Big Sky SoCal

Hike Big Sky in Simi Valley Southern California

Hiker at Big Sky Trail in Simi Valley

When does hiking through a neighborhood feel like you’re worlds away from civilization? When you’re in SoCal's Big Sky territory! Big Sky Trail, managed by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Parks Department, is a 4-mile loop through neighborhoods and over rolling hills, all with incredible vistas of the surrounding valley and, of course, that big blue beautiful sky.

Hiker on trail at Big Sky Trail in Simi Valley

Hiker on a trail at sunset at Big Sky Trail in Simi Valley

Hiker walking a wide open hiking trail at sunset with huge sky and mountain views in Simi Valley

Park at the unassuming corner of Erringer Road and Falcon Street and find two small lots at the southeast and northwest corners to choose from; the trailhead is on the east, marked by a sign. Begin with a slow yet steady ascent over the first three-quarters of a mile on a dirt trail (you gain over 625 feet throughout) before crossing Legacy Drive, your first of such suburban segments. Don’t worry, the neighborhoods are actually super serene as you continue on through oaks and eventually hop over Legends Drive and Young Wolf Drive. You will be mostly ascending and getting fantastic views of the surrounding hills and town, but the tour-de-force in terms of views looms right in front of you: This is Whiteface Mountain, a stunning peak that sits at just about 2300 feet (second in the area only to Simi Peak).

Hiker looking out to huge mountain and sky views at Big Sky Trail in Simi Valley

At about 1.8 miles you’ll reach the northern trailhead. Here you can cross the street and head west briefly to Big Sky Park and Simi Dog Park, which sits below Whiteface Mountain and is perhaps the coolest dog park in all of Southern California. Take a sharp right to continue the loop and reach another awesome viewpoint. 

Hiker passing the sign for Big Sky Trail in Simi Valley Ventura County

Pink wildflowers on the trail at Big Sky Trail in Simi Valley

At the plateau (stay away from the edge, it’s a surprisingly sheer drop!), look out at the Santa Monica Mountains to the south, prominent Oat Mountain in the east, and the surrounding Simi Valley neighborhoods. Then head south on the trail passing over Swift Fox Court. Look for red blooms of Indian paintbrush and the yellows of brittlebush and mustard seed. You can also spot the purple flowers of a SoCal perennial, black sage, and the brighter pink petals of desert rock purslane on your route back. We recommend taking this hike during golden hour to get the full Big Sky effect!

Logo on wall featuring The Alley Moorpark brewpub in Simi Valley

outdoor tables amid string lights at The Alley Moorpark in Simi Valley

BONUS BEER: After hopping through neighborhoods, head to Simi’s western neighbor, Moorpark, for some hops! Just a short drive away is The Alley, a hip collaborative narrow space that features a brewery, winery, roastery, and more. We love Enegren Brewing, which serves up authentic German brews—on hot days, our favorites include The Lightest One (German-style helles) and Schöner Tag (Bavarian-style hefeweizen), but their dark beers are also amazing (like the Nighthawk black lager). Pair it with a bratwurst or schnitzel from Fire and Vice next door. Prost!

Person enjoying a beer at The Alley Moorpark

To get to the southern Big Sky Loop trailhead, take the CA-118 to the Erringer Rd. exit and head north. After 0.5 mile the trailhead is on your right at the intersection with Falcon St. Dog-friendly!

Story and photos by Matt Pawlik, @mattitudehikes

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Hiker on the SCA trail in Marin Headlands with view of the Golden Gate Bridge

    Headlands Over Heels

    People come from all over the world to get a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. Get a dramatic and novel view of the bridge without all the people on this moderate 6-mile hike in the Marin Headlands.

  2. Hiker at Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve hiking amid lupine wildflowers

    Hidden Wilds of Healdsburg

    When you arrive at Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve, you may wonder what could possibly be tucked behind a subdivision. But within minutes of hiking in this 155-acre preserve, the beauty reveals itself: majestic oak trees, wetland, spring wildflowers, and wowing views of the Mayacama Mountains and Russian River.

  3. Hiker on a trail with beautiful green hills and wildflowers on the grasses at Carr Ranch in Contra Costa County

    Carr Ranch

    Can’t decide between an epic hike or a relaxing nature walk? The 8.3-mile Carr Ranch Trail loop in the East Bay’s Contra Costa County is the perfect hike for rugged adventurers with a soft side.

  4. Two women at the entrance of the Lavender Labyrinth at Bees N Blooms in Santa Rosa

    Lavender Labyrinth

    Labyrinths are meditative meanders. Add fragrant organic lavender and you're at Bees N Blooms at the foot of Taylor Mountain near Santa Rosa, experiencing their “ancient pathway of peace” and more.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Urban Hike to the Shakespeare Bridge in LA

    Shakespeare Bridge + Secret Garden

    Romeo, Romeo, we all know how this goes, but do you know how to go to the Shakespeare Bridge and secret gardens? We’ve got the online do-it-yourself hiking route for you.

  2. Hiker overlooking Bear Gulch Reservoir at Pinnacles National Park near Monterey

    Pinnacles of Spring

    Why hike at Pinnacles National Park? Spring's a beautiful time of year here. And you might spy the magnificent California condor soaring while you gain soaring views from the High Peaks Trail.

  3. Hike Mount Tamalpais into Muir Woods

    Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.

  4. Hikers by the reservoir at Triunfo Creek Park near Thousand Oaks

    Triumphant in Triunfo

    Go on a hike with a peaceful reservoir, charming meadows, and beautiful spring blooms at Triunfo Creek Park near Thousand Oaks.