Point Mugu State Park

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 34.09258°N / 119.05508°W
Activities Activities: Hiking, Toprope, Bouldering, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 1267 ft / 386 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Point Mugu State Park is located in the western-most part of the Santa Monica Mountains. It is about 13,000 acres and features five miles of ocean shoreline, with rocky bluffs, sandy beaches, and sand dunes. Butting up to the shoreline are rugged hills and uplands, two major river canyons and wide grassy valleys dotted with sycamores, oaks and a few native walnuts. In the spring the grass is green, the creeks are running, and wildflowers abound. In the summer and fall the grasslands are golden and peaceful. The beach is a great place to visit year-round as temperatures typically remain mild.

There are more than 70 miles of intersecting hiking trails within the park, including the trails that climb Mugu Peak and Boney Mountain. The Ray Miller Trail starting in La Jolla Canyon is the westernmost end of the 70-mile long Backbone Trail. The Backbone Trail System is a multi-use long-distance trail extending nearly 70 miles across the Santa Monica Mountains. The park includes the jagged pinnacles of the Boney Mountains State Wilderness Area and not far away is Sandstone Peak, the highest peak in the range, lying just outside the boundary of the state park.

Climbers can find routes at Mugu Rock. From Rockclimbing.com "The roadside rock at Point Mugu offers the quickest pump that beginner and intermediate climbers can hope to find anywhere in Ventura County. The slightly overhanging face boasts several 20-foot tall, easily top-roped cracks in the 5.8-5.11a range. More experienced climbers can link a complete traverse of the front side, a sequential and pumpy 5.11+." It also takes some class 3 moves to get to the top of Tri-Peaks which are the highest in the State Park.

The park is the westernmost portion of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. This is an area managed by the National Park Service, CA State Parks, and other land management partners. This is a wonderful gift of open space to those in LA and Ventura Counties to explore and enjoy. The SMMNRA visitor center is located in Thousand Oaks and is a great stop to learn more about the whole area. Here's a link to directions and a map.

Getting There

La Jolla Canyon

Point Mugu State Park is about 15 miles south of Oxnard on Highway One. Here is the official address:

9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway,
Malibu, CA 90265

Please note that the lat/long and elevation I inputed above refers to Mugu Peak, one of the prominent peaks in the park. Elevations in the park range from sea level to the 3,010 level at Tri-Peaks.

Here's a great overview map of the entire Santa Monica Mountains NRA

Red Tape

Chumash Trailhead Sign

Camping is $25-$35/night. Day Use at Sycamore Cove is $12/day. Trailhead parking at La Jolla Canyon is $8/day. Trailhead parking at Chumash Trailhead is free.

Hiking does not require a permit.

Campfires are allowed in the developed campground and picnic areas - bring your own wood.

Dogs on a leash are allowed on the beach and in the car campgrounds. Dogs are not allowed on the trails.

Some of the backcountry trails are multi-use for mountain bikers and horse riders.

Be aware of poison oak, rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and ticks when you are hiking in the backcountry.

Please practice Leave No Trace ethics.

External Links

Mugu Sunset

Current Weather Forecast

Trail system map and info

Link to purchase the Tom Harrison Point Mugu State Park map

La Jolla Valley Loop Trail from Localhikes.com

My Point Mugu Trip Report Feb 13-15, 2010


Mugu Camper

There are 3 choices for car camping at Point Mugu State Park - camping on the beach at Thornhill Broome (well-suited for RV's, not so much for tents because of the wind exposure), camping in the canyon at Sycamore Canyon (underneath trees, more protection, but you can still walk easily to the beach and hear the waves crashing at night), and the group camp at La Jolla Canyon. For more information and to make reservations, please visit the ReserveAmerica website.

For backpackers there is La Jolla Valley walk-in camp. It is first-come, first-served and you'll check in and pay at Thornhill Broome campground. It's about 2.2 miles to the camp from the La Jolla Canyon Trailhead. Here's a link to more information and photos.


The name Mugu is believed to be derived from the Chumash Indian term Muwu, meaning beach, which was first mentioned by Cabrillo in his journals in 1542. It is also a name applied to the nearby Naval Air Station—NAS Point Mugu—a test range facility.



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