Scorched by Spring
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.
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.