L.A.'s San Fernando Valley in the northwestern area of the city includes neighborhoods such as Chatsworth. Known for its hot, dry summer days and mild winters that are quite pleasant, weather conditions are created by a unique situation: Santa Monica mountains block the temperate, coastal flow of cool, summer air, while Santa Susana Mountains line community's northern bounds. Nearby towns include Porter Ranch and Northridge on the east and Winnetka, Canoga Park, and West Hills on the south.
Among Southern California's tourist destinations Chatsworth isn't one of the best known. Why? It's a Valley town that does exceedingly well at providing housing and amenities for locals working in the L.A. area. Chatsworth has no beaches -- it's a 40-50 minute trip through the Santa Monica mountains to beach destination Malibu. It has no theme parks, though Universal Studios Hollywood is approx. 30 -45 minutes by car. BUT, what Chatsworth has is an amazing Old West history as the main route between San Francisco and Los Angeles during the mid-1800s. If the road could talk, its real life stories would be as fascinating as any movie ever made.
Commuter access: Chatsworth Transportation Center is served by Metrolink
with its popular Orange Line of the Los Angeles Metro system opened in 2012.
SEE: Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, parks.ca.gov
Simi Hills meet the Santa Susana Mountains in this rugged landscape, part of a historic transportation corridor between Missions San Buenaventura (Ventura) and San Fernando. Santa Susana Stage Road within the California State park was a segment of Butterfield Overland Stage Route, and a route between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara used by Wells Fargo. As such, the 174-acre park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its significant finds of prehistoric village remnants showcase its past spanning more than a few centuries to thousands of years and beyond!
From 1861 to 1876 Old Santa Susana Stage Road was the main route for mail and travelers between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Hollywood connection: The 500-acre Spahn Ranch within the park served between the 1940s and 60s as a set for The Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers and Bonanza episodes. Fire destroyed all of the buildings associated with the former Spahn movie ranch.
What to do: Hike, mountain bike or ride horses on the marked multi-use trails. Bicycles must yield to horses and hikers. Horses are not allowed on bike and hike trails. The interpretive trails in the historic area are restricted to hiking and foot traffic only. Dogs are not allowed on any trails.
The Minnie Hill Palmer House, a West Valley historic & original
homestead house in Chatsworth Park South
Burro Flats Painted Cave
Von Sternberg house by Neutra