Hummingbird trail – Slickrock in LA

Hummingbird

If you’ve ever marveled at the beautiful rocks above the 118 on the pass between Simi Valley and Chatsworth, then you should get a closer look on the Hummingbird trail. Starting just north of the 118 in Simi, you park on the side of Kuehner Road. It’s 2 miles long, and about 1000 feet in elevation gain, so it’s quite a workout. As you can see in the picture, there’s some amazing sections heading across solid rock, it’s a great place to see some naked geology. It’s popular with local mountain bikers, but I also enjoy it as a hike. Bikers have trouble getting up enough speed on this terrain to be a hazard to pedestrians, so there’s not too much user conflict.

Here’s a Google map showing the route:

View Larger Map

Parking is on the east side of Kuehner, 200 yards north of the freeway. There’s an open area between the lot and the start of the trail proper. They’re redeveloping this for housing, but it’s an official trail, so just walk across this section to a small creekbed. The trail itself heads up from here, and is mostly very clearly marked, apart from the slickrock sections. It is quite technical if you’re biking, so take care. There’s also a lot of switchbacks, with sections where people have cut across. These shortcuts turn into streams very easily, since they’re following the ‘fall line’ straight down the hill, so they accelerate erosion and end up scarring the land.

There’s several sections where the trail heads across bare rock. Keep going on the same heading that the trail entered each, and you’ll pick up the next dirt part of the trail. There’s also one section with small painted markers to follow. The whole area burnt several years ago, you’ll still see a lot of charred shrubs amongst the regrowth.

The trail ends at Rocky Peak Fire Road, which you can take back to the Rocky Peak exit of the 118. There’s no real loop you can do on Hummingbird, so I often end up making it an out and back. The climb gives you some gorgeous views out over both Simi and San Fernando Valleys.

Here’s another description of this trail including some of the history, by the Simi Trailblazers.

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