On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Point Mugu State Park is situated in the western portion of the Santa Monica Mountains. The first two Milky Way photos from last week were taken just north of the park. I have hiked here before with my dad when I was in high school and planned to recreate our hike from Newbury Park down to Big Sycamore Canyon and then west to La Jolla Valley. Let’s just say, things didn’t quite go as planned.
Just after entering the state park, the road heads down a steep hill into the canyon. About 3 miles into the hike you arrive a the Danielson Ranch multi use area. From there you can follow the now non-paved road all the way to the ocean. According to the park map at Danielson Ranch, if I took the Wood Canyon road and turned left at the first road, I’d end up in La Jolla Valley. It did not indicate that the portion of the trail after leaving Wood Canyon is called “Hell Hill”.
So I followed these directions and the trail started climbing and I looked up to see a cut in the hillside far above me, and decided to try a different route. I headed back to Wood Canyon and took another trail that took me though another canyon and then up a bunch of switchbacks until I ended up on the trail I’d been looking at from “Hell Hill”. By that time I’d spent a hour on the second trail and the clouds had moved in, so I just took a shot of La Jolla Valley from the trail overlook. I headed back, this time down “Hell Hill” and as I reached the intersection of that trail and Wood Canyon both of my feet slipped out from under me and I ended up on my butt.
Park entrance in the Conejo Valley.
A panorama of the view near the park entrance. Conejo Mountain, left of center, is an extinct volcano.
Picnic area near Danielson Ranch, shot with my infrared camera using the 590nm filter.
California poppy shot with my infrared camera using the IRChrome filter.
California poppy shot in visible light.
California State University, Channel Islands in the foreground with Camarillo in the background. The university used to be a California State Hospital that was well known for drug treatment therapy.
Looking down into La Jolla Valley.
Boney Mountain and Tripeaks. These are some of the peaks visable in the Milky Way shots from last week.