Summary: The trail starts out along the relatively easy La Jolla Canyon, moving through a little canyon carved by the stream running down the canyon. After about a mile and a half, rolling hills and grasslands of La Jolla Valley will spread out before you. You will see a lovely pond on you left, then will head west across the entire expanse of the valley. During the spring, this valley covered with wildflowers.
At about the 4 mile mark, the trail begins to swing around the north flank of mugu peak, eventually traversing along the steep hillside facing the ocean. This is a breathtaking section of trail with wonderful views of the ocean and the Navy base. At about 6 miles you will find a cutoff trail that take you up to the top of the 1266 foot Mugu peak. There are great views of both the ocean and La Jolla Valley, and even an inspiring American flag flying. After enjoying the peak, rejoin the main trail for an easy 2 mile trek back to the car.
Trailhead: Drive up the coast north on Pacific Coast Highway from Malibu. About 1.5 miles north of Big Sycamore Canyon camp ground is the Ray Miller Trailhead, which is used to access La Jolla Valley. (Lat:34.08396 Lon:-119.03565)
Trail Guides for Mugu Peak - La Jolla Valley Loop:
101 Hikes in Southern California
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Afoot & Afield In Los Angeles
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Santa Monica Mtn Recreation Area, 818-597-9192
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted 104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by BW on 11/11/2011
Great views from Mugu Peak. Got up there on an 11 mile loop that was breathtaking following the route described here: http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/la-jolla-canyon-hike-point-mugu-state-park-ray-miller-trail/ Instant favorite!
Reviewed by KN on 3/15/2011
Started at the Chumash trail. Stairmaster on level 10 straight up. The Loop trail is like hiking in Westwood Village. There are a LOT of people on a Saturday. So I hiked away from them and went all the way to the Guadalasca trail. Never saw another hiker. Just mountain bikers. I wouldn't advise it. Over 12 miles. Pretty grueling in places. The further I got from the trail, the fitter the people. Legs still sore.
Reviewed by Cindy on 6/6/2010
Good hike, on 2/28/2010 (it had just rained) and the creek and falls were flowing. Only made it a little above the falls was getting too dark and had to turn back. Definately will do this again sometime but will wait to next spring.
Reviewed by AdrianB on 2/20/2010
Happy to report that a new American flag is proudly flying atop Mugu Peak. Beautiful views and two ticks.
Reviewed by Scott on 2/18/2010
Great hike, although the waterfall was completely dry (it usually is) and the pond was barely a marsh. That round of four storms that we had in mid-January knocked the flagpole over atop Mugu Peak, and the flag itself is missing. Saw a ginormous coyote in the grassland, it was friggin huge! A few ticks, but a cool breeze to keep the snakes hiding underground. Love this place.
Reviewed by Scott on 10/10/2009
We did a slightly smaller loop but this area is spectacular. Entered the valley by the Chumash Trail (brutally steep, gorgeous, slightly further north up PCH across from the gun range). Took a right on the valley trail and then a right up the peak trail. Perfect views of the coast, the Naval base, and some dolphins. Tricky descent down from the peak and down Chumash Trail. 4-5 miles. No mosquitos and no water in mid-October.
Reviewed by Diana on 5/29/2009
It's late May..many ticks on the grassland sections. Stop for a full tick-check before entering the canyon and stream area. They are quick climbers, but brush off easily.
Reviewed by unity on 4/11/2009
the meadow was green, lush. alive with butterflies, kestrels darted,bleu dick,lupines, indian paint brush brush against our ankles, steep exit if you head down above the rifle range. energizing walk, would have been best if we stashed our bikes at the north end to ride back a quick jaunt towards the campground.
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