Distance: 5 miles round trip on trail
Summit Elevation: 2403'
Elevation Gain: 1530'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 1.22
Round trip time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Recommended water: 32 oz.
Parking/Fees: Free on King James Court
Simi Peak is the high point in the Simi Hills, part of the Santa Susana Mountains north of Agoura Hills. I drove up Lindero Canyon Road from the 101 and parked in the cul-de-sac on King James Court. This is one of the trailheads for Simi Peak, signed as "China Flat Trail Head". With two shorter hikes planned for the day and no cross country travel, I brought my light pack and trail runners. I also left behind some unnecessary gear. I had pre-taped a few toes in anticipation of jogging some downhills.
The trail starts up a wide, dirt road, then eventually narrows to a single track. Views are pretty good from the start, looking down into the Simi Valley. After reaching the ridge, you descend a couple of hundred feet down to what I think is China Flat, a wide grassy meadow with large deciduous trees. I really enjoyed the beauty and tranquility of the area. Past the meadow, the trail climbs again, winding around Simi Peak then coming back for the final ascent. For a relatively small amount of work, you are rewarded with stunning 360 views. The low, early morning clouds making islands out of the surrounding hills. I didn't find the benchmark that I know exists, but there was a new register book in two large ziplock bags only dating back to July, 2014. I autographed the book and jogged about half way back to the car.
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