La Jolla Canyon loop on New Years Day

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La Jolla Canyon loop on New Years Day

Post by drm » January 8th, 2017, 10:11 am

I spent the holidays visiting family in southern California. My first morning in that warm land and there was ice on my windshield. That was Christmas Day. New Years day was warmer than that, but not shorts weather. Temps started in the mid 40s and climbed into the 50s but there was a brisk breeze at times. Definitely warm by our current standards, but not exactly warm.

La Jolla Canyon is in Point Mugu State Park, which is the far western end of the Santa Monica Mountains. The Backbone Trail goes the length of the range and can be backpacked, some day I will go and do that. That's would be the extent of my through hiking. :lol:

But La Jolla Canyon is a local jewel down there as it is fairly isolated and while some of the trailheads get very crowded for a bit, once you are in the canyon proper there aren't many people. The shortest version of the loop is about 6 miles, but there are many variations and spurs to lengthen it. An 11 mile variation is popular but as the entire area burned about two years ago, some trails are still closed, and the one that makes that 11 mile loop still is.

There is a La Jolla Canyon trailhead, but it requires a permit comparable to our NWFP and I was there a week only, so I opted for the Chumash Trail which does not require a permit. It is a shorter and steeper access route. From there I chose to do the loop CCW, which means my ocean view sections came early in the loop on the Mugu Peak trail.
Pacific Ocean from Mugu Peak Trail
You also get a good view over a lot of the rest of the loop
La Jolla Valley
The Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County
Last view of the Pacific before turning inland
Lacking many trees, signs of the fire disappear quickly, but some signs remain.
signs of the fire
Boney Ridge. Sandstone Peak, the highest in the Santa Monicas at 3111' is hidden just beyond the ridge. The Mishe Mikwa Trail access this ridge from the back side off of Yerba Buena Road and has spurs to the peaks in this photo. If you were visiting the area and had time for one hike, the loop that includes Mishe Mokwa would be the one to do, though the drive up Yerna Buena is twisty and tortuous. There are even some caves up there. There may be a trail going up to the ridge from the side in view here. I hiked ie once many decades ago, not sure of it's condition now.
Boney Ridge

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Re: La Jolla Canyon loop on New Years Day

Post by Chase » January 8th, 2017, 8:37 pm

That is a sweet place to hike. Lucky you!

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