PROJECT: Heavy Duty Trail Restoration
Point Mugu State Park stretches from Ventura County through some of the most majestic parts of the Santa Monica Mountains, all the way to the Pacific Ocean. It’s got some of the most phenomenal views of the ocean in Southern California. This stretch of coast is known for its uniquely untouched Californian landscape, stretches of rare native grassland, and extensive trail system.
Unfortunately, the Chumash Trail area was badly burned in the Springs Fire in May of 2013. With the lost vegetation, hillsides were exposed to heavy erosion. Early December storm rains brought major debris- and mudslides flowing all the way down to the Pacific Coast Highway. The Chumash trail in the end closed, meaning its up to Volunteers to pitch in to restore the trails and in some cases, recreate trail where 4’ – 6’ of mud/rock slides slid down the mountainside.
So, the Parks Project Crew gathered at the Chumash Trail entrance, this route makes a pretty no nonsense ascent up a steep incline, rising 845 feet in the first .7 miles. The landscape is classic coastal scrub — lots of yucca, sage, and grasses. Because the ground has always been a bit loose in this area, the fires and rains created a real mess to clean up. The fact that it’s so steep here doesn’t help you keep your footing either, but we leaned in with our pick axes and tools to restore much of the upper and lower trail.
Next time you are up there, enjoy this beautiful trail and ensure you leave it better than you found it!