Posted Apr 19, 2023 | By Visit Oxnard

The Best Places to Hike In and Around Oxnard

Hiking Itinerary: Adventure within reach.

Ready to lace up your hiking boots and spend some time in nature in or near Oxnard? You don't have to go far to enjoy the great outdoors. Get ready to soak in the scenery and explore the trails.

Here are the best places to hike in and around Oxnard.


Before you set out for an adventurous hike, lace up those joggers for this 8.9-kilometer concrete paved loop trail in Channel Islands Harbor. Harbor Island Trail in Oxnard is suitable for all skill levels and is generally considered flat with few inclines (3% or less grade category). With 5-foot wide pathways, the trail is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. On-leash pups are welcome too. Whether you're an early riser who loves to run or prefer evening walks, you'll enjoy scenic views of the harbor that can't be beaten.

channel islands national park hiking
Channel Islands National Park

hiking in Channel Islands National PArk

If you're planning an adventure to Channel Islands National Park, don't leave home without hiking shoes. Here are the best places to hike - island by island.

Santa Cruz Island

From flat to rugged trails, Santa Cruz Island has hikes for all skill levels. You'll want to add these to your must-visit list. Historic Scorpion Ranch Hike - Check out the historic ranch that dates back to the late 1800s on this easy .5 miles round trip hike from Scorpion Beach.

Cavern Point Loop
- If you're visiting during whale season, this 2-mile hike is a must-do! Start near site #22 in the campground and hike towards Scorpion Anchorage to avoid a steep climb.

Potato Harbor Overlook Hike
- This 5-mile hike is rated moderate and offers spectacular coastal views. You'll have to visit via boat or kayak for beach access since there is no beach access.

Explore more hikes on Santa Cruz Island here.

Santa Rosa Island

There are more than ten hikes with magnificent views on Santa Rosa Island. Here are some ranging from easy to strenuous.

Water Canyon Beach Hike
- Enjoy an easy walk to this stunning 2-mile-long sandy beach and go for a swim, snorkel, or kayaking adventure.

Black Mountain Hike
- Advanced hikers will enjoy this steep climb with great views of the islands. Distance: 8 miles.

Lobo Canyon Hike
- Visit a canyon with sandstone cliffs and a year-round stream. This 9-mile hike is strenuous. Bring plenty of water and sun protection.

Explore more hikes on Santa Rosa Island here.

San Miguel Island

San Miguel Island offers plenty of hiking opportunities for all skill levels. You'll need a permit to visit the island. Here are some trails worth exploring.

Cuyler Harbor Beach Hike
- Enjoy a stroll on this two-mile stretch of white sand beach.

Cabrillo Monument Hike
- Visit the monument honoring Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the first European to explore the Channel Islands in 1542. It’s a short, but steep two-mile climb to the top of the island.

Lester Point Hike
- Check out views of Harris Point and Simonton Cove on this five-mile hike. Difficulty: Strenuous.

Check out more hikes on San Miguel Island here.

Santa Barbara Island

With rugged cliffs and dramatic overlooks - Santa Barbara Island is a must-visit with plenty of hikes ranging from moderate to strenuous.

Arch Point Hike
-Soak in those incredible California sunsets and coastal views on this moderate one-mile hike.

Elephant Seal Cove Overlook Hike
-​​ Don't miss the volcanic cliffs, Shag Rock, seals, and sea lions.

Webster Point Hike
- ​​Be ready for steep cliffs on this 3-mile strenuous hike.

Explore more Santa Barbara Island hikes here.

Hikes Near Oxnard

chumash trail near oxnard
Chumash Trail | Image Courtesy: Alex Cerball


Start your adventure on the coast off Highway 1 and follow the steep trail. The Chumash Trail offers spectacular ocean views and connects with other trails, including the Mugu Peak Trail.

Santa Monica Mountains

Just a short drive from Oxnard, you'll find the majestic Santa Monica Mountains. Whether you're searching for a quick hike or an all-day adventure, there are plenty of trails suitable for first-timers and advanced hikers.

Here are a few to add to your bucket list:

  • Mishe Mokwa Trail to Split Rock
  • Solstice Canyon Trail
  • Backbone Trail

Arroyo Verde Hiking Trails

The Arroyo Verde Park loop offers steep inclines and great views if you're in the mood for a serious workout. The 3.7-kilometer trail is located in Ventura and is accessible year-round.

Rose Valley Falls

Enjoy a quick stroll to Rose Valley Falls. This 1.8-kilometer waterfall hike is located near Ojai and is also dog-friendly.

Sulphur Mountain Trail

This popular 11-mile trail features plenty of switchbacks and views of the Ojai Valley. Be on the lookout for wildlife, including deer, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, red-tail hawks, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and roadrunners.

Plan your trip.

Santa Paula Canyon Trail to Punch Bowls

This 8-mile round-trip hike is located in Santa Paula and is worth the drive from Oxnard. At the end of the Punchbowl hike, you'll find a waterfall and a pool you can cool off in.

Hiking Tips

  • Whether you're an experienced hiker or a newbie, here are a few tips for a fun adventure.
  • Hike with a buddy and tell a friend where you are going. You might not always have cell reception in the mountains.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Check the weather and wear sun-protective clothing to avoid a nasty sunburn.
  • Leave no trace. Always pack out what you pack in.

    What are your favorite hikes in or around Oxnard?

    You may also like Rock Climbing Near Oxnard and Oxnard’s Best Local Parks.

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