Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 547: Scenic Trail - Over the Great Sand Dune - Sycamore Campground

Flying over the Great Sand Dune!

Day #547 * Hike #627 * New Track #542
Tuesday May 15, 2012
Scenic Trail - Malibu, CA
Over the Great Sand Dune from Sycamore Campground
My Tripometer: 1 Hour * 3 Miles * +750 Feet

The Almost Trailhead 

From Lower Ventura County, head out to the PCH and turn left into the Sycamore Campground.  This is still technically in Ventura County and only about a mile from La Jolla.  There is a pay booth inside but I think it's only in effect for the weekend.  I rode my bike right through and then parked to the left in the day parking.  I wasn't sure where to go because I didn't have the map but I began hiking through the campgrounds.  I then found this trail and presumed I reached the trailhead...
***Update, I rode back here a week later and there was a lady in the toll booth who wanted to charge me $12 for parking.  I said, "NO!" --  There is no other sensible place to park for free and hike here.  Just giving you the heads up...

 ...not quite, keep going back through the campground...

 Don't feed the squirrels

 Yes, the Trailhead is reached!

 The Map

My goal today was to hike the Scenic Trail, peak over the Great Sand Dune and then circle back around the fire road.  However, the short dotted trail on the map actually follows the ridge all the way back to Sycamore.  First things first...

 Head up the Scenic Trail

 One dry creek crossing

 Fresh stink bug, do not squish

 Up we go...

 Quite a few of these around

 The trail and wall of Sycamore Canyon

 Over the campground and the ocean

 The overlook trail spins up to the left (no sign for it)

 The Great Sand Dune doesn't look so great from up here

It just sorta looks like an extended beach but from below we all know this dune lifts sharply above the PCH and dares so many, including myself, to climb it.

 The trail keeps going higher...

 Looking over Sycamore Canyon

Looking back at the ridge trail and Mugu Rock in the distance

 It's pretty up here

 Next exit, Sycamore Cove

 A peak through to the Great Sand Dune

Time to turn around...

In theory, I saw bits and pieces of a trail below heading back toward Sycamore.  It was sketchy at best and I am in need for a new pair of shoes with some traction.  I began to take a few steps and then thought better of it.  I knew I could reach below to the next ridge but beyond that would be a 100 foot drop.  I don't believe there is a legit way to go down so I played it safe by running the 1.5 miles back to my bike.  Overall, this was a great experience.  I would say you are okay bringing your kids down the 0.7 mile Scenic Trail.  There was another spot just past the Overlook trail where you could look out over the ocean.  I will be retuning to Sycamore soon to complete the rest of the trails...

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