- Location: Simi Valley. From the 118 Freeway, take the Kuehner Drive exit and head north (left if you’re coming from the west, right if from the east). Park in the large dirt lot on the right side of the road, almost immediately north of the freeway.
- Agency: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
- Distance: 4.4 miles
- Elevation gain: 1,150 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG-13 (Elevation gain, terrain, navigation)
- Suggested time: 2.5 hours
- Best season: October – May
- USGS topo map: Santa Susana
- Recommended gear: sun hat; sunblock; hiking poles
- Recommended guidebook: Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County
- More information: here; Everytrail report here
- Rating: 7
Like the nearby Chumash Trail, the Hummingbird Trail allows hikers the opportunity to get up close looks at some great geology while enjoying wide-ranging views of the Simi Valley/Santa Susana Pass area. It also provides a good workout, especially if you decide to continue on to Rocky Peak from the fire road. Navigation can be a little tricky, but if you keep an eye out for purple arrows on the rocks marking the route, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Also bear in mind that a lot of the switchbacks have been cut, so the correct route is usually the one that is the least steep. The trail’s grade is steady, but not too extreme.
From the parking area on the east side of Kuehner Drive north of the freeway, follow a dirt path between the road and the fence. In 0.2 miles, you reach the official beginning of the trail. Head down through a meadow, into a creek bed, past a large oak and turn left on the well-marked main trail (0.4 miles.)
You begin an ascent through a narrow canyon, closely hugging the south wall. The area opens up and you continue climbing along the rocky slope, ignoring a few narrow paths that branch off. If you find yourself confused about which path to take, keep in mind that the paths usually meet up again shortly (it’s often a result of switchbacks being cut).
At just over a mile, you cross through a narrow passage between two walls of rocks and continue climbing uphill. On your right is a rock ledge with several caves inside. Soon after, you pass another large outcrop that resembles the “Turtle Rock” in nearby Sage Ranch.
After a few more switchbacks, the trail starts to level out after 1.8 miles. A fairly easy 0.4 miles brings you to the Rocky Peak Fire Road, the turnaround point for this hike. A bench and a large flat rock provide nice places to sit and enjoy the view.
While the Hummingbird Trail suffers from some graffiti and trash, and never really escapes the noise of the 118 Freeway, it’s definitely a worthwhile hike, especially if you’ve done and enjoyed the Chumash Trail. It’s convenient location is also a plus, and even if you end up not hiking the whole thing, just a short scramble among the rocks is enjoyable.
Text and photography copyright 2013 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. By
reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.