Although it is one of the more unknown areas for hiking Southern California, Point Mugu State Park is also one of the best areas for hiking. The park has over 14,000 acres of land that is co-managed by both the National Park Service and the State of California. The park has over sixty miles of hiking trails; but the best hike in the park year-round is the Sycamore Canyon hike. During the winter months, trickles of running water from winter storms can be found among the sycamore trees that line the trail; and during the spring, provided that there has been winter rain, the trail provides a great opportunity to view fresh growth that is renewing the burned areas from the Springs Fire, along with annual spring wildflowers. During the summer months, the trail also provides a great place to hike with partial coverage from the sun.
However, the best season to hike Sycamore Canyon, if one exists, is during the fall. During the fall, Sycamore Canyon is one of the few places to view fall colors in Southern California as the trees lining the trail slowly lose their leaves. The trailhead is located just past the Southern Park entrance on the Pacific Coast Highway; and there is currently a $12.00 entrance fee to enter the park. From the parking lot, the trailhead is readily apparent, and is located past a locked gate. The trail is by and far, mostly level, and is suitable for all skills levels of hiker. After a mile, the trail forks, and branches off to the South, and the North. The North fork of the trail becomes the Big Sycamore Canyon trail, and heads deep into the mid to Northern portions of the park. Hikers continuing along this section of trail will have many opportunities to see portions of the park, and can return view a variety of loops, either by the Backbone Trail or Overlook Trail. The Southern fork of the trail is the Serrano Canyon Trail, which heads towards the Boney Mountain Wilderness. Novice hikers can return to the parking lot from this point for an easy, out and back two mile hike.
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