Text and photography copyright 2010 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
- Location: North of Simi Valley. From the 118 freeway, take the Rocky Peak Road exit, turn right and park in the lot. (If you are coming from Moorpark or other points west, take a left on Rocky Peak Road and cross the freeway to access the parking lot.) Parking is free.
- Agency: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
- Distance: 5.6 miles
- Elevation gain: 1,200 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG-13 (elevation gain)
- Suggested time: 3 hours
- Best season: September – May
- USGS topo map: “Santa Susana”
- Recommended gear: sun hat
- More information: here; trip reports here
- Rating: 7
The trail to Rocky Peak is an easy escape into nature, just beyond the edge of the San Fernando Valley. Although the trail never really gets away from the noise of the 118 freeway, it provides the hiker with a lot of nice scenic variety, including some great geology–and quite a good workout.
From the parking lot, the trail begins with a steep ascent on a fire road. Stay right at the first junction (0.8) miles with the Hummingbird Trail. The trail levels out a little, traversing a ridge that straddles the boundary between L.A. and Ventura Counties. The noise level drops as you continue north from the freeway, and the sandstone rock formations become more interesting.
At 2.4 miles, look for a single-track trail heading off sharply to the right. The trail becomes obscure as it approaches Rocky Peak, and the last little bit may require some scrambling (be careful), but it should be pretty obvious where the highest point is.
From Rocky Peak, you get great views of the San Fernando Valley, the Santa Monica Mountains, and on clear days, the ocean. To the north, you can see the westernmost edge of the Angeles National Forest and the Santa Susana Mountains.
When you’re ready to go, descend carefully to the trail and head back to the fire road. Now that you’ve seen the view from the summit, Rocky Peak will be more to you than just a name of an offramp on the freeway.