Rocky Peak Park

For the last six months I have been hiking all across the Santa Monica Mountains so I decided to change things up a bit.  I drove out to Simi Valley to give the Santa Susana Mountains a try.  For some reason I was expecting disappointment but was met with something quite different and often astounding.  I hiked two trails, Hummingbird Creek Trail and Rocky Peak Trail to the junction with Johnson Motorway.  You can call this the hike of a billion rocks as the landscape is loaded with boulders, slabs and caves.  Yes, it was a bit crowded and near a major freeway but the scenery more than made up for it.  This hike has given me the inspiration to venture out and explore other mountain ranges.

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The first photos were taken near the beginning of Hummingbird Creek Trail.  Photo 4 – Look for the short side trail that leads out to a hidden palm tree.

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7     8     13   As I began to gain a bit of elevation I got close up with these clusters of boulders.

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Man vs. Nature

11     12   There are portions of the trail where I was walking on solid rock.  I was guided by these painted arrows.

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15     16   Things started to get even more interesting around the one mile mark.  There are trail markers every half mile.

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I think that’s San Fernando down there.  The trail is right near both Simi Valley and San Fernando and borders both Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

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Some of the best views came after I had ventured off on small side trails.  This mountain, with it’s constellation of boulders, sits across the freeway.

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33     34   One of the most surprising features of these trails is how smooth they are.  With such a rocky environment I was sure I’d be walking over loose and bumpy rocks but the dirt is hard and compact and the rocks, for the most part, are smooth.  In parts near the top of the first trail the ground became soft and sandy.  Photo 2 shows the bench that sits at the junction of Hummingbird Creek Trail and Rocky Peak Trail.  I turned left at the junction.

36     35     37   Rocky Peak Trail goes up and down on it’s relatively gentle slopes.

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The peak in the middle is what I believe to be the summit of this area, Rocky Peak.  The trail to get to it is not marked and the people I asked didn’t have a clue as to the location of the peak.

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41a   This is not the only oak tree in the area, but the way it stands alone at the top makes it a good reference point, so much so that it is included on one of the maps I brought with me.  After this oak I climbed a steep hill.  At the top of the hill, on the right, is the unmarked trail that takes you out to Rocky Peak.

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Here is a closer shot of the peak and her sister peaks.  This is the third highest point in the Santa Susana Mountains.

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Everything is tilted at a certain angle.

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Photo 1 – The trail cutting through the field of countless boulders.

46     48     47   Photo 2 – Evidence of the rain we had 24 hours prior.  Photo 3 – Hummingbird Ranch – a place where people get married, etc.

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Taken from the side trail that leads to the summit.

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Sadly, I thought the highest peak was up the trail yet and I wanted to conserve my energy so I turned around here.  That’s the peak right there in the center of the picture.

55     56   I hiked another mile and a half or so up the trail. The scenery seemed surreal at times.

58   On my way back I discovered a side trail that led up to these peaks from the bottom.  I was too tired to make the climb.

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Back on Hummingbird Creek Trail, I noticed this cave right off the side.

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The inside of the cave is actually kind of roomy and not dark.  There is a naturally formed “bench” to sit on.  This was a good place to rest and get out of the cold wind for a few minutes.  I love the way the wall has eroded and left such delicate looking patterns.

66     67   Almost back to my car now, I spot the palm tree below, a sight for sore feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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