Went on this trail today. i love it. Much of it goes thru private property. That probably why its not maintained. I went all the way to the end where it connects to Las llajas rd. and Browns canyon rd. Last time i did this area I went left to las llajas and down the canyon to simi valley. Its a long hike. I brought my bike.I'm not much of a biker I usually walk uphill and bike back down. One of the property owners stopped me and took my photo and info. He was nice though just informed me that he is not happy that all the maps have this as a public hiking trail and it goes right thru the middle of his property. He said he is willing to dedicate a path off to one side
Bottom line: easy hike but with varied and fun terrain, including creek crossings and cool canyon views
Details: my fiancé and I did the trail and there wasn't anyone else on it. We went the weekend after the first El Niño rains and some of the creek crossing were really muddy but that just added to the adventure.
Hardest part was finding the trailhead. Drive to the Summerset Village Apartments and park on the street outside the leasing office. Walk through to the end where there's a dirt bath behind all of the buildings and head north towards a stair set that's gated off (unlocked).
Take the stairs down and the trail meanders through the canyon and soon enough into the shady hike passed the canyon walls.
This is a fantastic walk. Done it several times. Follows a little creekbed all the way up to the mountains that separate SFV and Santa Clarita Valley. In the heat of summer it stays nice & cool & mostly shaded all the way to the top. There is some water in the creek most of the year, but don't plan on it for drinking. If it has rained recently your boots might get a little wet. Saw deer near the top, and long-horn cattle, and a cougar print in the lower creek bed. (I wouldn't hike this alone.) On this particular hike we started up Devil's Cyn, connected to Rocky Peak Fire Road, then dropped down into Simi Valley on the Chumash trail. About 10 miles end to end. Beautiful day for a hike but the wind up on the ridge line (about 3 miles) was brutal. Completed the hike in 5 hours.
For those who are concerned about finding the trailhead... go to hwy 118 at the Topanga Exit. Go up the hill on Poema St. a few hundred yards & park on the street. Walk through the apt. complex and there is a stairway in the back that drops down to a dirt road. Follow that down to the creek.
Nice trail lots of stuff an interesting formations. I found the easiest way to get there is going up canoga ave an park on Candice st. Walk a lil bit to the start of the trailhead. The other ways where confusing for me but I found this way is easier. Canoga is between topanga canyon an de soto.
I can understand where people had difficulty looking for the trailhead. If you drive up the hill, look for the second (third?) driveway on the right with the map of the complex on a sign. Walk to the back and then head left when you reach the dirt/mulch path, and soon afterwards you'll find the stairs. There is a cool old car that's rusty and stripped at the bottom on the left. If you're feeling a little adventurous, a little ways up the trail there's a rock that says "falls" on your left. We didn't see any falls, but its an awesome view from up higher with some really nice houses at the top. There's also an amazingly old cactus up there and what looks like to be a temporary shelter or stove made from stone next to it. We saw about 7 deer along the way an a good variety of birds. The dam was pretty neat, except my buddy convinced me to climb it, and I ended up falling a good 20 feet through trees because some concrete snapped off, all good though. Quick hike back, it took us only 2 hours with detours and injury check haha.
Very hard to find since the trailhead is blocked by a community development, but this is an excellent trail for running! A little overgrown, but as a result there's some great scrambling. Two fantastic gravity runs if you take any of the two trails that split off up towards the community, hence the 4 stars. Watch out for poisoning oak.
After reading about the challenging aspects of finding this trail and how it was not well maintained, I thought, "This is the hike for me!". Well, I should have listened, and stayed away. I did find the entrance, after walking around it. I did find the trail, for the first half mile or so until it just criss-crossed all over itself and I lost it. Then I found it and walked up this big hill, and it ended....about 3 miles before it should have. No idea where I went wrong or how I could have done it different. Too much work, too hard to follow the trail, to many confusing switchbacks for the reward. Some nice spots, but I would hike in half a mile and turn around. There are far better trails in this area that offer a better hiking experience, better views and easier access.