Point Mugu, Mugu Rock, Sycamore Cove Beach Featured in 2018 Russell Dickerson "Blue Tacoma" Video

It was pointed out on the CVG Facebook Page that Mugu Rock was prominently featured in the 2018 music video by country music singer Russell Dickerson “Blue Tacoma.” That indeed is the case. The song is the second single from his 2017 debut album Yours.

But there’s more than just the majestic Mugu Rock in this 3 1/2 minute video. I see the beach adjacent to Mugu Rock, Sycamore Cove Beach in the nighttime campfire scene and even Hueneme Beach Park in the eating-Chinese-food-out-of-the-cartons-on-the-beach-with-red-wine-in-plastic-blue-cups scene at 48 second into the video.

One last observation. The lyrics start with “Wheels rolling on an old Toyota. Twist top on a Sunkist soda.” For the record, the Toyota Tacoma in the video looked like a pretty late model to me. Not old at all. In the car’s cupholder appeared to be an iced coffee. No signs of a Sunkist soda.

Sycamore Cove Beach

Sycamore Cove Beach

Adjacent (southeast) to Mugu Rock.

Adjacent (southeast) to Mugu Rock.

This image was taken a number of years ago at a sand sculpture contest at the Hueneme Beach Festival, when they still held the festival.  Notice the palm trees in the background compared to the Chinese food eating on the beach scene at 48 seconds into the video.

This image was taken a number of years ago at a sand sculpture contest at the Hueneme Beach Festival, when they still held the festival. Notice the palm trees in the background compared to the Chinese food eating on the beach scene at 48 seconds into the video.

Northbound PCH Just South of Mugu Rock: 1950 and 2019

Mugu Rock came into existence in 1940 when a 200 foot cut was made into the mountain. Today it is an iconic scene that is often seen in auto commercials.

Taken on July 2, 1950, this is a view of Mugu Rock from the shoulder of northbound Pacific Coast Highway (SR 1). From a private collection. And below it is the same view, remarkably similar, 69 years later, on April 20, 2019. Thankfully, some things never change.

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Mugu Rock Then and Now

Mugu Rock is a large rock formation that was formed when a 200 foot deep cut was made into the rocky ridge was made from October 1937 to February 1940. Prior to the modern day PCH at Mugu Rock (at the time called U.S. 101 Alternate (State Route 60), drivers went around a 275 foot radius curve that is now fenced off.

The photos in the video above from the October 1940 edition of California Highways and Public Works show what it looked like before, during and after the cut was made, compared to what it looks like today.

Building Pacific Coast Highway Around Point Mugu in 1923-1924

Point Mugu before and after creation of a narrow road around it in 1924.

Point Mugu before and after creation of a narrow road around it in 1924.

According to the California Highway Commission in the October 1924 issue of “California Highways,” perhaps the most dangerous and difficult piece of construction work on the California state highway system at that time was the 3800 feet of grading AROUND Point Mugu.

For those driving Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County past Mugu Rock, there are clear signs of this old route that took automobiles on a precarious route around Point Mugu.

Peaking through the fence towards the old road around Mugu Rock.

Peaking through the fence towards the old road around Mugu Rock.

The new and still existing route was created by blasting a massive hole through Point Mugu to create Mugu Rock in 1937 to 1940.

The work to complete this section of the Oxnard to San Juan Capistrano PCH route was authorized by a bond issue in 1919.

The project averaged 60 workers who moved 108,000 cubic yards or rock at a total cost of $108,500 (heck, that would be the cost of a pool addition and new kitchen remodel today). The cut around Point Mugu ranged from 40 feet on the ocean side to 115 feet on the high side in creating the narrow, short-lived roadway.

The California Highway Commission ended its article by stating “…along this piece of rugged coast line the Old Pacific is recognized as an arch enemy to whom we must trust as little as possible of our costly highway.” Sheesh, that was not a particularly optimistic statement!

Views From the "Scenic Trail" in Sycamore Canyon, Point Mugu State Park

A moderate hike on the Scenic Trail in Sycamore Canyon gets you to views like this.

A moderate hike on the Scenic Trail in Sycamore Canyon gets you to views like this.

Sycamore Canyon in Point Mugu State Park has trails galore to explore, going all the way up, eight miles, to Newbury Park, if you so choose. Located just steps from the Sycamore Canyon Campground is the "Scenic Trail," a moderate trail with some steps that gets you to stunning views of Thornhill Broome Beach, Mugu Rock, the giant sand dune and the majestic Santa Monica Mountains.

The Scenic Trail connects with the Overlook Fire Road, which continues on and eventually connects with the top of the Ray Miller Trail, then on towards the La Jolla Valley. It is lush and stunning when green in late winter/early spring. It gets pretty brown and dry up here towards last spring, summer and fall months. But the great views towards the Pacific never change.

The wonderful scent of wildflowers off of the Scenic Trail, seen here near the junction of Overlook Fire Road, is well worth going out of your way for in the spring.

The wonderful scent of wildflowers off of the Scenic Trail, seen here near the junction of Overlook Fire Road, is well worth going out of your way for in the spring.

Green Meadows and Hills and Wildflowers on Display in La Jolla Valley, Point Mugu State Park

The La Jolla Valley Natural Preserve is located in Point Mugu State Park, in the west end of the Santa Monica Mountains. The La Jolla Valley was acquired by the State of California in 1966 and was established as a Natural Preserve in 1972.

The area can be accessed via the .7 mile, but very steep Chumash Trail in Point Mugu (strenuous but the quickest approach), via the La Jolla Canyon Trail (which has been closed since January 2015 due to mudslides), or in a roundabout way, via the Ray Miller Trail. Or you can hike there from Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park, which would be something in the neighborhood of 6 to 8 miles, depending on route.

In any case, the area is spectacularly beautiful right now in March 2017 after the winter rainstorms. If you are looking for peace and quiet, green hills and wildflowers, this is the place for you right now.

Mugu Rock at Point Mugu

Point Mugu is an unincorporated part of Ventura County that is derived from the Chumash word Muwu, or beach. Other than the Naval Base, probably the most well known fixture in Point Mugu is the Mugu Rock. Mugu Rock is a large rock formation that was formed when Pacific Coast Highway was built and cut through the mountain that now resides on the other side of PCH. Before PCH was built, a road went around the rock, where a chain link fence has been placed to keep people away from this hazardous area adjacent to the Pacific Ocean.  PCH was cut through Point Mugu from October 1937 to February 1940, according to this interesting KCET article.

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Mugu Rock is located just a few miles near the northwest tip of PCH before it veers north towards Oxnard. It is about a 10 mile drive from the Camarillo Premium Outlets and about 20 miles from the heart of Thousand Oaks taking either the 101/Lewis Road route or the slightly slower, curvy and interesting Potrero Road route.

Professional landscape and wildlife photographer Greg Clure of Newbury Park has shared a couple neat images facing Mugu Rock from the south. Visit Greg's website at www.gregclurephotography.com for more of his outstanding work.

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And here is some not so professional video footage of Mugu Rock from the north.