLU). Pages 153–154.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-25. Retrieved 2016-01-25.