Week 239: Sycamore Canyon at Point Mugu State Park

June 06, 2021

 L.A. Walks—Hike Point Mugu's Sycamore Canyon to Stunning Ocean Views, 3.24 miles.

Barbara and I were in the mood to get back to nature—mountains, the ocean—we weren't sure which, so we went to our go-to source for new hiking spots and found Charles Fleming's September 8, 2018 L.A. Times hike that covered both. Point Mugu State Park marks the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains just north of the Ventura County line. The word "Mugu" is an offshoot of "muwu," Ventureño for "beach" as noted in European explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo's 1542 journal. In pre-colonial times a Chumash village occupied the area, and for thousands of years prior it was a popular Indian trading route. A right turn off PCH took us into the park's Sycamore Canyon Campgrounds where we left the car and took off on foot on the road through the campsites to the right of the entrance kiosk. The scent of outdoor cooking filled the air as we passed campers and tents with dogs and kids playing outside, stirring camping memories out of the past. The road through the campgrounds led us to a yellow gate marking the trailhead for Sycamore Canyon Fire Road, a wide unpaved trail with mountains on the right and brush to the left. While this is a popular trail for hikers its even better for biking, and we dodged our share of (friendly) mountain bikers trudging up or speeding down the path. Three-quarters of a mile in we hooked a left on the Overlook Fire Road, following California Quail tracks to the switchbacks that would take us to the top side of the canyon overlooking the ocean. The trail rises, but it's an easy climb and simple to follow. When we reached the crest we were treated to a beautiful view of PCH below and the Channel Islands in the distance. Starting down toward Scenic Trail to complete our loop, we noticed a lone bench on a small landing near the edge. Why there? Must be a good reason, we decided, and took the detour. Payoff: a truly spectacular NW view of Mugu Rock. The lone promontory was formed when 1920s and 30s county planners blasted through the volcanic rock at the bottom of the mainland bluff for room to complete PCH between Malibu and Oxnard Plain. We took a short break on the bench then made our way back down into the canyon via the Scenic Trail. Makeshift staircases put us back at Sycamore Canyon Fire Road and back through the campsites to the car. A lovely hike with pretty bits of everything including rabbits and a hilarious family of clever, chair-climbing squirrels that obviously ruled the camping sites. Loved this hike.







You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

Total Pageviews