Simi Valley is well-known for a few things, in particular the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, but it is probably under-appreciated for the beauty of the surrounding rock formations and mountains that can be enjoyed on various hikes.
Simi Valley is accessible via Metrolink and Amtrak; however, in order to access anything in town, you will need a car. The freeway that gets you to Simi Valley is the 118, which can be accessed via the 5 Freeway, the 405 Freeway, the 210 Freeway and the 23 Freeway.
There are several worthwhile hikes in Simi Valley, one of which is the Rocky Peak Park hike just over the LA County/Ventura County line on the other side of the 118 Freeway and Chatsworth at the Rocky Peak Road exit on the 118 Freeway. You will know you are at the entrance of the hike when you see the below sign:
The hike is a moderate one that is approximately 12,000 steps and is mostly uphill for the first half and downhill on your return. It starts with a steep incline, which becomes a steady incline up for about 2 miles. Along the hike you will see many amazing rock formations.
There are also several spectacular expansive views of both Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley from several vantage points on the hike.
Be aware that there are only two benches for resting, but there are plenty of rocks to climb and sit on. There is also a small sandstone cave you can climb into just after the first bench in the early part of the hike. Here is a video of the of a spot in the middle of the hike:
Do not go in the summer! This hike is better on a cool day in late Fall, Winter or early Spring as there is no shade along the hike. Be aware that there are several bikers and other hikers on the trail, both young old and you will also see several dogs with their owners.
There are several other trails that connect to the Rocky Peak Park trail, including the Hummingbird Trail. The Hummingbird Trail is a moderate hike that takes approximately three hours and can be accessed near the first bench.
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library:
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is on the opposite side of town from Rocky Peak Park and is off of the Madera Road exit on the 118 Freeway. The street address is 40 Presidential Drive and is numbered in honor of President Reagan’s place as the 40th President. The Museum features continually changing temporary exhibits and a permanent exhibit covering President Reagan’s life. There is a hangar that serves as the setting for the permanent display of the Boeing 707 aircraft utilized as Air Force One during President Reagan’s administration.
The Library is open 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. every day of the week, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission fees for Adults are $16.00 and there are discounts for senior citizens and kids.
Other Things To Do:
Another popular activity in picturesque Simi Valley is horseback riding. There are numerous options, including Neophyte Farms at 1206 Nonchalant Drive and can be reached at 805-630-0037. Neophyte Farms is located off of the 23 Freeway and Olsen Road.
For a glimpse of what life was really like in Simi Valley’s past, visit Strathearn Historical Park & Museum at 137 Strathearn Place. The Park and Museum is open until 3 pm during the week and between 1 to 4 pm on the weekends. There is no fee to enter, but there is a $3 donation suggestion upon entrance.
If you are craving “American fare” and want to go somewhere that is uniquely Simi Valley, then the Junkyard Cafe
at 2585 Cochran Street is for you. No two plates are alike, the walls are covered in polished junk, the menu is hand-drawn and filled with spirited items, and beers are served in 20oz frozen cauldrons.
If you are craving all you can eat Korean BBQ, then bring an empty stomach to KalbeQ at 1970 Sequoia Avenue. KalbeQ is a comfortable spot with flat screen televisions and the grills right at your table.
Day Trip Into A Weekend Trip:
If you are interested in expanding this Simi Valley Day Trip into a full weekend trip, consider continuing taking the Amtrak train north a good portion of which is along the shoreline to enjoy all that Santa Barbara and its surrounding areas has to offer. The Amtrak station is located at 5050 Los Angeles Ave.
Check out the Santa Barbara Day Trip for an overnight suggestion and a suggested itinerary.
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