Mugu Peak Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"A moderate loop trail from the Paciﬁc Coast to one of the most prominent peaks in the region, this route ignores a direct ascent of Mugu Peak and instead takes you on a beautiful tour of the southern regions of the park near naval bases, through old ranch lands, and into some of the last remaining native grasslands in Southern California."
-- Casey Schreiner , Day Hiking Los Angeles (The Mountaineers Books).
"The Chumash Trail ascends steeply and directly up a Santa Monica Mountains cliffside through coastal scrub and chaparral. It is best to get an early morning start, as the sun can truly cook even this close to the ocean. Unless there is a low-lying fog, the coastal breezes don’t seem to register until the trail reaches the plateau."
--Allen Riedel, 100 Classic Hikes in Southern California (The Mountaineers Books).
"Hike up the Chumash Trail to reach Mugu Peak for an awesome panoramic overview of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy wildflowers and incredible vistas. This trail is classified as easy for one reason alone, and that is because it is very short. However, there is a caveat attached with this hike; it is an absolute no-nonsense elevation gainer, gaining nearly 800 feet of elevation in the first quarter mile alone. At that point, the hike plateaus for a quarter mile before starting on a gentler ascent, only to rise more steeply again closer to the summit of Mugu Peak."
--Monique Riedel, Best Easy Day Hikes: Ventura (Falcon Guides).
I just returned from Iraq so I did not listen to the warning about the heat. I went up the trail at 2pm and it was hot but not 140 degrees so it wasn't a factor.
I took a camel back with me and it was a good choice. The trail is a real quad burner on the way up. There's only a couple places where it flattens out and only for about 50 feet and then it's back up again. The view of the ocean and the wet lands is awesome all the way up but remember that there is a Navy Seabee small arms range across the road next to the ocean. You will hear occasional M9 and M16/M4 rounds going down range.
The cactus and plants are pretty cool. It was pretty dry there today. I saw some lizards and lots of hawks. Once I got to the top of the first mountain the breeze off the ocean picked up and it felt real nice from then on.
After two more hills/mountains, I'm not sure what designates one from the other, we saw the Stars and Stripes at the highest point. Very cool for a returning Sailor from Iraq. There was also a journal there in an ammo box to make a comment in. Kind of a cool touch.
The trip down took half the time and was also a burner on the back of the legs.
Overall this was a great cross training workout and a nice hike. I'd do it again if I lived in Cali.
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