Simi Hills

 

The Simi Hills run east-west for approximately 26 miles and average about 7 miles in width. The area is an important wildlife corridor and open space linking the Santa Monica Mountains to the Santa Susana Mountains and beyond to the Topatopa and San Gabriel Mountains. The highest peak is Simi Peak rising to 2,403 feet.

The Simi Hills are located almost entirely in southeastern Ventura County with a small area located within the western San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles County. The city of Simi Valley is located to the north, Thousand Oaks to the west, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, and Calabasas to the south, and West Hills, Woodland Hills, and Chatsworth to the far east. Bell Canyon and Bell Canyon Park are also located in the Simi Hills.

The Santa Susana Pass Historic Park is located where the Simi Hills meet the Santa Susana Mountains on the border between Ventura County and Los Angeles County. The Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, formerly known as Ahmanson Ranch is located in the Simi Hills in the far eastern end of Ventura County. Perez Peak is a 1,575 foot peak in the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space. Sage Ranch Park is located high in the northwestern Simi Hills.

 

China Flat

China Flat is a 1,100 acre plateau and meadow in the northern Simi Hills located north of Oak Park and Agoura Hills in Ventura County, just below Simi Peak which is the highest point in the Simi Hills. The flat is located at about 2,000 feet above sea level and is protected within the Cheeseboro Canyon / Palo Comado Canyon Open Space park which is within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Trails reach China Flat from trailheads in the Conejo Valley, Calabasas, the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, and the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve. The trail to the summit of Simi Peak passes through China Flat. The name is derived from the fact that Chinese railroad workers built an encampment there in the 1890s when they were not permitted to own land or become citizens.

 

Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing

The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing, also known as the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing, is a freeway overpass at Liberty Canyon in Agoura Hills that connects the Santa Monica Mountains on the south with the Simi Hills on the north. The $90 million dollar bridge allows wild animals, including mountain lions, to cross over the Ventura Freeway without being exposed to danger. Prior to construction of the overpass, the National Park Service reported that, on average, one mountain lion was killed by traffic each year.

 

 

Roscoe-Valley Circle Park

Roscoe-Valley Circle Park is an undeveloped open space park that is ideal for hiking in the Simi Hills. The park is located just north of West Hills and south of Chatsworth and offers excellent views of the San Fernando Valley and surrounding hills.

 

Santa Susana Pass

The Santa Susana Pass is a mountain pass in the Simi Hills connecting Chatsworth and tile San Fernando Valley to Simi Valley, The pass forms an important wildlife corridor between the Simi Hills to the south and the Santa Susana Mountains to the north. The area contains many scenic sandstone formations and huge boulders that have provided the background for many films, The Santa Susana Pass is the location of the Santa Susana Pass Historic Park consisting of more than 680 acres of open space.

 

Bell Creek

Bell Creek, also known as Escorpion Creek, is a 10 mile long tributary of the Los Angeles River that originates in the Simi Hills of Ventura County and the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County.

 

Medea Creek

Medea Creek is a small creek that originates in the Simi Hills north of Oak Park in Ventura County. The creek flows south through Medea Creek Natural Park in Oak Park and then south through Agoura Hills, past Chumash Park and then further south through Malibu Junction into unincorporated Agoura. It then flows south into Malibou Lake which is a man-made lake located in the Santa Monica Mountains near Paramount Ranch. Any overflow from Malibou Lake flows into Malibu Creek and eventually into Malibu Lagoon which is part of Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Malibou Lake is not spelled like the name of the creek and city.

 

EI Escorpion Park - Castle Peak

EI Escorpion Park is a three acre park in the Simi Hills in the western San Fernando Valley, within the community of West Hills. Castle Peak which stands at 1,475 feet is located within the park. The park offers rock climbing and hiking. Castle Peak offers excellent views of the Santa Susana Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, the Simi Hills, and most of the San Fernando Valley. A trail from the park leads to Bell Canyon and Bell Canyon Park.

 

Rancho Las Virgenes

Rancho Las Virgenes was the 17,760 acre Spanish land grant given in 1802 that included present day Oak Park, Agoura Hills, part of Westlake Village, and a portion of the Simi Hills and Santa Monica Mountains. The Reyes Adobe, a historical site, built in 1845, is located in Agoura Hills. It is the oldest structure remaining in the Rancho Las Virgenes.

 

Placerita Canyon State Park

Placerita Canyon Nature Center

Placerita Canyon State Park, in Los Angeles County, was created to preserve and protect the site of the first discovery of gold in California in 1842. Its location links the Angeles National Forest, the Santa Susana Mountains, the Simi Hills, and the Santa Monica Mountains. The 342 acre state park features a nature center with gardens, extensive hiking trails, picnic areas, a waterfall, and various educational programs. The park contains the "Oak of the Golden Dream" site of the first discovery of gold in California and the historic Walker Cabin built in 1920. the Placerita Canyon Nature Center is located at 19152 Placerita Canyon Road in Newhall. Placerita Canyon was home to the Tataviam People, also known as the Tataviam Indians for thousands of years before the area was claimed by Spain and later by Mexico. Wildlife includes coyotes, bobcats, black bears, mountain lions, deer, rabbits, fox, badgers, and skunks.

 

Arroyo Conejo Open Space

The Arroyo Conejo Open Space, also referred to as the Arroyo Conejo Nature Preserve and the Arroyo Nature Reserve, is a 302-acre open space reserve in the western Simi Hills in northern Newbury Park. Locally, the preserve is referred to as La Branca, the Barranca, and the Grand Canyon of the Conejo Valley. The preserve is owned and administered by the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA). The preserve is home to bobcats, coyotes, deer, black bears, mountain lions, golden eagles, hawks, owls, quail, and pond turtles.

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