Experiencing Simi Valley Hiking Trails With Intention

When you’re out on a Simi Valley hiking trail, is your intention to get a good workout, perhaps pushing yourself out of your comfort zone or challenging yourself in some way? Is it to connect with others and build relationships? Is it to focus inward or maybe connect with a higher power? Or simply to relax and enjoy the moment? Whatever you’re hoping to achieve, it can be helpful to set clear intentions before beginning your hike. Fortunately, Simi Valley hiking trails offer many opportunities to connect to your true intentions whatever they may be. 

For myself, I’ve found that I like the more challenging hikes, as they allow me to feel accomplished and better about myself. However, through exploring various hikes and different difficulty levels, I have been intentional about slowing myself down, connecting with nature as well as my mind and body, and seeking spirituality

Some of the hikes in Simi Valley are more challenging and are great for pushing yourself in a more intense workout while others are ideal for slowing down and escaping into a relaxed, mindful moment. And, of course, any hike can be taken alone or with the company of a friend. 

What does it Mean to Do a Simi Valley hike with intention?

First point: Challenging yourself  

Challenging yourself to complete a difficult hike is healthy for your body and mind and can be so rewarding! We all know that feeling as we’re approaching a big hill and the dread that can come with that. We also know the feeling of crowning the top and experiencing not only relief but pride for making it. Pushing yourself can also entail using your body strength and agility to scramble up and over boulders along your journey. Or, if you have the time and endurance, the challenge may come in the duration of the hike. 

If you’re like me and prefer more difficult hikes, you might thrive on challenging yourself and pushing your mind and body. Finding your inner strength can be euphoric. When I’m really working hard, I’m able to focus on the task at hand and block out the external noise (worry, stress, anxiety, frustration, anger).  Upon completion, I find that my negative thoughts are replaced with a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. Some like to call this an escape. I call it freedom! 

“If you are looking for a more strenuous hike where you can push yourself, I encourage you to check out the Hummingbird trail, Rocky Peak trail, or Mt. McCoy trail, all in Simi Valley.”

The Hummingbird trail is one of my favorites for not only the beauty, but the adventure. On this hike, you can take a side trail to the secret spot, where you’ll find a swing and nets beneath a cave overlooking Simi Valley. 

You will have to hike up a very steep trail for a majority of the hike, scramble over boulders, and traverse across rocks using a cable. This is where the challenge comes in, but it’s well worth the view. Look for the arrows on the rocks, as it can be difficult at times to stay on the trail. Rocky Peak is another challenging hike and it offers options. 

You can take it out and back to the summit or take the Chumash and Rocky Peak Loop if you prefer a longer hike. The summit is shorter, at around 5.5 miles and the loop is closer to 8 miles. Or, if you prefer to make it even longer, you can take the Hummingbird Trail to Rocky Peak to the Chumash trail, totaling about 9.5 miles. 

There are some steep inclines on these hikes and a few spots where you are scrambling small boulders. The Mt. McCoy Trail, although on the shorter side, is challenging from the start, as you’ll be walking up a steep hill until you reach a cross at the top. This hill can get your legs burning! But the feeling of accomplishment and the beautiful, 360-degree view at the top is a well-deserved reward!

SEcond Point: Slowing down and connecting to self, nature or a higher power 

You can slow down your body and mind on a hike by letting go of any unwanted thoughts or concerns that might be taking up space in your head. Before starting the hike, direct your attention to how you feel within your body as you stretch and loosen up your muscles. While on the hike, you may notice your body’s natural tendency to slow down as you take in your surroundings. The stress you were carrying may begin to lessen as you start to feel more connected to your surroundings and your body. 

You can practice mindfulness by connecting to the nature around you. One way to do this is to focus on the sights, sounds, noises, smells and touch of your surroundings.  Another way is to practice gratitude for the natural beauty that encompasses the world you live in. 

