I had a great day of geocaching in Point Mugu State Park on Saturday. It was a perfect day for a hike. It was sunny, but not too hot (for the most part), often with a nice breeze off the ocean.
I have hiked Sycamore Canyon several times, but this trip would take me to some new areas.
The Route: I started my hike at the trailhead at the end of Wendy Drive and hiked to the windmill. After visiting the windmill, I headed along the trail toward Boney Mountain so I could pick up the trail down into Upper Sycamore Canyon. When I came out of Upper Sycamore Canyon, I headed south along the Sycamore Canyon Road to pick up a few caches. After back tracking a bit, I headed up the road that leads to the Hidden Pond trailhead. I did the Hidden Pond Trail, then went down into Wood Canyon. The trail drops by into Sycamore Canyon about 3 miles from the campground. Total hiking/geocaching time: 9 hours. Geocaches found: 29 Mileage: I haven’t figured the mileage yet.
It was a great day for hiking. These two photos show the sunny skies with the fog near the coast. Because of the season, everything was very dry and crispy. While I enjoyed the hike very much, I think Spring would be the best time for this adventure.
The old windmill and Fill In The Blanks was my first stop. Then it was down into Upper Sycamore Canyon.
Considering the name of the canyon, I figured that I had to include a couple of sycamore photos.
Leaving Upper Sycamore Canyon and entering Sycamore Canyon, I left solitude for the 405 and rush hour. There were a lot of people on bikes. The canyon road was very busy. Be careful–some of the bikers aren’t. I was able to pick up a few caches in the Canyon, had a nice lunch stop at A Picnic Time Log, including a DNF there, and then backtracked to Ranch Center Road which leads to the Hidden Pond Trail.
Hidden Pond Trail is a single track trail of mixed quality. The direction I took leads up the steep slope of the ridge. At times, the trail is very fine sand–almost dust. Judging by the number of thread marks, I appeared to be a popular mountain bike route. There are several caches along this trail–some easy, others more difficult.
If you are looking for Arn’ge you glad you took this trail, you don’t need to climb the wall near the cache. The cache is reachable from the trail. Unfortunately, it appears that some geocachers have really damaged the area. This is one of three slides presumeably caused by people looking for the cache.
The trail switchbacks up the ridge. The caches along this stretch of the trail offered a good excuse to take breaks. The switchbacks were sheltered from the ocean breeze so it was getting pretty warm. Most of the heat was radiating up from the rocks.
The climb did have its good points. The views back toward Boney Mountain and Sycamore Canyon were very nice.
The rocks around Buzzing Around Easter Island are covered with interesting lichen.
Descending into Woods Canyon brought a change in vegetation. I started seeing a lot of cacti and a lot more oaks.
And speaking of oak, there is a lot of the poison variety. I didn’t want to take a photo of it because I was afraid of infecting my camera. Most of the poison oak is either red or turning red. Just thinking about it is making me itch. If you have read this blog before, you may know that I can get a poison oak rash just looking at the stuff. I passed on several caches in this area only because the poison oak had encroached on the GZ.
Santa Ana, what’s yer twenty? was one such cache. Lots of poison oak in the area. As I walked up a creek bed trying to figure a way to the cache that was away from the poison oak, I smelled something awful–and it wasn’t just me. I found a full skeleton of a deer that appeared to have been dinner for quite a few.
It was a long, but enjoyable day. If you are interested in some caches that are off the beaten path, I recommend both Upper Sycamore Canyon and the Lost Pond/Wood Canyon area. Just be careful around the poison oak.
Here’s my list of finds for the day: