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blueBlack Mugu Peak and La Jolla Valley Loop

  3.8 ( 4 ) Favorite


4.5 mile 7.3 kilometer loop
78% Runnable


Ascent: 1,314' 401 m
Descent: -1,312' -400 m
High: 1,036' 316 m
Low: 21' 6 m


Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 64% (33°)


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Trail shared by John McKinney

Run from the beach, through the La Jolla grassland, and around Mugu Peak.

John McKinney

Features River/Creek · Views

Be aware that the trailhead parking area has high amount of vehicle break-ins compared to the surrounding area.


Experience great views of the ocean and of grasslands as you complete this loop around Mugu Peak.


This run begins at the trailhead for the Chumash Trail, directly off of Highway 1. Following the Chumash Trail up the coastal mountain you'll gain a significant amount of elevation in just a short amount of time. After 7/10 of a mile you'll have accomplished 900ft of elevation gain. At this point the trail reaches a saddle and starts to level off a bit. There is also a trail juncture here with the Mugu Peak Trail. Continue north along the Chumash Trail and you'll see an expanse of grassland in the La Jolla Valley. Continue along the Chumash Trail until you reach the intersection with the La Jolla Valley Loop Trail.

Turn right here to follow the La Jolla Valley Loop Trail to the southeast along the grasslands. Stay to the right as you run this portion of the trail and soon you'll reach the Mugu Peak Trail junction. Take a right to follow the Mugu Peak Trail, which will wind back down to the Chumash Trail along the southern side of Mugu Peak. If you want to summit Mugu Peak you can veer off of the trail briefly onto the Mugu Peak Connector, which will bring you there. Return to the Mugu Peak Trail to make your way down. Once you hit the Chumash Trail turn left for the steep descent to return to the original parking lot.

Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store.

Flora & Fauna

The Chumash Trail is surrounded by yucca, cactus, and the yellow coreopsis.

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Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Runner Notes, History & Background

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Jun 16, 2018
Rafi Miranda
Great hike!

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  3.8 from 4 votes


  3.8 from 4 votes
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