You could also focus on self-awareness, allowing for more clarity to enter your mind. One way to do this is by hiking solo. When I hike alone, I’m often able to work through decisions or give myself grace in a difficult time. Often, the busyness of life gets in the way but slowing down and focusing inward helps me to be more intentional about the things I really want or changes I may want to make in my life. Sometimes, taking a journal on your hike and finding a spot to sit and reflect can be beneficial. 

Your intention could also be to connect with a higher power. Many people feel spiritually connected through readings, meditation, prayer, music/worship, church, or connecting with others who have shared beliefs. But you can also feel spiritually connected in nature! You may naturally feel connected to a higher power simply by looking at the vastness, beauty and colors in the sky, hills and vegetation that stretch out for miles. Or, you can seek out a spiritual connection by engaging in one of the practices previously mentioned. Simi Psychological Group offers Spiritual therapy in Simi Valley, if this is something you’d like to explore further. 

Mt. McCoy trail (the Simi Valley Cross) is a great place to connect with a higher power. There’s a beautiful spot at the top of this hike with a cross, where you have a 360-degree view of your surroundings and can sit and overlook the valley and the beauty that your higher power has provided for you. You might want to bring a blanket or towel to sit on if you’d like to stay and relax for a while.

Other hikes that you may want to check out to practice connecting to yourself, nature, or a higher power are: Big Sky trail, Canyon View and Wood Ranch Loop, Woodridge Long Canyon Loop, or Chumash Museum via Albertson Fire Road. Most of these hikes are fairly easy, with Big Sky Trail being more of a moderate hike. All of these hikes offer great views and beauty, helping you slow down, relax, and focus your thoughts. 

Third Point: Connecting to others and building relationships 

Hiking is one of the best ways to connect with others and deepen relationships. Hiking with a friend, family member, or colleague promotes the natural flow of conversation without the pressure of sitting face to face and feeling the need to speak in those quiet moments. The beauty of nature allows thoughts to flow more freely and creates a sense of serenity and calmness. Going on a hike with a friend can be an opportunity for you to catch up with them regarding what’s happening in your lives, or to have a deeper conversation and receive or give support with challenges you or your friend may be facing. Our Simi Valley therapists are here to support you in connecting with yourself, others, and nature. 

I have witnessed first-hand the healing powers of nature and the clarity of thought it can provide. Hiking is a healthy way to exercise and release endorphins, which can help reduce depression, improve your mood, and increase energy levels. Hiking also helps reduce stress and anxiety and enhances focus and problem-solving skills. In addition, hiking can allow for greater connection to yourself and others.   

Here are Some photos of Simi Valley Hiking Trails: HummingBird Loop:

Woman Hanging on net on Simi Valley hiking trail

Hiking in Simi Valley trail with elephant type of drawing in cave

Views in cave of hiking in Simi Valley trail

Mt. McCoy: 

Mt. McCoy Hiking in sImi Valley Ca

Simi Valley nature on Mt. McCoy trail

Cross on Mt. McCoy hiking trail in Simi Valley, Ca

Big Sky: 

Mountain view in Simi Valley hiking trail Big Sky

Big Sky hiking trail in Simi Valley, Ca

Canyon View and Wood Ranch Loop: 

Canyon View and Wood Ranch Loop in Simi Valley Ca

Beautiful bench in Canyon View and Wood Ranch Loop in Simi Valley Ca

WoodRidge Long Canyon Loop: 

WoodRidge Long Canyon Loop Simi Valley hiking Trail

Check out ‘All Trails’ for directions and maps of the hikes listed above (accessible online or via app: https://www.alltrails.com) 

Written by, 

Sarah Parsons, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Simi Valley, Ca. Sarah Parsons, LMFT has a special ability to connect deeply both spiritually and emotionally when in nature. She is truly passionate about supporting you in doing so as well. Offering Spiritual counseling in Simi Valley and Christian Counseling in Simi Valley, she has a vast ability to support you in your healing journey.