I'm changing this slightly for variety. I'm keeping the description of the hike below, and you can ALWAYS do this Mt McCoy hike since it is actually hosted by another group, and they always have a hiking leader there. But on ODD numbered days I personally am going to go to the Long Canyon Trailhead (click this link for location and description (http://www.meetup.com/The-PM-Hikers/events/108048842/)) where there is an informal group that meets at the same time. That hike is a bit longer and harder, and falls into the 'Intermediate' category. You are welcome to alternate each week, like me, but on ANY given Tuesday I may or may not show up to either one of these (though I almost always do). -Kurt
This Mt McCoy event is actually a weekly hike sponsored by a hiking club I belong to, the Rancho Simi Trail Blazers (http://www.simitrailblazers.com/index.html) (RSTB), who have given me permission to cross-post it here since many of our members live nearby. RSTB just created their own Meetup (1/15/2013), which you can see/join by clicking here (http://www.meetup.com/Rancho-Simi-Trail-Blazers/). I have been a member of the RSTB for a few years now.
Distance: 3.2 Miles
Elevation Gain: 500'
Time: 6:00 p.m. (approx 1.5 hours in duration)
Leashed dogs are allowed.
The Mt McCoy hike occurs every Tuesday evening year round, and while not difficult, still provides a hike that is satisfying to the legs as well as the eyes. This accessible location is on the west side of Simi Valley, a very short drive from the 118.
You may read a very interesting description and history of Mt McCoy by clicking here (http://www.simitrailblazers.com/hikes/mtmccoy.html), but from the top of McCoy you will have a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of Simi Valley, Moorpark, the Simi Hills, the Santa Susana Mountains, the Santa Monica Mountains, and on a clear day, the Channel Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
As an official event of the RSTB, you will be asked to sign the standard Park District "hold harmless" agreement.
While I will often be found in attendance (as this hike is very close to where I live), it's not my hike. The leader will generally be Mike Kuhn (known to many as a human encyclopedia of local flora, fauna, geology and history) or one of the other sanctioned RSTB hiking leaders.
In the winter months you will need to bring a flashlight.
Our categories for hike difficulty:
Beginner: No steep sections. Up to 4 miles in distance and no more than 750' elevation gain.
Intermediate: 4-10 miles, and/or up to 2000' elevation gain.
Advanced: More than 10 miles, and/or more than 2000' elevation gain.
Here are some pictures I have taken from Mt McCoy, beginning with a shot of the real McCoy:
Mt McCoy is distinguished by the huge concrete cross at the top. (See the history link above to learn about this. It has been there since the early recorded history of this area.)
Looking north to the Santa Susana mountains:
This was a PM Hikers daytime event in 2012:
The next one predates the PM Hikers, when I led weekly Wednesday night hikes here for another meetup group:
The most amazing sunset of my life was on Mt McCoy:
Looking south toward the Santa Monica Mountains: