5 miles, 500′ gain, Beginner
This hike is a great trail for beginners because all the elevation gain is distributed. It is a walk down a rolling fire road through a really cool canyon, and you will find no difficult or extended elevation climbs.
This is one of my favorite trails for people new to hiking. It is an “out-and-back” hike, where we return the way we came, so there is virtually no chance of getting lost. You may be amazed that such a place exists right here in Simi Valley.
From the trail head, we’ll walk down an asphalt path for several hundred steps and turn right onto a gravel fire road. After that, there will be no more turns. We may take a detour up a trail off to the right to see the first bee sanctuary, then return back to the fire road.
We’ll continue on the fire-road for about 1 mile. We’ll stop there (in the shade if summer) to allow others to catch up.
Then we’ll take a 200′ detour to the left to see another bee sanctuary, which continues in a half circle back to the fire road. Even though I haven’t seen any actual bees there in a while, it’s still interesting to see.
We’ll continue for another 1.5 miles and have a social event, right on the trail. We’ll share snacks and beverages. For the return, we go back the way we came.
There is a lot of wild life along this trail because it is the only area with water for quite a distance.
This is a social hike, not a conditioning hike. Still, for those that aren’t interested in the beverage and/or snack share and want more of a workout, just continue on for another mile, then turn around and come back. That’s about how long we’ll be before packing up and heading back the way we came.
Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca)
Elongated yellow flowers. The Cahuilla Indians used the leaves interchangeably with other tobacco species in hunting rituals and as a poultice to treat swellings, bruises, cuts, wounds, boils, sores, inflamed throat, and swollen glands.
It does not contain nicotine. It contains anabasine, a similar compound, which is highly toxic to humans and animals. It is more toxic than nicotine. Ingestion of the leaves can be fatal. It is being investigated for use as a biofuel. All parts of this plant are toxic.
Used as an insecticide. Do not smoke it.
Distance: 5 miles
Distribution: Well distributed.
Shape: Out and Back.
Pace: 2.0 mph.
Trail Type: Fire road.
Trail Variations: Rolling stroll.
Duration: 3.5 hours
Drinking Fountains: No.
Parking: Free along street.
What to bring:
1 liter of water for every 3 miles.
Snacks and/or beverages to share
Hiking shoes preferred, but athletic shoes will be OK.
Flashlight or headlamp.
Sunscreen and/or hat as needed.
Route and Navigation: Host memory, enhanced by GPS navigation as needed.
Hike type: Social.
We won’t be hiking at a fast pace because this is a social hike, not a conditioning hike. There is nothing wrong with stopping, even if it means every 50 steps.
The host may designate stopping points to let others catch up. This hike will include an extended stop for a snack and beverage share at the half way point. This hike does not have any junctions or turns once past the initial path down to the fire road. There may not always be a sweeper designated to be the last hiker.
Since this hike is out-and-back on a wide fire road with no turns after the first 500′, one cannot get lost. Therefore, for this hike, it will be acceptable to split from the group moving faster, slower, or otherwise at your own pace.
Sometimes hikers wish to move significantly ahead and not wait at designated stopping points. Please let the host know. They are on their own regarding route and navigation.
Las Llajas Canyon Trail
5715 Evening Sky Dr
Simi Valley, CA 93063
From the west
23-N to 118-E, Exit 29 Yosemite.
From the east: 118-W, Exit 29 Yosemite.
Head north on Yosemite for 1.25 miles. Turn right (east) on Evening Sky Drive and proceed for 0.5 miles.
See the trail head on the left. Park along the street.