OverviewMugu Peak rises above the Pacific Ocean, Point Mugu and Mugu Naval Air Station. At its base is the La Jolla Valley Nature Preserve, an expansive valley at the western terminus of the Santa Monica Mountains. Dominated by grassland and oak trees, the Mugu area makes for easy hikes in any season. Cool ocean breezes and pleasant weather greet hikers much of the year.
Mugu Peak is located at the western end of the Backbone trail, which traverses the Santa Monica Mountains.
Getting ThereFrom Santa Monica and the terminus of I-10, take Highway 1/Pacific Coast Highway 35 miles north. A large pullout is located across from the Navy Rifle Range and Mugu Lagoon. (Trailhead parking is 16.8 miles past Kanan Dume Road)
From Ventura County, head southbound on Highway 1/Pacific Coast Highway 2.3 miles past Las Posas Road in southeast Oxnard. The parking area is on the left by a posted trailhead.
One can also hike to the peak via a trailhead at La Jolla Canyon, a more scenic route that passes seasonal waterfalls and streams. This trailhead is also on Highway 1, 33 miles north of I-10 (15 miles past Kanan Dume Road).
From the north, this trailhead is 4.2 miles south of Las Posas Road (in Oxnard) on Highway 1.
Red TapeNo red tape, just don't wander onto the Naval Base.
CampingBackpackers and hikers can camp anywhere on the trails in this area. There is camping on the La Jolla Valley Loop Trail, just northeast of the peak at La Jolla Valley Walk-In Camp.
Hiking DirectionsThis hike is usually done in conjunction with Mugu Peak Loop trail. The hike begins on Chumash trail, which intersects with Mugu Peak Loop trail a little over 1/2 mile in. To climb the peak, make a right on Mugu Peak Loop trail and hike another 2/3 mile. On the left, you will see a trail angle northwest up the side of the peak. It's less than 1/4 mile to the top.
You can also continue on Chumash just over 1 mile from the trailhead and make a right at the second trail intersection. Turn right on this trail (the La Jolla Valley Loop Trail) and hike up La Jolla Canyon. Continue around the loop for about 2 miles until you reach the turnoff to the peak, which is on the right side of the trail.
From La Jolla Canyon trailhead, hike up the trail to its first intersection and turn left (SW), hike to the next intersection and make another left. Follow this trail (the Mugu Peak Loop trail) to beginning of the 1/4 mile peak trail, which leads to the summit.
Total elevation gain for this hike is about 1200'.
Mugu Peak from Chumash Trail
Also, SoCalHiker notes that "you can easily hike to the top of Mugu Peak directly from the the saddle at the end of the Chumash Trail. Instead of making a right turn into Mugu Peak Trail and gain the summitridge from the east (as mentioned on the mountain page) you can ascend the ridge from the west (saddle) to the summit directly. There is a wel-worn use-trail as of October 2010. The summit is decorated with a large flag on a pole."
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