Arroyo Sequit Site - Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu Hills

NOTE: Arroyo Sequit has been closed as a result of the Woolsey Fire in November 2018. Updates at www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.

The National Park Service maintains a relatively small site called Arroyo Sequit in the Santa Monica Mountains, located at 34138 Mulholland Highway in Malibu. It is a bit off the beaten path, about 2 miles west of Decker Road. It is also easy to overlook coming from the east, as there doesn't appear to be a sign (like the sign below if you're coming east on Mulholland from the other direction).

Sign coming eastbound on mulholland; no such sign that I could find coming westbound.

Sign coming eastbound on mulholland; no such sign that I could find coming westbound.

The site features a 1 1/2 mile nature trail with rolling hills, wildflowers and I've been told a stream (though I did not find it in my visit there). 

Quite a small parking area at this remote location.

Quite a small parking area at this remote location.

It is quiet back here, so if you're looking for a peaceful stroll, check it out. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the Arroyo Sequit from the 101 via Westlake Boulevard/Decker Canyon.

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There's an area with several benches that is used for astronomical observations. However, I contacted the college and was told it has been many years since these took place.

Southwest of the Arroyo Sequit you can see some very large satellite dishes. This is the Triunfo Pass Earth Station satellite tracking station owned and operated by AT&T. The three satellites measure 106 feet across and about 11 stories tall, so they are hard to miss!

Triunfo Pass Earth Station nearby

Triunfo Pass Earth Station nearby

Learn more about the Arroyo Sequit, including a site map, on the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/arroyosequit.htm.

Sycamore to the Sea Hike, Run or Bike From Newbury Park to Sycamore Cove

Did you know that you can walk, hike, run or bike from Newbury Park to the ocean over 8 1/4 miles pretty easily, without dealing with automobiles? Park your car at the Wendy and Potrero trailhead or at the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa parking lot at Point Mugu State Park in Newbury Park and experience it yourself.

The entry to the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area.

The entry to the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area.

The   Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center   is a short walk from the parking lot.

The Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center is a short walk from the parking lot.

From there, take the paved road, called the Sycamore Canyon Fire Road, towards the ocean.

From there, take the paved road, called the Sycamore Canyon Fire Road, towards the ocean.

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This is a nice, wide paved road with trails along the side much of the way. Generally cool in the early morning year-round as you head towards the ocean, plenty of rest/pit stop areas on the way down and nice and peaceful and beautiful, full of canyons, trees and wildlife (of course, the Springs Fire of 2013 took a major toll on the area, but it has largely grown back as of spring 2018).

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The steepest descent on this course is a roughly 800 foot drop over a 3/4 of a mile into the canyon on the paved road after you see this sign. Coming back up if you do the full round-trip circuit is a bit of a challenge.

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After you drop into the canyon, it is pretty much smooth sailing. The paved road stops right around the Danielson Multi-Use area (see image below for that juncture). After that, follow the wide, dirt fire road towards the beach.

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There are numerous water spigots on the side of the road going down, which comes in quite handy on warmer days. If you use them, just make sure to turn them off.

About 3/4ths of the way down to the beach, you'll pass one of the most picturesque locations for a porta-john that I've ever seen.

About 3/4ths of the way down to the beach, you'll pass one of the most picturesque locations for a porta-john that I've ever seen.

A few miles after passing the above porta-john, you'll reach the Sycamore Canyon Campground, which has 58 campsites and is across Pacific Coast Highway from the ocean. Cross over PCH (be careful!) or find the underpass that takes you under PCH to the Sycamore Cove Beach area, with picnic tables, bathrooms, etc., and enjoy your day!

Sycamore Cove Beach in Point Mugu

Sycamore Cove Beach in Point Mugu

From there, you either head back up or call your significant other to pick you up. Or perhaps plan it out in the morning to leave one car at the beach, drive another car back (obviously you can't do this alone), park the 2nd car at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa, hike/walk/bike down the canyon to retrieve car #1. Or do what I did once, which was drive down to Sycamore Cove via Potrero Road/Las Posas/PCH, park the car, run (or perhaps ride) up to Newbury Park, then ride down with the kids and enjoy the beach. Fun! 

For a map of the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area with a portion of the Big Sycamore Canyon Trail, visit www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/upload/RSV-2-12.pdf (National Park Service pdf brochure).

Camarillo Grove Park

NOTE: Camarillo Grove Park re-opened in April 2019 after closure resulting from the Hill Fire in November 2018. Everything has since re-opened, except most of the trails (as of 7/7/19 there were still large “Trail Closed” sign up for all but the lower trail). The play structure is currently down and will be replaced at a future date.

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Camarillo Grove Park is located at the bottom of the Conejo Grade at 6968 E. Camarillo Springs Road (Camarillo Springs exit). There is an off-leash dog park where you can bring your pooch. There is a small playground area for the kids (currently removed as of 7/7/19, to be replaced with a new structure at a future date). There are several large outdoor covered group picnic areas that are popular for parties.

Additionally, the park has some fun trails for roughly a mile** or so of hiking and exploring. At the back (east) end of the park you'll see the trail sign. the lower loop is fairly short, with some interesting, large rock formations. The upper loop is more significant and steep and provides for some nice views.

Two miles of new trails with over 20 interpretive signs were added in January 2017.

Also relatively new is the Outdoor Nature Center, which includes interpretive signage along a trail that provides information about local ecosystems, flora and fauna; an interactive water table; teaching deck for programs; nature-based play equipment such as boulders, logs, ant hill, and more; as well as native gardens with braille signs.

This park offers multiple options for hiking. The lower loop is an easier gently sloping trail with oak trees, sage, volcanic rock formations, and more.  You can even take dogs off-leash on weekends Saturdays and Sundays before 10 a.m.

The park opens at 7:30 a.m. until dusk. There are parking fees at this particular park to help pay for its upkeep. As of July 2019, these fees are $3 on weekdays, $5 on weekends and $10 for oversized vehicles (RVs, etc.) on weekends. Or buy an annual pass for $55.

Learn more at pvrpd.org/parks/park_list/camarillo_grove_park.asp.

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Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons in Agoura Hills

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Cheeseboro and Palo Comado Canyons include 4,000 acres in the northernmost section of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, in the Simi Hills. Stroll to Sulphur Springs or hike to the top of Simi Peak for panoramic views of Oak Park, Agoura Hills and Simi Valley. The Chumash lived in these canyons for thousands of years. Many trails within the canyons may have originated with the Chumash and then were expanded by the ranchers who followed.

Cheeseboro Canyon has some of the best cycling and running trails in the area. The lower trailhead is accessed from Cheseboro Road and there is plenty of parking. (On a side note, no one has been able to explain to me why Cheseboro Road is spelled differently than Cheeseboro Canyon.)

Cheeseboro Canyon Trail (CCT) is a 4.6 mile, fairly easygoing main artery into the park, whereas the 4.4 mile Palo Comado Canyon Trail, which largely parallels the CCT, is much more challenging. The Cheeseboro Ridge Trail also parallels the CCT and seems to be favored by cyclists with its long, rolling hills, though distance runners also will enjoy this trail.  Take CCT up through Sulphur Springs and you'll be running through a small (usually) stream bed and a brief rotten egg smell. Then soon the trail becomes more desert-like as you make your way up to the Sheep Corral Trail and the Shepherds' Flat area. It is really beautiful up there though it can get pretty hot, so carry some water!

While there are plenty of steep hills in this area, this is also a great place for strollers, as many of the trails are quite wide and flat.

The only bathroom that I'm aware of in these trails is at the Cheseboro Road trailhead and is not particularly pleasurable to use...just a heads up.

Visit www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm to learn more and to access a nice pdf trail map. The trailhead is located at 5792 Cheseboro Road. Contact the visitor center at 805.370.2301. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash at all times.

Excerpt of Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyon Map (Courtesy National Park Service)

Excerpt of Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyon Map (Courtesy National Park Service)

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The Morrison Ranch House in   Cheeseboro Canyon   was   destroyed in the Woolsey Fire of November 2018  . Rancher John Morrison and his family occupied this house in 1904 and lived and worked in the home for nearly 60 years. This original ranch house, modified over the years, dated back to the late 1800s.

The Morrison Ranch House in Cheeseboro Canyon was destroyed in the Woolsey Fire of November 2018. Rancher John Morrison and his family occupied this house in 1904 and lived and worked in the home for nearly 60 years. This original ranch house, modified over the years, dated back to the late 1800s.

The sign survived the Woolsey Fire but the house did not, except for a lone bathtub (hidden by the sign).

The sign survived the Woolsey Fire but the house did not, except for a lone bathtub (hidden by the sign).

Grant Park / Serra Cross Park in Ventura

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For some of the most spectacular views of Ventura you can ask for, stop by Grant Park / Serra Cross Park off of Ferro Drive in Ventura. Grant Park is a 107 acre park of mostly open space. Serra Cross Park is located at Grant Park. It is a one acre parcel that contains the wooden cross shown below.

