Big Sky SoCal
Hike Big Sky in Simi Valley Southern California
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.
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).
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.
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!
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!
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
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