Triumphant in Triunfo

Hike Among Wildflowers at Triunfo Creek Park near Thousand Oaks

Hikers by the reservoir at Triunfo Creek Park near Thousand Oaks

{MARCH 2024 UPDATE: Due to recent storms, before going to the park, please check ahead for weather forecasts, along with trail status and conditions; trails can be muddy and have debris or unexpected hazards; exercise good judgement and caution.}

Where can you find a hike with thousands of wildflower blooms without thousands of people? Head to quaint Westlake Village near Thousand Oaks to find a 2-mile loop (with options for more) through 600-acre Triunfo Creek Park. Enjoy serene vistas of a peaceful reservoir, charming meadows, and those beautiful spring blooms.

Hikers on a trail at Triunfo Creek Park near Thousand Oaks

A hiker takes pictures of California Poppy at Triunfo Creek Park near Thousand Oaks

A hiker smiling at the camera on a trail with mountains in the background at Triunfo Creek Park in Southern California

Park at the terminus of Triunfo Canyon Road (just after passing the eponymous Westlake Lake, which is worth a post-hike visit), where you’ll find plenty of street spots and the Pentachaeta trailhead, which is named after the array of Lyon’s pentachaeta, an endangered yellow daisy-like flower found throughout the park (look for an interpretive sign to read more about this rare SoCal gem). Head on the right path, which is known as the Westlake Vista Trail, to start your flower hour.

After passing under an oak (the trail does not in fact have thousands of oaks, so enjoy the little shade you can!), you’ll immediately be rewarded with your first flower power—an incredibly dense grove of bright yellow mustard plant blooms, followed quickly by the famous orange petals of California poppies. You then start a rather steep ascent (ignore all junctions and stay right) gaining 500 feet over the next mile or so. Keep an eye out for the white petals of island morning glories and orange-yellow Scotch broom flanking the trail.

A hiker heading towards Las Virgenes Reservoir at Triunfo Creek Park near Thousand Oaks

You’ll soon reach a plateau and a peaceful meadow loop, featuring up-close views of the Las Virgenes Reservoir. The water vistas get better as you continue to climb up the rocky slopes. There are plenty of wildflowers to spy here: the pale orange blooms of sticky monkey-flowers, pink tubular flowers radiating from stems of obedient plants, the delicate purples of elegant clarkia, and the even daintier pink cup-like petals of bush mallow. Our local favorite is the wooly blue curls; their dense blue clusters are both furry and fragrant.

After the 1.3-mile mark, find a trail heading north down the hills that deposits you at the trailhead. If you’ve brought your poles, good boots, and a desire for more mileage, you can continue east to complete the Pentachaeta Loop (caution—the steep descents are slippery from the rocks), where you’ll find more bright bloomage, such as chocolate and white globe lilies.

Either way, it’s a floral triumph in Triunfo!

To get to the Pentachaeta trailhead in Triunfo Creek Park, take the US-101 to the Lindero Canyon Rd. exit and head south. After 2 miles, turn left onto Triunfo Canyon Rd., where you’ll immediately find parking and the trailhead. Dog-friendly!

Story and photos by Matt Pawlik, @mattitudehikes

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