Big Sycamore Canyon – Wood Vista Canyon – Sand Dune Loop – Lunch at TCM

This hike will climax with a rare and stunning ocean vista, including almost a straight down view of white, foamy surf and turquoise-tinted shallows.

Our hike will begin in Big Sycamore Canyon, the finest example of a sycamore savanna in the State Park System. Some of the gangley sycamores soar to heights of over 80 feet.

The Spring Fire of 2013 and rains of 2014/2015 has drastically changed the landscape. The picture above is from Feb 2015 after a bulldozer went through the Sycamore Canyon Fireroad.

After a pleasant 3 miles we’ll turn up the Wood Vista Trail (a segment of the Backbone Trail), our only major ascent during the hike.

We’ll climb steadily for the next two miles, making long, looping switchbacks. As we climb higher, we’ll get a nice view not only of Big Sycamore Canyon but of Boney Mountain.

When we reach the Overlook Fire Road take a break and enjoy views of La Jolla Valley. We’ll head south on the Overlook Fire Road, which follows the ridge that divides Big Sycamore Canyon and La Jolla Canyon. Keep your eyes peeled for Anacapa Island, visible between two hills.

After a couple of miles on the Overlook Trail we’ll hit the Scenic trail and traverse the ridge above the Great Sand Dune to the prominence shown at top.

Hike is about 9.5 miles with 1100 ft gain


30745 Pacific Coast Highway (at Trancas Canyon Rd)

Directions to trailhead

Take PCH to Sycamore Canyon Rd. Sycamore Canyon Rd is 19 miles north/west of Malibu Canyon Rd. Its 5.9 miles south/east of Las Posas (you will pass by La Jolla Canyon).

Turn into Sycamore Canyon toward campground and go to Kiosk. Pay, park and hang out. Parking was $12 or $14 last time I was there. Credit cards OK (but bring exact change just in case). We’ll be meeting in the main lot near kiosk There is additional pay parking on the beach side of PCH.

See also


The Organizers and members of Hiking With Dean are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Hiking With Dean Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities per our ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND LIABILITY WAIVER and Section 6.2 of the Terms of Service.