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.


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

4   Spider web dripping with dew.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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


Panorama of Hidden Valley

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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.

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


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.


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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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