Holy Wow!

Hike Mount McCoy in Simi Valley

Ready for a heavenly hike? Simi Valley’s Mount McCoy, managed by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Parks District (with help from the Rancho Simi Trailblazers), is a 2.5-mile (out-and-back) suburban rambler that climbs 525 feet in 1.25 miles and features non-stop panoramic views, beautiful native flora, and a giant white cross at the hill’s summit.

Hiker on a trail flanked by cacti at Mount McCoy in Simi Valley

Hiker on a trail leading up to a giant cross at Mount McCoy in Simi Valley

Hiker sitting at a bench on Mount McCoy near a giant cross overlooking Simi Valley

Park at the corner of Washburn Street and Los Amigos Avenue in the quiet suburbs of West Simi Valley. After going through the gate, head south along the dirt trail, past dense groves of prickly pear cactus, with miraculous pink and orange blooms in spring. There are a couple of spur trails, but stay south for a quarter mile before the route turns sharply north and begins a series of rigorous switchbacks enhanced by growing views to the east of Simi Valley framed by the Santa Susana Mountains. 

Hiker on a trail at Mount McCoy in Simi Valley

There are spur trails throughout that go straight up, but stick to the switchbacks to avoid the steep, slippery sections and to be respectful of the primary trail. Enjoy chaparral and coastal sage scrub classics including surprise oaks and rosemary. Look to the south for Sinaloa Lake, a peaceful 12-acre reservoir. As you reach a plateau, you’ll be greeted by some benches and more incredible views to the south and west, including the giant Bard Lake, a 231-acre reservoir that is the largest in the area. You can also spy the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to the west, perched upon a hill.

Giant cross at the top of Mount McCoy in Simi Valley

Take the last gradual approach north to the cross itself, a 12-foot concrete behemoth erected in 1941 by the Simi Valley-Moorpark Lions Club. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the divine views at the 1325-foot summit of Mount McCoy. Enjoy them with a picnic among the rocks before heading back down the way you came, taking in the continuous views on your way back to the original trailhead and your car.

Hiker taking in the wide open mountain and valley scenery from Mount McCoy in Simi Valley Ventura County

To get to the Simi Cross trailhead, take the CA-118 to the Madera St. exit and head south. After 1.5 miles, turn right onto Royal Ave., followed by a quick right onto Acapulco Ave. and a quick left onto Washburn St. After 0.2 mile you reach the intersection with Los Amigos Ave. and the trailhead. Dog-friendly!

Story and photos by Matt Pawlik, @mattitudehikes

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