This trail is where I accidentally discovered hiking in 2010 and I have been hooked ever since. There is a paved parking lot at the trailhead in Simi Valley, and a well-traveled trail to follow that branches into an entire network of trails in and around the Simi Hills.
This particular hike is relatively easy (but only if you are in shape, if not, it will be hard for you), and features stunning views, a fossil-encrusted outcrop of stone, wildflowers in the spring, a single-track trail as well as a fire road, and in the winter months a toad-filled, croak-infested pond if you go at night. There is a rather steep ascent right at the beginning until we reach a trail marker where we will rest and take in some fabulous views while we wait for everyone to catch up. This is followed by a long, easy trek to the toad pond (or are they frogs?). From there, we will have another climb back up a steep hill that will lead us to the top of a rock face looking toward the west, where we will again rest and munch on...um...munchies while we enjoy a terrific view that includes the Santa Monica mountains, Mt McCoy, and the Santa Susana mountains to the north. From there we will follow the trail back to the trail marker we saw after the first climb, then pick our way back down the same way we came up.
If you would like to see the GPS-based track of this hike that I put on alltrails.com (one of our sponsors -- I highly recommend their free smartphone app), you can see it at: http://alltrails.com/tracks/long-canyon-loop
Distance: 3.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 784
Difficulty: Easy, but only if you are in shape.
Known Hazards: There are sections of loose stones where "slip and fall" is a risk, and while it is possible we could encounter a snake, it is doubtful.
Directions to Trailhead:
From the 118, take the First Street exit and go South on 1st for several miles through numerous stoplights until you get to a stop SIGN. The parking lot will be just to your left up a slight incline. From the 23: Take Olsen Road exit, turning right at the bottom of the ramp (watch out for traffic that does not stop from the left!), and take Olsen (it becomes Madera) until you get to Wood Ranch. Turn right on Wood Ranch and take it until you hit a stop SIGN. The parking lot is in front of you a wee bit to the right and up a slight incline.
Here are some pictures I have taken on this hike in the past:
This is the view that got me hooked on hiking!
This is the ascent right after the toad pond.
I took this photo on Feb 11, 2012 on this trail.
Disclaimer / Release of Liability:
You must RSVP to attend this event, no exceptions. Hiking and other outdoor events are inherently dangerous and accidents can happen. By participating in any posted event, you're taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. This Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. You are responsible for you. If you choose to sign up for any events, you are releasing the Group and its organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgement and experience. This applies to any guests you may invite.