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Friday
Oct182013

Boney Mountain Trail to Hidden Valley Overlook, Danielson Monument and Waterfall

At Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa in Newbury Park is a nice assortment of trails that reward hikers with beautiful views.  Find your way to the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center and from there walk up Big Sycamore Canyon Road where you'll reach a fork in the road. If you go straight you'll be taking Big Sycamore Canyon road about 6-7 miles down to Sycamore Canyon Campground and Sycamore Cove Beach. The road is paved for about 3 miles until it intersects the Backbone Trail, at which paint it is dirt trails to PCH.

Benches at the top of Big Sycamore Canyon Road.Views from the benches looking down Big Sycamore Canyon. Photo taken a few months before the Springs Fire of 2013.

View of Big Sycamore Canyon after the Springs Fire of 2013. Looking forward to the day that this area is green again!

Getting back to the benches at the top of Sycamore Canyon, looking off to the east you'll find the Boney Mountain Trail sign that takes you towards the Hidden Valley Overlook, Waterfall and Danielson Monument, .4 mile, 1 mile and 2.2 mile one way hike, respectively.

Boney Mountain Trail sign in Rancho Sierra Vista post-Springs fire 5/5/13.

So take the trail to the fork in the road, where taking a sharp left takes your directly back to the Satwiwa Center, a "normal" left takes you on a trail towards Wendy Drive and/or back to the Satwiwa Center in a loop, and right hand turn up the hill takes you to the destinations mentioned above.

A short walk up gets you to yet another bench that overlooks Sycamore Canyon from another angle.

I've seen people enjoying the canyon views from this bench in the morning.

Bench at Sycamore Canyon Overlook on 5/14/13.

The rocky trail from there takes you to a fork, where you can either veer left to the Hidden Valley Overlook trail or straight/right to the Danielson Monument and Waterfall, as well as the Old Boney Trail.

The Hidden Valley Overlook trail is rocky and a bit challenging and gets you some nice views of Dos Vientos off towards Camarillo. It ends with a nice "overlook" of Hidden Valley.

Off to the right, a jaunt down the hill gets you to a sign that tells you you're getting close the waterfall.

There's a stream crossing that most of the year is easy to get across as there's not a lot of water in there, although in particularly rainy winters it can get more challenging in the winter/spring.

Mostly mud in the stream crossing that gets you to the Danielson Monument in mid-February 2013, but some years there's more water in there.So after you cross the stream, you're off on a mostly narrow, single-track trail. Watch out for poison oak on the sides. It is there in the moist areas. I run up there with shorts and do my best not to touch the growth. You're much safer wearing long pants. Just be aware. The next juncture, in the trail, you go straight to the waterfall, or veer left up to the Danielson Monument.

We've been to the waterfall when it had a lot of water flowing in it. This year (2013) there's barely a trickle :(So if you take sharp right hand turn, you're on your way to the Danielson Monument (a tribute to Richard K. Danielson, who lived on land in this area for 32 years with his family, until it was sold to the National Park Service in 1980). Awesome views from several vantage points as you head up the trail. A bit of a climb. Be prepared! Check out other photos of the monument HERE and larger pics HERE.

Danielson Monument

About 2/3rds of the way from the bottom of the canyon to the Danielson Monument, you can veer off to the Old Boney Trail, an interesting, mostly single track trail that has great views of Boney and interests with the Fossil Trail.

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