Peak 1,561ft
Rocky Peak LPC
Peak 2,717ft

Thu, Mar 30, 2017

With: Patrick O'Neill

Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPXs: 1 2 Profiles: 1 2
Rocky Peak previously climbed Mon, Dec 29, 2008

Continued...

I was a little surprised that Patrick was willing to drive up from Dana Point to join me for a hike in the Simi Valley area on a Thursday morning. The 2hr+ fight through LA traffic would have been difficult for me to endure, particularly since the hike was fairly mundane, about 11-12mi, and one of the two peaks we had already visited. Perhaps I underestimate the draw of my charming company. It was somewhat of a rest day between visits with my sisters who both live in the area, not far from where we grew up in Canoga Park. I had visited Rocky Peak 8yrs earlier when I was chasing LPC peaks, but came back to tackle an unnamed summit in the northern reaches of the park, twice the distance to Rocky Peak. As I was eating breakfast in the van where I had slept at Santa Susana Pass, I got a text from Patrick indicating the traffic was worse than he expected and it would take him longer than expected. Not surprised in the least, I had a few short hikes planned that I could use to soak up the extra time from any delay in his arrival.

Peak 1,561ft

The north side of this summit is part of an undeveloped natural park on the south side of Simi Valley. I parked in a small residential neighborhood on Huckleberry Oak St and floundered about looking for an actual trail. I found this on the way down (an old ranch road), but had to beat a path through tall weeds on my way up to start. The informal trails/roads lead to several points overlooking the valley but the highpoint is on the other side of private ranchlands beyond a fenceline. As if to emphasize this point, three cattle were quietly grazing just beyond the fence when I reached it. Giving them space, I quietly slipped across the fence and made my way to the highpoint where one has a good view south of the Simi Hills, very green this time of year, and a so-so view north to Simi Valley. The whole outing was less than 2mi roundtrip but that was all I had time for. I got a text while I was descending that Patrick had arrived ahead of his revised schedule. He was happily preparing an espresso in the back of his Grand Cherokee when I arrived 15min later.

Rocky Peak/Peak 2,717ft

Most of this hike is along an old ranch road that winds its way north from Santa Susana Pass to the crest of the Santa Susana Mountains. Much of the route falls within Rocky Peak Park or adjacent open space areas. It is very popular and the poorly developed parking area at the TH is often full. There is more parking available on the south side of the freeway overpass where Patrick and I had met up. We spent about 4hrs hiking the park to Peak 2,717ft, stopping first for the side visit to Rocky Peak. We missed the well-defined use trail from the south, but found another from the west that had some mild brush and contrived class 3 to deal with. The overstuffed summit log was housed in a utility box bolted to a pole, notable for the admonishment written in Sharpie, "Please Do Not Shit in Box!" One has to wonder if the type of people that might actually defecate in a summit register would be swayed by the friendly "Please". This LPC summit sees a great deal of traffic and there are numerous books filled with entries, none going back more than a few years. The summit has a nice view to the northeast of Oat Mtn, the highpoint of the Santa Susana Mtns.

On our way from Rocky Peak to Peak 2,717ft we crossed paths with a group of 7-8 volunteer rangers on bike patrol. The rocky nature of much of the old road made it questionable whether a bike would make a better option to foot travel, but they seemed to be having fun - all but the last guy who was older and had a few more pounds on him that was walking his bike up the hill some distance behind the others. We had an enjoyable hike at a leisurely pace to the highpoint, one of two closely-spaced hillocks vying to be the highest (we visited both to be sure, no register at either). Just before reaching the summit, as we were making our way from the road up the short distance of cross-country to the top, I was startled by the sound of a rattlesnake in the grass underfoot. I jumped to one side, screaming in a high pitched-voice while we watched the healthy-looking 2-foot snake disappear into the brush. Patrick had heard the snake rattle before I had and wondered why I had continued on. I blame it on the poor reaction times of Old Guys. The only other bit of excitement was the interesting little pinnacle Patrick decided to scale during our return. He made it look easy enough that I didn't feel the need to follow suit.

Pass Point

After returning to our cars at Santa Susana Pass we made a short visit to the PB-only summit of Pass Point on the south side of the freeway. There are several trails and roads that one can use right off Santa Susana Pass Rd that lead close to the top. The blocky summit is not located on public lands but it appears to see regular visitations along the various trails that thread through the hills here, overlooking the western San Fernando Valley. The ascent took all of 15min and about the same for the return. It was nearing 3p by the time we were done and Patrick was eager to get back on the road for his return to Dana Point. It would not be a pleasant commute, to be sure. I had only to drive a few miles to my sister's place in West Hills, a much better way to finish the day...

Continued...


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