The land and cross were sold to San Buenaventura Heritage, Inc. in 2003 in order to maintain the historic cross, which was placed on this spot in 1941 to replace the previous cross that was erected in 1912.

Visit www.serracrosspark.org to learn more about Serra Cross Park.

Get there via Brakey Road to the left side of Ventura City Hall or Ferro Drive off of Cedar Street. There are no restrooms, playground, drinking fountains, etc. at this park.

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Chumash Trail in Pt. Mugu State Park

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The Chumash Trail trailhead is accessible off of PCH at this link. It is at the western tip of Point Mugu State Park, about 2 1/2 miles from where Las Posas Road connects to PCH in Camarillo, and about 10 miles from the intersection of Las Posas Road and Highway 101.  It is across the street (PCH) from a Naval Base Ventura County training range. Look for the left turn into a small dirt parking area that has space for perhaps 15 or so cars.

This sign was here at one point but was gone for some reason as of July 2016.

This sign was here at one point but was gone for some reason as of July 2016.

The first .7 mile of the Chumash Trail is quite rocky and steep. Make sure to wear good hiking shoes and possibly carry a hiking stick, especially if you have bad knees. Dogs are not allowed. My kids did not enjoy this particular hike (ages 8 and 11 at the time). Definitely not stroller friendly. Awesome views and nice ocean breezes, but there is no protection from the sun, so wear sunscreen if it is sunny out.

The first .7 mile of the Chumash Trail is quite rocky and steep. Make sure to wear good hiking shoes and possibly carry a hiking stick, especially if you have bad knees. Dogs are not allowed. My kids did not enjoy this particular hike (ages 8 and 11 at the time). Definitely not stroller friendly. Awesome views and nice ocean breezes, but there is no protection from the sun, so wear sunscreen if it is sunny out.

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You finally reach a flat area after the first .7 mile, where you can veer left (north) to continue on the Chumash Trail for another .5 mile (option 1) or turn right (east), which leads you to the Mugu Peak Trail (option 2).

After the additional .5 mile (option 1) on the Chumash Trail, you reach the La Jolla Valley Loop Trail that circles the La Jolla Valley Natural Preserve. There is a walk-in campground a little over a mile into the hike that technically you are required to reserve and pay for at the nearby Ray Miller Trailhead, which has a lot more parking, etc. The La Jolla Valley Loop Trail is roughly three miles in total if you do the entire loop.

The Mugu Peak Trail (option 2) is a couple miles covering the south ridgeline of Mugu Peak, offering more majestic views stretching across the Pacific Ocean to Anacapa/Santa Cruz Islands and beyond. It connects to the La Jolla Valley Loop trail.

Map of Point Mugu State Park at www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/upload/PointMuguSP_Map_LAMountains_1.jpg.

Great perspective on the  gigantic sand dune  below to the south.

Great perspective on the gigantic sand dune below to the south.

Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks

The main entrance into the 1,765 acre Wildwood Park is at the corner of Avenida de los Arboles and Big Sky Drive in Thousand Oaks. The Chumash Indians lived in Wildwood Park for nearly 8,000 years, until the early 19th century, when the Spanish colonized California. Eventually the park became owned by the Janss Corporation, which sold it to the Conejo Recreation and Park District in 1967.

Main trailhead accessible from the parking lot at Ave de los Arboles and Big Sky

Main trailhead accessible from the parking lot at Ave de los Arboles and Big Sky

Wildwood Park is an extremely popular hiking and cycling spot and CRPD frequently hosts nature hikes there. The park has 14 trails covering 17 miles, including two year-round waterfalls, Paradise Falls and Little Falls.  Wildwood is known for its spring wildflower displays from January to June.

The park hosted a number of movie/TV productions in the 1930s to the 1960s, including Spartacus, Wuthering Heights, Wagon Train, The Rifleman and Gunsmoke.

Call the CRPD at 805.495.2163 for more information about the park. But for lots of detailed information about Wildwood Park, including trail maps and pictures, visit the Conejo Open Space Foundation website at www.cosf.org/website/html/wildwood.html.

As far as facilities in the park, there are drinking fountains at the main parking lot as well as at the Teepee, at Paradise Fall and the two restroom areas in the park. One of the restrooms are located at Meadows Center, a small building located across the bridge that is adjacent to the short trail to the Indian Cave. CRPD often host short hikes from the main parking lot to Meadows Center for fun, games and s'mores.

