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Big Sycamore Canyon Trail, CA

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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 16 miles
Trailhead Elevation 813 feet
Elevation Gain 800 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
Post the 1st photoset!
author avatar Guides 74
Routes 101
Photos 2,962
Trips 57 map ( 363 miles )
Age 60 Male Gender
Location Thousand Oaks, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Mar, Jan, Feb, Dec → Early
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:19am - 6:41pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Scorched by Spring
by slegal

Big Sycamore Canyon runs north-south from Newbury Park all the way to Sycamore Canyon Beach. The trail is roughly 8 miles one way and is a very busy trail, particularly on weekends. The trail is busiest at either end where day hikers venture a short way in and then return back. Mountain bikers are very common. With the exception of a long and steep blacktop hill at the north end of the trail, the trail is relatively flat and it is very easy to ride from trailhead to trailhead and back and cover 16 miles round trip. The GPS track I posted is over 19 miles by bike and included a side trip.

Since I live in Thousand Oaks, the most common way that I travel into the canyon is via Newbury Park. From Newbury Park, the trail is more of a road that is mostly paved all the way to the Danielson Ranch house, which is roughly half way between the two trailheads. There is a lot of shade on this section of the trail because there are lots of oaks hanging over the trail.

Once you reach Danielson ranch the tree cover is gone and the trail is dirt until you reach the Sycamore Canyon Campground at the end of the trail. You’ll make a number of creek crossings on this section. During the summer and fall months the creek is dry, but during the winter and spring months the creek can get quite wide with water that can be more than a foot deep. If you don’t want to get wet, be forewarned.

I have no photos of the canyon. What can I say? I rarely carry a camera in the canyon because I am usually on my bike and usually don’t stop.

One thing worth noting is that most of the canyon burned in the Springs Fire in May, 2013. The oaks probably survived, but the sycamores probably didn’t survive. I haven’t been back since the fire, because I really don’t want to see the aftermath and prefer to wait until after a couple of winter rainy seasons.

Check out the Official Route.

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2013-08-07 slegal
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    CA State Parks - Fee: typically $2-$15 per vehicle, view more information

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    To reach the Newbury Park trailhead, take US 101 to Wendy Drive. Head south on Wendy Drive to Lynn Road and turn right. When you pass the signal light at Reino Road, Lyn Road becomes Potrero Road. Continue on Potrero Road until you get to the National Park entrance on your left. Take the NPS road all the way to the end and park. The trailhead is at the parking area.

    Another alternative to the NPS parking lot is to take Wendy Drive all the way to Potrero Road and park on the south side of Potrero Road. There is a trailhead here to Rancho Sierra Vista. The trail has a spur that heads off to the west and will take you to the Big Sycamore Canyon Trail. This route will add about 3 miles round trip to your hike or ride.

    To reach the trail from Sycamore Canyon Beach, take Pacific Coast Highway to the beach and park on the shoulder, where permitted. You can opt to pay to park either on the beach side or within the parking area within the campground entrance on the inland side.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Aug 07 2013 10:20 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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