The canonical problem for the class Quantum Merlin-Arthur (QMA) is that of estimating ground state energies of local Hamiltonians. Perhaps surprisingly, [Ambainis, CCC 2014] showed that the related, but arguably more natural, problem of simulating local measurements on ground states of local Hamiltonians (APX-SIM) is likely harder than QMA. Indeed, [Ambainis, CCC 2014] showed that APX-SIM is P^QMA[log]-complete, for P^QMA[log] the class of languages decidable by a P machine making a logarithmic number of adaptive queries to a QMA oracle. In this work, we show that APX-SIM is P^QMA[log]-complete even when restricted to more physical Hamiltonians, obtaining as intermediate steps a variety of related complexity-theoretic results. We first give a sequence of results which together yield P^QMA[log]-hardness for APX-SIM on well-motivated Hamiltonians: (1) We show that for NP, StoqMA, and QMA oracles, a logarithmic number of adaptive queries is equivalent to polynomially many parallel queries. These equalities simplify the proofs of our subsequent results. (2) Next, we show that the hardness of APX-SIM is preserved under Hamiltonian simulations (a la [Cubitt, Montanaro, Piddock, 2017]). As a byproduct, we obtain a full complexity classification of APX-SIM, showing it is complete for P, P^||NP, P^||StoqMA, or P^||QMA depending on the Hamiltonians employed. (3) Leveraging the above, we show that APX-SIM is P^QMA[log]-complete for any family of Hamiltonians which can efficiently simulate spatially sparse Hamiltonians, including physically motivated models such as the 2D Heisenberg model. Our second focus considers 1D systems: We show that APX-SIM remains P^QMA[log]-complete even for local Hamiltonians on a 1D line of 8-dimensional qudits. This uses a number of ideas from above, along with replacing the "query Hamiltonian" of [Ambainis, CCC 2014] with a new "sifter" construction.