I will admit that I can feel a little intimidated when you can see the extent of the elevation change a trail will take right from the trailhead. The trailhead of the Ray Miller Trail in Pt Mugu State Park gives you a wide view of the many switchbacks and elevation gain. My original intent this day was to head out to La Jolla Valley, which also starts from the same spot. However, this trail was closed off due the deluge of rain we’ve received in Southern California in early 2017. Having driven all the way down to this parking spot right off the Pacific Coast Highway, the only other option was the Ray Miller Trail.

Normally, I don’t think I would have been as motivated to tackle a trail like this. The trail was very crowded this day and that visual of seeing so many other accomplishing the same thing you set out to do gives you a sense of motivation. It suddenly feels a lot less intimidating.

After what seems like an endless set of twists and turns up the side of the Santa Monica Mountains, you rise up to get a big view of Pt. Mugu and the Channel Islands in the distance. Further up, you are treated to a view of Sycamore Canyon and the western face of Boney Mountain. In this time of the year I went, the rains have given a burst of greenery that is unlike anything you’ll see in Southern California the rest of the year. This trail can continue as long as you want it to, but this is mostly an out-and-back trail.