El Escorpión Park
El Escorpión Park is a three-acre (12,000 m²) park located in the Simi Hills of the western San Fernando Valley, in the West Hills district of Los Angeles, California. The park contains the geographic landmark known as Escorpión Peak or Castle Peak (kas'ele'ew picacho), a 1,475-foot-tall (450 m) rocky peak seen from most parts of the park and the surrounding community.
The El Escorpión Park entrance and parking is at the western end of Vanowen Street, west of Valley Circle Boulevard, in West Hills.
The park is open from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week. The trails are available for walking, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and equestrian use. Dogs are allowed on a leash. Rattlesnakes live in the area, requiring observant footfalls and handholds. Unauthorized motor vehicles and motorbikes are not permitted.
El Escorpión Park is managed by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.
Climbing the rough south side trail to the summit of Castle Peak is not for beginners and is considered challenging. This hike is not recommended for children. The final climb to the top of the peak requires climbing over boulders and other rocks, and missteps or slips can result in a fall. Intermediate and advanced hikers will enjoy the vertical challenge, around 561 feet (171 m) of gain in a very short distance. The beginning of the trail in Moores Canyon is easily seen at the base of the peak. Around 3/4 of the way up the trail becomes more difficult to see, the easiest route veers to the left (west).
Castle Peak is the corrupted American form of the Ventureño Chumash name for the peak, which was kas'ele'ew (also, Kas'elew) in the Chumash language, The area was inhabited for around 8,000 years by Native Americans of the Tongva-Fernandeño and Chumash-Ventureño tribes that lived in the Simi Hills and close to tributaries of the Los Angeles River. A village, Hu'wam (Ventureño Chumash placename), was located at the base of Castle Peak along present Bell Creek near the mouth of Bell Canyon. It was a meeting and trading point for them with the Tongva-Fernandeño and Tataviam-Fernandeño people.