5 of Ventura County's Best Coastal Hikes | KCET
5 of Ventura County's Best Coastal Hikes
This guide is part of KCET's California Coastal Trail project, which looks at the state's massive undertaking to build a trail over 1,000 miles in length along its whole coastline.
Better known for its coastline and agricultural lands, Ventura County also lays claim to a chunk of the northern Santa Monica Mountains, a rugged zone replete with trails for hikers and mountain bikers. Challenging and dramatic trails can be found here, and easier strolls along the beaches await, too.
La Jolla Canyon
5 miles, moderate
Point Mugu State Park is also home to 1,200-foot Mugu Peak, a prominent mountain in a landscape of canyons, grasslands, and coastal scrub. Taking the Chumash Trail from Pacific Coast Highway affords numerous options for different lengths of hikes on and around the peak, including a steep two-mile jaunt to the summit. Regardless which way you go, expect views of Mugu Lagoon, grassy meadows, the Great Sand Dune, and dramatic canyons framing the ocean. This loop around the peak is five miles.
2 miles, easy
Emma Wood State Beach
The 101 Freeway runs along much of the Ventura coastline, but there are a few spots where the freeway is set back and walks on the beach, away from too much development, are possible. Emma Wood State Beach, better known as an RV park, is one of them. The park encompasses the Ventura River estuary and a wave-pounded stretch of coastline. The Emma Wood River Trail tours this area of wetlands, and cobble-and-sand beach in a 1.5-mile loop.
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