Ever since I first hiked the Chumash Trail in Ventura County to Mugu Peak last year, I've wanted to return for sunset on one of the incredibly clear days that Santa Ana winds brings us a handful of days each year and take photographs. It's hard to plan a hike like this because you never know in advance when the weather conditions will be right. When they are, it never seems to coincide with a time that I have the time (and energy) to do it. This particular day was no exception since I had already spent the day showing real estate and the much of America was enjoying Super Bowl Sunday. I really shouldn’t have waited until the last minute before making the decision that today was the day and by the time I arrived at the trail head along Pacific Coast Highway it was almost 5:00PM. I wondered if I would make it to the peak in time to capture the sunset. The Chumash Trail is a steep trail that ascends quickly—845 feet in the first .7 miles. As I monitored my progress on the trail and compared it to the sun's quicker progress towards the horizon, I realized I would not make it in time all the way to the top of Mugu Peak. Fortunately, though, I was able to reach the Overlook Spur which is a short path that takes you to a spot with the incredible views I was hoping for. From the overlook you can see the Point Mugu Pacific Naval Base, the Mugu Lagoon and the coast all the way to Port Hueneme, Oxnard and, of course, the Channel Islands rising out of the Pacific Ocean.
For more information on this and other great hikes in Ventura County, visit VenturaCountyTrail.org/TrailMaps/LaJollaValley/AreaTrails.htm and ModernHiker.com/2009/01/27/hiking-mugu-peak/
Joe Virnig is a real estate agent with 25 years experience helping locals and folks moving to Ventura County find the right home and community to fit their lifestyle and needs. He is also a photographer and an enthusiast of all things Ventura County. His portfolio of Ventura County images can be enjoyed at VenturaCountyVistas.com.