November 9th – Simi Peak from King James Court via China Flat

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13 hikers met along Lindero Canyon Road (near King James Court) in Oak Park on a pleasant autumn morning. Our hike in the Simi Hills began along a single-track trail, but soon continued along an old dirt-and-rock road as it rose steadily up the south side of the mountain, providing ever-expanding views to the south. Upon reaching the apex of the old road, we headed north and descended into lovely China Flat with its oak trees and sprawling golden meadows. Despite the recent drought and last year’s Woolsey Fire, many of the oak trees displayed bright green leaves and provided some much-appreciated shade as the morning grew warmer.

When the trail “leveled out” in China Flat, we followed a single-track trail westward and climbed to Simi Peak (2,403’), the highest point in the Simi Hills (which occupy the area between Simi Valley and Hwy 101 and between Hwy 23 and the San Fernando Valley), where we were greeted by relatively clear vistas. We took a rest-and-snack break atop the peak and enjoyed the panoramic views including the Santa Susana Mountains, and two of the Channel Islands (Anacapa Island and Santa Rosa Island). After a while we returned to our vehicles the way we came, completing a 6.1-mile hike with over 1,500′ of elevation gain/loss on a beautiful day.