I know I just wrote in my last post that we weren't going to go to Point Mugu until October so we could catch the sycamores in their full glory, but we've sort of run out of coastal parks to visit, so this past weekend we caved in hiked part of Point Mugu. It's gradually getting cooler, but it's still just warm enough to prevent us from doing some of the more inland hiking. Fortunately, Point Mugu is a huge park, so we'll likely come back to hike more of the trails and maybe we'll get another glimpse of the sycamores.
So we started up Big Sycamore Canyon Trail, thinking we'd try to keep to the shade that canyon trails usually offer and then we took a right a a fork in the path onto the Serrano Canyon Trail. It was a good choice as the trail was heavily wooded for a long way and offered much shade. Eventually, the trail winds up out of the canyon and opens onto a vast, grassy meadow surrounded by mountains on all sides.
I generally think that I prefer hiking through woods, but I always find myself so contented trekking through open grassland listening to the wind rustle through the dry grass - it's one of my favorite sounds.
The trail began to climb up out of the valley, back into the mountains. We took a left at another fork in the road, thinking this narrow path would take us back to the main fire road. As it turned out, we were very much off-the-beaten-path on what resembled a deer path cut through dense short, woody trees. My bare arms took quite a lashing from those dry branches. A machete would have been very handy at this point! We continued on the trail despite misgivings just to see where it would take us and ended up on a promontory with a great view, but no way down to the fire road. So we had to make our way back through the brush to the more well-worn trail. After quite a bit more trekking we made it back to the fire road. We still had another two or three miles to go to get back to the parking lot and we were pretty tired already. But, at least the fire road was pretty flat - no major hills to climb. I think this was our longest hike yet. I'm estimating it at seven or eight miles. We were really feeling it by the end! I really liked this park - maybe we'll come back and hike a little more of it next weekend!