Bridge over creek that connects Wildwood Canyon Trail to Meadows Center, which has restrooms and drinking fountain.

Bridge over creek that connects Wildwood Canyon Trail to Meadows Center, which has restrooms and drinking fountain.

The other restrooms are at the bottom of Wildwood Canyon. You can get there by taking the Tepee Trail roughly 1/2 mile to the bottom of the canyon, or alternatively from Paradise Falls about 1/4 mile down the Wildwood Canyon Trail. The Arroyo Conejo Creek runs down from Paradise Falls to here and is fun to explore (keeping in mind still that this is partially urban runoff and thus you don't want to play around in it too much).

Additional restrooms at the bottom of Wildwood Canyon.

Additional restrooms at the bottom of Wildwood Canyon.

Sign at Paradise Falls indicating this particular water is partially urban runoff and best not to swim in.

Sign at Paradise Falls indicating this particular water is partially urban runoff and best not to swim in.

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Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu

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Leo Carrillo State Park has 1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing and beachcombing, as well as tide pools, coastal caves and reefs for exploring. Giant sycamores shade the main campgrounds (though the campground was damaged by the Woolsey Fire of November 2018). The park also features back-country hiking.

Among the many great features of Leo Carrillo, the most engaging activity for me and the kids is the tidepools. They are exposed twice daily at low tide and provide hours of engagement with sea stars, anemones, mussels, sea slugs and more among the thousands of rocks on shore.

Nature walks and campfire programs are offered and a small visitor center has interpretive displays. During the summer, children's programs are available.

Trails include Yellow Hill Fire Trail for panoramic views of the beach and the Channel Islands, and the steeper Nicholas Flat Trail, which brings you to a pond.

A view from the Leo Carrillo bluffs as the clouds start rolling in.

A view from the Leo Carrillo bluffs as the clouds start rolling in.

There are 135 family campsites at Leo Carrillo with restrooms and token-operated showers (which accept ONLY one dollar bills...plan ahead). Visit ReserveCalifornia.com and search for “Leo Carrillo SP” to make reservations.

The park was named after Leo Carrillo (1880-1961), actor, preservationist and conservationist. Leo Carrillo served on the California Beach and Parks commission for 18 years and was instrumental in the state's acquisition of the Hearst property at San Simeon. Leo's greatest fame came from his portrayal of Pancho, the sidekick to Duncan Renaldo's Cisco Kid, an early 1950's TV series.

Leo Carrillo State Park is located at 35000 W. Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. The park office phone is 310.457.8143. Visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=616 for more information.

Parking is currently $12 in the parking lot for the day (or $3 per hour)...but free on PCH if you can find a nearby spot. There is plenty of parking spots available in the lot. After you park, you can walk in a tunnel underneath PCH to get to the beach.

The muraled tunnel that takes you underneath PCH to Leo Carrillo Beach.

The muraled tunnel that takes you underneath PCH to Leo Carrillo Beach.

Dogs on a leash are allowed in the Park's day use areas, campground and north beach (north of lifeguard tower 3). Dogs are not allowed on backcountry trails or south beach (south of lifeguard tower 3).

DIRECTIONS

The most direct way of getting to Leo Carrillo from the Conejo Valley is via Westlake Boulevard (CA-23) (aka Decker Canyon) south, which for some is a fun 14 mile drive, but for others, not so much. It is a bit winding, hilly, steep at many junctures. I take this route during daytime hours but coming home I'm not too keen on it. After getting to PCH, turn right and drive 2 1/2 miles to get to Leo Carrillo.

Another more popular, though less direct route is via Kanan Road. Either take Kanan Road straight down to PCH, turn right (west) on PCH about 9 miles to Leo Carrillo, or take Kanan to Encinal Canyon, which is about a 3 mile drive on PCH to Leo Carrillo.

Lastly, if you are in Newbury Park, you can take Potrero Road west to Las Posas down to PCH. In about 11 miles you will reach Leo Carrillo.

Boney Mountain Peak Hike From Newbury Park

At an elevation of 2,825 feet, the presence of Boney Peak (also known at Mount Boney), is felt throughout the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas. Want to climb it?

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Well you can! It is challenging, but possible. Boney Mountain is located in the Santa Monica Mountains. One way to get to Boney Peak is via the Upper Canyon Trail from the Danielson Monument.

Danielson Monument

Danielson Monument

First off, hike your way up to the Danielson Monument, click this link for details. The monument is next to the remains of a burned down cabin shown below.

There is a trail that veers left next to the chimney. This is where you want to go. You're looking at a challenging 2 mile climb to Boney Peak. Most of the trail is narrow single track. There are some really steep, rocky sections, some with deep crevices, that may freak you out. You may have to duck your head from time to time. The trail is definitely challenging, both going up and coming back down. Definitely not for everyone.

The trail gets tight at times.

The trail gets tight at times.

The trail is not "officially" maintained by the National Park Service and thus there are NO SIGNS that say, hey, go this way to get to Boney Peak.  But I've seen plenty of people make it up there just fine as the path is fairly obvious. Just stay on the main trail.

After twists, turns, rocks, crevices and hills, the trail flattens out a bit near the top.

After twists, turns, rocks, crevices and hills, the trail flattens out a bit near the top.

One thing to note when you think you've reached the top. Look at the picture at the top of this post. To the left of the circled area is a large boulder. This is not the peak. There's a trail to the left behind it that you'll have to go up to get to the actual peak. Again, there are no signs. But you should be able to see the path pretty easily. You will be climbing some sheer rock face to get there. Can be slippery. And standing on the top of Boney can be both exhilarating and scary as hell! So be careful!

The final ascent to the top on sheer rock path.

The final ascent to the top on sheer rock path.

How long does it take to get from the trailhead at Wendy and Potrero and back? I'd allow for 4 to 5 hours if you are hiking. If you are a strong runner you can get up to it in as little as an hour (I'm talking top notch runner) to hour and a half, but you will only be able to "run" about half of the trail above the Danielson Monument. The rest is more of a technical hike in and around the rocks, boulders and crevices.

Here are some views you'll be treated to at the top.

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Chumash Indian Museum / Oakbrook Regional Park

NOTE: Oakbrook Regional Park sustained fire damage and the replica Chumash village was completely lost in the Woolsey Fire of 2018. However, a majority of the oak trees survived. Trails are now back open to the public. Funds are being raised and volunteers are being sought at www.gofundme.com/chumash-indian-museum-wildfire-fund.

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Located in Lang Ranch at the top of Westlake Boulevard near Avenida de los Arboles at 3290 Lang Ranch Parkway, Thousand Oaks, the Chumash Interpretative Center / Chumash Indian Museum contains Chumash artifacts and historical items, nature walks and tours of the beautiful local Oakbrook Regional Park area.  The museum is open Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. Admission price is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors 65+ and $3.00 for children under 12. There is no charge to walk the trails in the park.

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The Chumash Indian Museum is located on a historical Chumash village site and contains a large collection of Chumash artifacts.

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Stroll around the 436 acre Oakbrook Regional Park, a Ventura County historical landmark #90 (designated in 1983). 

Contact the Center for more information about these and other events, field trips, weddings and birthday parties at www.chumashmuseum.org or 805.492.8076.

To protect the wildlife, dogs are not allowed here.

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Vista Del Mar Trail in Newbury Park

Trail access off of Via Ricardo in Newbury Park (Dos Vientos section).

Trail access off of Via Ricardo in Newbury Park (Dos Vientos section).

Other end of trailhead off of Via Ricardo.

Other end of trailhead off of Via Ricardo.

The Vista Del Mar Trail is about a mile to mile and a half long trail along the west side of the Dos Vientos residential development in Newbury Park that is maintained by the Conejo Open Space Foundation.

The trail can be accessed near the corner of Via Ricardo and Via Rincon (parking on Via Ricardo). The other end of the trail is near the corner of Rancho Dos Vientos and Via El Cerro (where there is no parking on Rancho Dos Vientos).

"Vista Del Mar" is Spanish for "View of the Sea" and while the overcast early morning photos below do not show it, on a clear day you will indeed be able to see down the Potrero Grade to the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands. The Vista Del Mar trail also provides views to Camarillo and the Oxnard Plain.

The trail is nice and wide, good for walkers, runners and cyclists.

The trail is nice and wide, good for walkers, runners and cyclists.

The north section of the trail before intersecting with the Edison Fire Road Trail is where the "Twin Ponds" are. The image below of one of the ponds was taken after the Springs Fire of May 2013 ravaged the area. More on the Twin Ponds Conservation Area at this link.

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The Twin Ponds are more easily accessed via the northeast Vista Del Mar trailhead near the corner of Via Ricardo and Via Rincon. About a mile.

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About 1/4 mile into the trailhead from Via Ricardo, you'll reach this junction. Veer right to the single track public access trail, as the trail to the left is on private property.

