NOTE: There are 2 options for this hike, a short and a long version, but both are intermediate. For the short version, you'll get to a trail junction, and I will point the way back to a place you have already been, about 0.75 miles away and from there it's an easy 1.4 more miles downhill to your cars. NO chance of getting lost. The rest of of the group will continue, adding an additional 3 miles and probably one hour to the hike. If you are worried about doing the short version without a hike leader, then you should not attend, but there is only one trail and it will be VERY clear how to get back to your cars.
We will begin at Tapo Canyon Trailhead just a couple miles north of the Simi Valley courthouse on Tapo Canyon Road. This will take you into a canyon that has outstanding views (pictures below) of the surrounding Santa Susana Mountains, around a loop, and then back.
The shorter version is not a difficult hike because the elevation is rather mild, and it's spread out over the whole hike, although true beginners will find it hard. The longer version is certainly intermediate, but not even a difficult intermediate, and you'll have WONDERFUL views, not visible on the shorter version.
Distance: 5 miles, 2 hours / long option 8 miles and about 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 700' / long option 1400'
Difficulty: Easy intermediate / long option intermediate
Dogs: Yes, but only if leashed, per State law
Restrooms: Haha, no!
Parking: Free along Tapo Canyon Road
Trail: Single track and Fire Roadish, excellent condition
Known Dangers: Rattlesnakes (they are definitely active now), slip-'n-fall
Directions: Take the Tapo Canyon exit from the 118 in Simi Valley. Turn right from the off-ramp onto northbound Tapo Cyn and keep going 1.7 miles. The trailhead will be on your right. If you get to Lost Canyons Drive on your left, you have gone a wee bit too far. Here is a link to Google Street View of the trailhead: Tapo Canyon Trailhead (https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-118.720457,3a,69.7y,93.92h,90.4t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1svRHdp7FenigPZ3zwLQ1PGw!2e0) The GPS coordinates of the trailhead are:[masked] N, and[masked] W, but trust your GPS at your own risk. They OFTEN take you to the wrong location.
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.