California, Sycamore Canyon Loop

State: California
Location: Point Magu State Park
Length, Round Trip: 15.5 miles
Trail Type: Loop
Minimum Elevation: 25 feet
Elevation Change:
1575 feet
Best Season: Year-Round
Difficulty: 4B
Usage: Moderate

Trail Information

The first 5.6 miles are a gentle ascent on Big Sycamore Canyon Trail to Ranch Center Road. The pedaling on Ranch Center Road is moderately difficult for 1.5 miles and then the road drops rapidly for 0.8 miles. Wood Canyon Trail is picked up at this point and the route continues downhill for two miles to Overlook Trail at Deer Camp Junction. On Overlook Trail you climb very steeply for 1.5 miles and tackle the aptly named Hell Hill. The biking then gets easier as you ride around the south side of an unnamed peak. The loop ends with an exhilarating three-mile descent.

Road conditions vary. The first 4.5 miles are over an unpaved, two-wheel-drive road in good condition. This is followed by 3.2 miles of pavement. The remaining miles are on dirt trails in fair-to-good condition with some loose gravel and sand.

Follow Big Sycamore Canyon Trail. The road turns to pavement and climbs to an intersection with Ranch Center Road. Turn left and follow Ranch Center Road to Ranch Center and Wood Canyon Trail on the left. Take Wood Canyon Trail to Deer Camp Junction. Continue straight onto Overlook Trail as Wood Canyon Trail veers left. Follow Overlook Trail to Big Sycamore Canyon Trail and turn right to return to the trailhead.

Cyclists have damaged portions of the park’s trails by skidding their tires. Walk your bike if you cannot descend without skidding.


The trail begins at the north end of the Big Sycamore Canyon Campground in Point Magu State Park. The park’s entrance is off the Pacific Coast Highway (CA 1), 32 miles west of Santa Monica and 12 miles east of Oxnard. There is a day use fee for parking at the campground or across the highway at the beach. Automobiles may also be parked outside the park in an area off the highway marked, “No Parking 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.”

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