Tag Archives: hikes


Point Mugu II

Last month, the Springs fire ravaged Point Mugu State Park. Peter and I had such a good time hiking there before, we thought we’d return this weekend to survey the damage now that the park has reopened. The destruction was impressive.

Peter and I entered the park from the south side along PCH and took the La Jolla Canyon trail to the Mugu Peak trail, which took us (unsurprisingly) to Mugu Peak. See a similar–though not identical–route written up at Modern Hiker. The hike itself was very pleasant with a good variety of canyons, rolling hills and mountain face ascents. The change in scenery compared to our previous visit was astonishing — it felt like an alien landscape. The satellite array on a neighboring hill only enhanced the Martian quality of the barren topography.


  • Mugu Burnt Trees I
  • Mugu Burnt Trees II
  • Mugu Burnt Trees III
  • The Barren Trail
  • Barren Landscape
  • Mugu Lagoon (and AFB)
  • Burnt Oaks
  • Life Returning

Hiking in Point Mugu State Park


On Saturday, my friend Peter and I went for a hike in Point Mugu State Park. We intended to follow the trails written up here, but took a wrong turn. So we ended up making our own route.

The park is situated at the western end of the Santa Monica mountains, where they descend into the Pacific Ocean. I was astonished by the diversity of the landscape and flora there. We entered the park from north, where the scenery was dominated by rolling hills and grassland. Less than a mile into the park, we started ascending into the brush and succulent covered mountains that I so strongly associate with Southern California. Our trail led us into the forested Sycamore Canyon, terminating at a refreshingly cool albeit anemic waterfall.

We descended back along the stream bed down the canyon until it met up with Fossil Trail. We followed this deserted trail up an arduous ascent and were greeted with views of a network of canyons below, Boney Mountain summit above, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. True to the trail’s name, there was a rock formation containing dozens of fossilized shellfish midway to the top.

At the top of the trail, we followed another trail back along the ridge of Sycamore Canyon which offered a more gentle descent back to the valley floor. A large section of this trail was covered by a dense grove of trees arching over the path giving the impression of walking through a long narrow cathedral. Combined with the singing birds and an absence of other people, it made for a supremely serene ramble.

Peter and I only explored a small corner of the park on our hike. Given more time, I would love to return to scale the higher peaks and hike down to the ocean. I will certainly return to Point Mugu state park.






Sturtevant Falls Hike

A couple of days ago, I went on a hike with my friend Sam and dog Finnegan to Sturtevant Falls in Santa Anita Canyon. The hike is a little under 4 miles and is relatively easy, although it was pretty hot out. The waterfall itself wasn’t too impressive (possibly due to the time of year?) but it was refreshing to wade in the pool nonetheless. I even got Finnegan to go for a bit of a swim, although he was skeptical.

Finnegan, the skeptic