Best hiked in the winter or spring, this challenging unnamed trail encompasses all that Rocky Peak Park has to offer as it tours its huge rock outcroppings, sandstone formations and spectacular vistas that overlook Simi Valley and even the Pacific Ocean on a clear day.
Encompassing portions of Rocky Peak Trail, Hummingbird Trail and Chumash Trail, the seven-mile loop moves through a rugged landscape that’s home to a diversity of animals, including hawks and coyotes . Although it is a loop, it’s not a complete one and does require a car shuttle.
The path begins at the Chumash Trailhead, which is located at the end of Flanagan Drive in Simi Valley. To get there from the 118 Freeway, exit Yosemite Avenue in Simi Valley. Drive north to Yosemite Avenue toward Flanagan Drive and make a right. The Chumash Trailhead is located less than one mile down the road.
The second vehicle should park at the Hummingbird Trailhead located at the end of Kuehner Drive. To get there from the 118 Freeway, exit on Kuehner Drive and head north till you reach the trailhead.
Starting on Chumash Trail the path climbs up in steep ascent and rises 1,100 feet before reaching the juncture connecting to Rocky Peak Trail. During the steep climb, panoramic vistas of the surrounding hillsides come into view. Along the path, abstract rock formations and outcroppings provide opportunity for exploring and bouldering.
Moving through laurel sumac, coyote bush and a variety of sages, the trail is also dotted with Oak Savannahs that create an ethereal and dreamlike landscape. Hawks can often be seen circling the skies overhead, their wild screeches contrasting against the slow rhythmic hum of the 118 Freeway below.
From gold to green, the colors of the area change with the winds and rains of the season. Rolling hills of open space and oak trees provide visitors with a glimpse into the undeveloped native California landscapes of the past.
Giant oak trees are scattered throughout the hills. Golden dry grass is abundant in summer, but in the spring one can find plethora of wildflowers bloom in its place, and to a lesser degree in the winter.
On the climb back on the Hummingbird Trail after a good rain, one can observe small waterfalls seeping out of the surrounding rock formations. Water cascades down cliffs and sandstones of the area, replenishing the local flora. The last portion of the loop offers the most beautiful varieties of plant life in the area, like Sugar Bush, Chamise and Bush Monkey flowers.
A picturesque journey that is sometimes challenging, the unnamed loop is an ideal choice for a winter outing after the season’s rains have allowed new blossoms to thrive, and is well worth organizing a car-shuttle system.
With opportunities for exploration, wildlife sightings and extensive views of the surrounding mountains, it’s a great place to bring an older child, adventurous parent or simply a good friend.
Hike at Glance
Distance: 7 to 8 miles
Elevation gain: About 1100 feet
Environment: Savannah, sandstone hillsides, chaparral
Usage: Dogs on leash, hikers, horses, bicycles
Difficulty: easy to moderate