7 Best Places to See at Point Mugu State Park

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Point Mugu State Park spans from the Pacific Coast Highway to the edges of Conejo Valley in Ventura County. Hiking here especially in the spring provides a beautiful experience as the waterfalls have water and the wildflowers are in full bloom. Come along with me as I tell you about my favorite places in Point Mugu State Park, from tall peaks all the way to sandy beaches.

Driving North on the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica towards Malibu you find yourself closed in. On the right the towering Santa Monica Mountains and on the left the Pacific Ocean.

Point Mugu is the place where the Santa Monica Mountains end before the Oxnard plain and the Santa Barbara area further north. Come along with me as we explore Point Mugu State Park together.

My favorite things to do at Point Mugu State Park

  • On the North Side of the park, Boney Mountain is the highest peak and the main destination in the park.
  • On the South Side of the park, Mugu Peak is the next highest peak providing amazing views of the ocean.
  • Still on the South Side we find two canyons with beautiful hiking trails: La Jolla Canyon and Sycamore Canyon.
  • Enjoy the sun at the Point Mugu State Beach. This beach is not very well known and therefore is not crowded at all. Just a great place to enjoy the California sun.
  • Right across Pacific Coast Highway we find Mugu Rock which is the symbol of this area. There is plenty of free parking right next to the rock. You can hike to the top of the Mugu Rock and enjoy an amazing view of the ocean and surrounding mountains.

1. Boney Mountain

At just over 2800 feet high, Boney Mountain towers over the entire Point Mugu State Park area.  It represents the towering presence visible from most areas inside Point Mugu State Park.

Wildflowers and cacti in the spring with Boney Mountain in the background
Wildflowers and cacti in the spring with Boney Mountain in the background
See my photos from Point Mugu State Park

On a clear day, the top of Boney Mountain provides amazing views of La Jolla Valley and canyon all the way to the ocean and Channel Islands National Park.

Boney Mountain Hiking Map
Boney Mountain Hiking Map
See my photos from Point Mugu State Park

There are several ways to get to Boney Mountain, but the shortest trail is from the Northern end of the park at the intersection of Wendy Drive and Potrero roads. This is called the Wendy Trail Head (click for Google Maps location).

From there it takes about 2.5 hours of moderate to strenuous hiking to the top of Boney Mountain. Unfortunately, it takes just as much time coming down as the trail is very steep close to the top.

Beautiful panorama from the top of Boney Mountain with Channel Islands in the background
Beautiful panorama from the top of Boney Mountain with Channel Islands in the background
See my photos from Point Mugu State Park

2. Mugu Peak

Being 1266 feet tall, Mugu Peak dominates the southern part of the park and provides an amazing panoramic view of the shoreline and Mugu Lagoon and Oxnard plains.

Wildflowers and the green La Jolla Valley seen hiking Mugu Peak
Wildflowers and the green La Jolla Valley seen hiking Mugu Peak
See my photos from Point Mugu State Park

There are two main ways for getting to Mugu Peak. My favorite and shortest way is to take the Chumash Trail off of the Pacific Coast Highway right after the Mugu Rock. The trail takes you to Mugu Peak and the loops back around as it provides beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean for most of the trail.

Mugu Peak Hiking Map
Mugu Peak Hiking Map
See my photos from Point Mugu State Park

Taking the Chumash Trail (click for Google Maps location) and loop to Mugu Peak takes about 3 hours round trip with the first 30-40 minutes being strenuous.

From the top of Mugu Peak you can see the Mugu Lagoon and Channel Islands
From the top of Mugu Peak you can see the Mugu Lagoon and Channel Islands
See my photos from Point Mugu State Park

The other way to reach Mugu Peak is from La Jolla Canyon. If you choose this route, stay left as you climb.

3. La Jolla Canyon

On the Southern side of the park, La Jolla Canyon provides a beautiful access point for the Point Mugu Wilderness area and La Jolla Valley. Located right off the Pacific Coast Highway, La Jolla Canyon entrance is clearly marked and provides day use parking and restrooms. For free parking however, you can easily find parking along Highway 1.

Flowers blooming along hiking trail inside La Jolla Canyon in Point Mugu State Park
Flowers blooming along hiking trail inside La Jolla Canyon in Point Mugu State Park
See my photos from Point Mugu State Park

La Jolla Canyon is great point of access to climb Mugu Peak especially if you look for a longer but easier climb.

La Jolla Canyon Falls has lots of water during early spring
La Jolla Canyon Falls has lots of water during early spring
See my photos from Point Mugu State Park

4. Sycamore Canyon

Sycamore Canyon provide another beautiful entrance to the park from the southern side. It follows right after La Jolla Canyon and it provides similar type of hiking as it provides access to the Boney Mountain Wilderness.

5. Point Mugu State Beach

Wildlife abounds around the beach area of Point Mugu State Park. You can see lots of birds. You can see pelicans, sea lions and dolphins on any regular day around Point Mugu State Beach. Right before (if you come south on the PCH) the Mugu Rock on the right side of the PCH you can see a wildlife preserve area that is home to many birds.

Point Mugu State Park - Rocky coast seen from Mugu State Beach
Point Mugu State Park – Rocky coast seen from Mugu State Beach
See my photos from Point Mugu State Park

6. Mugu Rock Area

Mugu Rock is a symbol of this area as the Pacific Coast crosses right in between the sharp cliffs of Mugu Peak on the east and the imposing Mugu Rock to the west. You can easily stop in the small parking area and explore the ocean around Mugu Rock.

The imposing Mugu Rock is a landmark of this area.
The imposing Mugu Rock is a landmark of this area.
See my photos from Point Mugu State Park

7. Mugu Rock small beach area

Right past the large Mugu Rock, on the ocean side you can pull your car on the side of the road and descend to a small sandy patch. This small beach is rocky but beautiful and it can be overrun with water at high tides.

Small and quaint sandy beach with Mugu Rock in the background
Small and quaint sandy beach with Mugu Rock in the background
See my photos from Point Mugu State Park

How to get to Point Mugu State Park

Point Mugu is right on the coast of California between the Port Hueneme and Malibu. Actually it’s just east of Port Hueneme and the Mugu Navy Base. Many people pass right by it not knowing its name.

It is located right on the 1 Highway (Pacific Coast Highway) and it’s very easy to spot because of the huge Mugu Rock that stands out on the side of the road towering over the ocean waves. So, depending where you’re coming from on the PCH you can’t miss the Mugu Rock.

From the 101 freeway you can exit Las Posas Road in Camarillo and head south towards the ocean. Las Posas will take you to the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) which you would take south for a couple of miles. It would take you about 15 minutes from the 101 to Point Mugu.

Map of Point Mugu, California and surrounding area.

View Larger Map

Once you see the Mugu Rock look for an entrance to the beach parking area on your right. It costs $5 per day to park at the beach. If you would rather not pay the $5 fee, you can keep driving past the Mugu Rock and park on the right in the first stop on the side of the road. There is a nice little beach there that gives you a great view of the Mugu Rock. It’s great for children because there are lots of rocks that hide lots of marine life forms.

My best resources for planning your trip to Point Mugu State Park

Visit the Point Mugu State Park WebSite to plan your trip.

Checkout the Point Mugu State Park Map for details on hiking trails.

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2 comments… add one
  • Jeffrey…you were right! This article was left unfinished even though I had a lot of experience hiking in Point Mugu State Park. I have started fixing the article to provide more specific information.

  • Jeffery Link

    This is no help.

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