Las Llajas Canyon in Simi Valley is a secluded canyon in the Santa Susana Mountains bordering a community estate. A trail leading from Las Llajas canyon can be taken towards the ruins and remnants of a mining operation named the Coquina Mine. The main attraction is a massive steam shovel, with huge army-style treads as wheels and mechanical gears scattered all over the vehicle. Not many hikers have discovered this canyon over the years and the ruins of farms along the hike give it a slightly creepy appearance.
Time: 3 hours
Distance: 6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1050 ft.
Dog Friendly: Yes
Parking and Trail-head Address: 5715 Evening Sky Drive, Simi Valley
You’ll start walking on a paved road, one that is slightly inclined as you hike to the end of it. It then enters a junction, take a right where the paved road turns to dirt and heads declined into the canyon.
From here you won’t find much incline, it’s a strait shot along the fire road, don’t leave the dirt road until directed.
Along the way you’ll find both alive and dead oaks.
…and later on remnants of farms that used to cattle the area.
Leaving the ruins of the old farm behind, you’ll see random trails leaving the fire road, one of these trails will be the next trail to take up. It is easily marked by a rock someone had put graffiti on.
At the 1.5 mile mark you will find this trail and rock to your left, not easy to miss.
This is where the hike gets harder, you will now begin leaving the canyon on the trail mentioned earlier. The views out of the canyon are phenomenal though.
Continue hiking this trail, it climbs for about 600 feet.
After hiking up this path, you will run into metal ruins of some kind right on the path, this is a good sign, there will be one more path to take which is also a left. The trail you are on will finally split, take the left path as shown below.
Almost done! After the split continue walking up the mountain past shoulder high bushes and you will easily spot the steam shovel perched on top of the hill. Climb the hill and find the shovel sitting there. An amazing sight, it’s no wonder they left it out here, getting it out would have been a hassle.
The Coquina mine was once used to mine limestone in the rich limestone pockets of this canyon. It’s wonder how they lugged this huge machine up the mountain side. This huge machine and mining equipment have been abandoned since the 1930’s, very interesting.
Sunset views from the other side: