Sara Wan Trail
Santa Susana Mountain Park
Circle X Ranch
Point Dume Nature Preserve
Date of Review
This time of year be on the watch for perennials, especially woody shrubs, vines and trees. They can respond quickly to the first rains of the year. Also, be prepared for trail issues after the recent rains. Please respect closures, they are for your safety. If you see anything hazardous let the Park know!
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|Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy||
The Sara Wan Trail can be accessed from PCH north of Puerco Canyon Rd and South of Corral Canyon Rd or you can use the pay parking lot adjacent to Malibu Seafood.
The creek that runs along the bottom of the canyon is now full and rushing. In order to access the trail from the parking lot you will have to get wet feet or walk out to PCH, cross the bridge and take the trail that starts from the south side of the creek.
This is a loop trail. I always take it clockwise for better ocean views on the descent. Near PCH there are a lot of bush sunflowers in bloom. Continuing on there starts to be a lot of wild cucumber. You come to the side of an old cabin or house with only the chimney remaining. Here the former garden has naturalized and although they are not wildflowers the splash of yellow, purple and orange flowers is striking. Continuing up the trail the blue dicks begin, first a few and then in great profusion. Indian paintbrush are in bloom here and there. I saw swallowtail and Sara orange tip butterflies. It was a clear day and on the descent Santa Barbara Island was clearly visible. — Dorothy Steinicke
|Santa Susana Mountain Park||
|Hills are bursting with life from all the rain on Friday - wild cucumber, mustard, blue dicks, fiddleneck, wishbone plant, California everlasting, white ceanothus, yellow oxalis and one sticky monkey flower in dark orange opened. chamise looks to open in the next few days, and lupines are getting ready. I entered the park through the entrance on Andora just west of Lassen. Water is flowing everywhere, so please wear good hiking shoes or boots. If one turns left about a mile in, the waterfalls are incredible but possibly short-lived - also there's a vernal pond at the top of the stagecoach trail or devil's slide which may be accessed from Lilac Lane off of Santa Susana Pass Road. — Adam Lieberman|
|Circle X Ranch||
Shooting Stars are now in full bloom along the Mishe Mokwa and Backbone Trails in the valley between Sandstone Peak and Tri Peaks. They are most easily found directly on the Backbone Tail right by the intersection with the Mishe Mokwa Trail. It is easiest to park at the Sandstone Peak Trailhead and take either the trail up to Sandstone Peak or connect with the feeder to the Mishe Mokwa Trail (my preferred route).
— Steven Friedman
|Point Dume Natural Preserve||
The Point Dume Natural Preserve is a fun place to explore where you can enjoy a lot of native wildflowers in an uncommonly found coastal scrub ecosystem and, at the same time enjoy views of the ocean and possible sightings of marine mammals. The park can be accessed from Cliffside Drive where there are a dozen 2 hour free parking spaces or from Westward Beach, where you pay to park. From the southernmost part of Westward Beach climb the well marked trail to the top of Point Dume. The giant rock is covered in giant coreopsis that have just started blooming. These plants look like they should be in a Dr. Suess book, they look like stumpy tropical trees that are covered in what look like yellow daisies. Also currently in bloom are wild cucumber, lemonade berry, coast golden bush and, to my great surprise, a lot of California poppies.
— Dorothy Steinicke
NPS site - Solstice Canyon (PCH & Corral Canyon Rd.) There is a 76 gas station on the corner where you turn and the entrance to the park is at the first bend in the road. This is a very popular site with a small parking lot so try to visit on a weekday.
As you start the one mile Solstice Canyon walk on the old driveway from the main parking lot, you'll see catkins on the Alder trees. Just past the nice view of the creek from the bridge, the old driveway goes right and soon you'll see a few flowers of white nightshade blooming, then you'll start to see clumps of wild cucumber blooms. The white flowers on long stalks are the male flowers, some of the female flowers close to the main vine have already formed the small spiky pods that enclose the plant's seeds. The best thing about this site is the California bay laurel trees starting to bloom. These sweet smelling clusters of small yellow flowers are clearly visible against the dark green long and slender bay leaves of these large trees. After enjoying the one mile walk up to Tropical Terrace you can return the way you came. Rating is promising. — Sheila Braden
|NPS site - Rocky Oaks (Mulholland Hwy west of Kanan Rd.) The short Rocky Oaks loop trail is muddy in spots. The path over the dam is dry. The pond has shrunk to a three foot wide mud puddle. On the slope the white pinkish flowers of big berry manzanita are just starting to bloom. What makes this site interesting are the lichens. Three types of the crusty growths are clearly visible on the leafless branches: green shield lichen (gray green), candle flame lichen (yellow), and firedot lichen (bright orange). Rating is promising. — Sheila Braden|
|The rain that has fallen has started to perk things up and it is clear that there will be flowers this year. This trail crosses creeks with water six or seven times. The flowers have not really started but they are close. The wild cucumber is pushing up and we saw a few blooming stalks. There are some milk maids blooming near the creek. We saw one blooming California everlasting and some big berry manzanita that was just about to open. — Dorothy Steinicke|
Santa Monica Mountains NRA
401 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
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