Rancho Sierra Vista – Satwiwa

Back in Point Mugu State Park this week.  There were a few short trails here, offshoots of the main trails, that I tackled this week.  This was a lot of fun and I was able to see the area from several different angles.  Total miles turned out to be around 9 1/2 to 10.

1     2   I parked outside the main entrance because the gates don’t open until 8 a.m.

3

I headed down Ranch Overlook Trail which is about a mile long.

4   Spider web dripping with dew.

5               6

I came to the junction with the end of Big Sycamore Canyon Trail and made a right.  I was right across from the Satwiwa Culture Center which I would visit later in the day.

7   The last few miles of Big Sycamore Canyon Trail are paved.  I would take this paved road down into the canyon for about a mile.

8               9

10   It’s pretty steep and who wants to hike on a paved road?  Best to get it out of the way first instead of hiking up during the hottest part of the day.  I was surprised by the number of cars on this road which is closed to the general public.  I was passed by three cars and a truck.  You can see one of the cars driving down in the close-up in photo 2.  From the road I looked up into the upper part of Big Sycamore Canyon, which is where I would be hiking next.

11     12     13   I crossed the bridge and picked up Upper Sycamore Canyon Trail on the left.

14       15      16       17

Although pretty green, there is little shade on the trail due to the 2013 fire.  Photo 3 – There is one short section I had to scramble up to continue, no big deal.  Photo 4 – The trail rises above the canyon floor for awhile.

18

Looking down Big Sycamore Canyon with clouded blue skies straight of a Magritte painting.

19     20     21   I reached a T-junction and made a left toward the top.

22               23

Photo 1 – Looking down at Upper Sycamore Canyon Trail, which I had just completed.  Photo 2 – Across the way, Old Boney Trail is carved into the side of the mountain.

24               25

26   Looking to the northwest toward Simi Peak and Conejo Moountain.

27     28   Hidden Valley Trail was next.  I had thought of doing this trail last time I was in the area but was too tired.

29     30     31   This trail is another two mile round trip.  I came to a trail split  – both directions curl around a small hill and meet up in a couple hundred yards.  I went down to the right first.

32               33

Photo 2 – Close-up on the rocks on Boney Mountain

34

Panorama of Hidden Valley

35               36

Photo 2 – Look down Big Sycamore Canyon

37     38   After the overlook the trail continues on and I followed it for awhile.  It looked like it might head down into the valley or over to a locked gate.  In any case, I turned around before I reached either.

39               40

41   Now I headed down on Satwiwa Trail toward the park’s landmark windmill.

42

One of several trails little trails in the immediate area breaks to the left of the windmill.  I hadn’t taken this one yet and was pleasantly surprised by its beauty.

43     44     45   There were small areas on the trail where looked the earth was “disturbed”, for lack of a better word.  I saw insects crawling in and out of holes.  I thought they must be wasps but then saw this sign warning about ground bees.  These bees nest underground.  I’d never heard of this before.  I read later that these bees are one of the more peaceful types.

46

When I was here last this landscape was covered with bright green grass.  Now it had sprouted into this golden color.  I think it’s oat grass.

47       48      49       50

I arrive at Satwiwa Culture Center.  I was surprised to see so much water in the pond.  I stopped and ate lunch at the Chumash village.  Photo 4 – Quail out for a romantic stroll.

51     52     53   Photo 1 – Now back on Ranch Overlook Trail.  I was parked at the end of that paved road heading toward those hills.  I passed by my turn-off for my car and kept straight.  Photo 3 – The trees straight ahead are at a high point with a bench and some poles to tie horses up.

54               55

Photo 1 – From the high point, looking south.  Photo 2 – Looking west from the high point.  I could have taken the road on the left down to Lynn Road but decided for a more scenic option.

56     57     58   I backtracked a short way and took the trail running through the middle of that golden grass.  Photo 3 – Looking back at the high point with the trees.

59

60               61

Now I had to walk down Lynn Road for about three quarters of a mile to get to my car.  A trail/road runs past some stables.  I loved seeing these beautiful horses.  I reached my car and finished a fun day of hiking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *