POSTPONED TO MARCH 12th-13th.
"Of all the parks in the Santa Monica Mountains, Point Mugu State Park wins hands down.... Maybe it's the park's proximity to the ocean... this place seems more wild, and more pristine, than the others. Things are just plain better at Point Mugu." - Ann Marie Brown from Camping in Southern California
OK...I'm going on what Ann says because I've never actually done this backpack before, so you must be up for a bit of adventure if you want to come on this trip. (It will also help if you are fun and easy-going.) I did, however, talk to the ranger, who raved about the beauty of the area and got me even more excited than I already was, so as the famed travel book title says: "LET'S GO!"
This will be an overnight backpacking trip to a walk-in campground via the La Jolla Canyon Trail. The campground is a 2-mile hike from the trailhead with an elevation gain of about 1,000 ft (the second mile is supposed to be pretty steep). The plan is to hike in and set up camp and to then do some more hiking on the La Jolla Canyon Loop trail, including the possibility of hiking to Mugu Peak. Depending on what the group decides to do, we can do anywhere from 2 to 6 miles of hiking after setting up camp, which will make for a total of 4 to 8 miles of hiking on the first day.
After a full day of hiking and beautiful scenery, we will make our way back to camp and have a potluck dinner and wine tasting for those who would like to partake. For everyone that would like to do the wine tasting, please bring a bottle of wine (in a Nalgene bottle if you don't want to carry the actual bottle!) to share with the group. Also, please bring something to share for dinner. If you have an idea of what you would like to bring as far as food and/or wine go, please say so in the comments section when you sign up.
We will make the 2-mile hike out the next morning getting us back to the trailhead by about 10am or 11am.
Other tidbits you may want to know:
1) As of today, there isn't any access to clean water for drinking. I asked the ranger about filtering it and she said, in her opinion, that she would rather bring her own. So, I'll leave that part up to you. (If you want to speak with the State Park directly, call (805) 488-1827.)
2) There are no campfires permitted. So, we're going to need that wine to keep us warm!
3) Speaking of temperatures, average temperatures near Malibu at that time of year are highs around 70 degrees, lows around 41 degrees. I would imagine that it will be nice during the day and cold at night.
4) There aren't any bears to worry about, but we will need to watch out for rattlesnakes. Also, there are raccoons, so we will need to do something to keep our food protected while we do our day-hike.
5) There is a $3 fee per person, which we will pay when we register with the camp host at the trailhead (if he or she is there) or at the Thornhill Broom Beach Campground across the street if the camp host is not at the trailhead. That covers parking, as well.