Lone bench on the Vista Del Mol trail that has views to the Channel Islands on a clear day

Lone bench on the Vista Del Mol trail that has views to the Channel Islands on a clear day

The Vista Del Mar trail connects on the southeast to the Sierra Vista Trail, which in turn connects to the Potrero Ridge trail, with an endpoint on Reino Road.

Views from the Vista Del Mar Trail on a clear morning.

Views from the Vista Del Mar Trail on a clear morning.

Map courtesy of the Conejo Open Space Foundation

Map courtesy of the Conejo Open Space Foundation

Sandstone Peak Hike in Malibu

Views from Sandstone Peak trail towards Lake Sherwood.

Views from Sandstone Peak trail towards Lake Sherwood.

Sandstone Peak is the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains at an elevation of 3,111 feet. Views from the trail stretch from the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands and inland to the Conejo/Simi Valleys.

NOTE: This area of the Santa Monica Mountains sustained significant damage from the Woolsey Fire of November 2018. However, the trail is open and the winter rains brought bright spring colors.

From the Conejo Valley, take Westlake Boulevard south until it becomes Decker Canyon, make a right on Mulholland, then right on Little Sycamore Road, which becomes Yerba Buena Road, with an endpoint of Sandstone Peak Trailhead. Before you see this sign on the right, you will be passing a parking lot at the Mishe Mokwa Trailhead. Another .6 miles and you'll see the sign below.

The hike is only about 3 miles round trip. Depending on how fast you go, the 1.5 mile climb to the top can take anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour. The trail is well maintained but has quite a bit of loose stones, so be sure to wear good shoes so you don't twist an ankle. The starting elevation at the Sandstone Peak trailhead is 2,030 feet, so you'll be climbing over 1,000 vertical feet over 1.5 miles.

Visit the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/circlexranch.htm for more information about the Circle X Ranch area and a printable pdf map of the trails that will get you to Sandstone Peak, including the Mishe Mokwa Trail, Grotto Trail and the Backbone Trail.

To extend the hike, check out Sandstone Peak to Inspiration Point and Tri Peaks.

There are several ways of getting to Sandstone Peak. The most direct way is the trailhead directly up to Sandstone Peak (takes about an hour) and the other is via the Mishe Mokwa Trail, which takes you to Split Rock, through a loop that connects you to the Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak. This trail will give you views of "Balanced Rock" that you'll see pictured below. Once you reach Sandstone, you'll find a steep staircase that will take you to the peak.

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Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock from another angle.

Balanced Rock from another angle.

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Prior to the Woolsey Fire of November 2018, this sign and staircase marked the final ascent to the peak. They were destroyed in the fire, however, and a new path was constructed . See photo below.

Prior to the Woolsey Fire of November 2018, this sign and staircase marked the final ascent to the peak. They were destroyed in the fire, however, and a new path was constructed . See photo below.

New path leading to final ascent to the top after Woolsey Fire.

New path leading to final ascent to the top after Woolsey Fire.

The unofficial name bestowed on Sandstone Peak by the Boy Scouts is "Mt Allen," named in honor of W. Herbert Allen to commemorate his gift of this mountain to the Boys Scouts of America in 1965.

The unofficial name bestowed on Sandstone Peak by the Boy Scouts is "Mt Allen," named in honor of W. Herbert Allen to commemorate his gift of this mountain to the Boys Scouts of America in 1965.

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CSU Channel Islands University Park in Camarillo

CSU Channel Islands University Park is a 367 acre parcel located adjacent to CSU Channel Islands off of S. Lewis Road in Camarillo. It is a regional educational and recreation area owned and operated by California State University Channel Islands.

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The park is open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset. Do note that there are no facilities at this park, like restrooms and drinking fountains. You can walk, hike, run, bike, etc. and perhaps come across some wildlife.

Disbanded dairy farm in the distance at CSU Channel Islands University Park

Disbanded dairy farm in the distance at CSU Channel Islands University Park

One item of historical interest at the park is the "Scary Dairy," a dairy farm located on the parcel that closed in the 1960s and was disbanded and subsequently vandalized and graffittied upon over the decades.

"Scary Dairy"

"Scary Dairy"

From Camarillo, take Lewis Road south to Camarillo Street and turn left (east).  Cross the bridge over Calleguas Creek and the entrance is on the left. Parking is $6 per vehicle (as of April 2019). Visit www.csuci.edu/cipark for more information.

Bring cash to pay for parking at entrance.

Bring cash to pay for parking at entrance.

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