Let's escape the inland heat and venture into Malibu for one of our most varied, wondrous hikes. Temps are forecast to be in the low 70s by the beach, so you're kind of a fool to skip this hike in favor of sweltering near the 101, right?
Our journey will take us through enough natural wonders for five hikes. Interesting geology marks the start of the Serrano Trail, which then skips along and over a forest stream a few times (which is dry right now), gradually rising away from it and up. As our ascent stalls, the woodsy curtain rises and reveals an astounding panoramic savannah, ringed like a volcanic caldera by the Santa Monica Mountains, overflowing with swaying grasses.
Picking our way across the prairie island, we'll find views of the Pacific Ocean and Thousand Oaks before making our way down the steep backside on the Old Boney Trail, to an intersection with the Backbone Trail, then over to Sycamore Canyon. Sycamore Trail is a wide, flat stroll among sycamore trees back to our starting point. All Monarch butterflies west of the Rocky Mountains winter in Southern California or Central America, and Sycamore Canyon is a favorite spot for them. It's also a favorite haunt of giant parakeets, whose squawks will serenade us on our way to the cars.
The loop is just shy of 10 miles, with 1250 feet of elevation.
The Gentler option will be to walk straight into Sycamore Canyon for 3 miles before turning around and returning the way we came. 6 miles total, with almost no elevation gain. The Regular hikers will split off from the Gentlers about a mile into the hike.
Get yourself onto PCH, near the Port Hueneme end of Malibu. You can take Kanan Rd and turn right on PCH, or Las Posas Rd and turn left on PCH, whichever works best for you.
The trailhead is located 5 miles south/east of Point Mugu off of Pacific Coast Highway (between Point Mugu and Neptune's Net), in the Sycamore Canyon campground (across from Sycamore Canyon Beach). Turn onto Sycamore Canyon Rd. away from the ocean and head to the day use parking lot, on your left.
Parking is available in the campground for $12 (or free with a State Parking Permit).
Free parking is available on PCH, on the beach side and up the hill a bit. Make sure to leave yourself extra time if you don't want to spend the extra cash.
There is no cell reception at the trailhead- please be on time.
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
The hike host is a volunteer and not responsible for the group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. Please treat this meet-up as hiking with a group of friends. If you become fatigued and unable to continue the hike, it is expected you will advise the hike host of this and return to our starting point on your own. If you are able to proceed, it is expected that you will maintain line of sight with other members of the group at all times and help to promote the group’s safety and fitness goals.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions.
If you choose to sign up for this or any Weekday Trailblazers Meetup event, you are releasing the Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.
All participants must be 18 or older, or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.