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Arroyo Sequit Park in the Santa Monica Mountains offers verdant meadows and a trickling stream.

Diminutive Arroyo Sequit Park, a 155-acre former ranch that is now a unit of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, is a bit hidden in one of the more remote parts of the mountains between Malibu and Thousand Oaks. Like much of the Santa Monica Mountains territory, this patch of land appears drab and dry at least half the year -- but winter rains can transform it instantly into an emerald paradise. Bring the kids here for a little hiking, picnicking, wildflower hunting, or bird watching.

From the Ventura 101 Freeway (probably the best approach from San Diego or Los Angeles), take the Westlake Boulevard (Highway 23) exit in Thousand Oaks. Turn south on Highway 23, and drive five miles south to Mulholland Highway, where you turn right. Watch the roadside mileage markers and drive to mile 5.6 to reach the Arroyo Sequit Park on the left, which has the posted address of 34138 Mulholland Highway. Turn left and park in the small lot, which is open daily 8 a.m. to sunset.

Pass through a gate and walk up the access road into the park. Veer left toward a restored barn (used for meetings) and pass a small picnic area shaded by oaks. On the right, you'll see a marked hiking trail slanting up and across a meadow. On that trail, you'll circle to the rim of a little canyon (an upper tributary of the stream called Arroyo Sequit), where you can catch an outstanding view of Boney Mountain, the highest promontory in the Santa Monica range. You then curve back down through more grassland -- dotted with spring wildflowers and blooming plants such as wild peony and ceanothus -- and loop back to the ranger station.

It is entirely possible to visit the site on a weekend and see no one else on the trail. At most, this is an hour-long hike, but one that will serve you well as a way to stretch your legs while touring the Santa Monica Mountains by car during the agreeably scenic early-spring season.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any adverse experience.

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The unsinkable Linda Broyles

“I mean, when they said I couldn’t go home, I could see Coronado!”

Diminutive Arroyo Sequit Park, a 155-acre former ranch that is now a unit of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, is a bit hidden in one of the more remote parts of the mountains between Malibu and Thousand Oaks. Like much of the Santa Monica Mountains territory, this patch of land appears drab and dry at least half the year -- but winter rains can transform it instantly into an emerald paradise. Bring the kids here for a little hiking, picnicking, wildflower hunting, or bird watching.

From the Ventura 101 Freeway (probably the best approach from San Diego or Los Angeles), take the Westlake Boulevard (Highway 23) exit in Thousand Oaks. Turn south on Highway 23, and drive five miles south to Mulholland Highway, where you turn right. Watch the roadside mileage markers and drive to mile 5.6 to reach the Arroyo Sequit Park on the left, which has the posted address of 34138 Mulholland Highway. Turn left and park in the small lot, which is open daily 8 a.m. to sunset.

Pass through a gate and walk up the access road into the park. Veer left toward a restored barn (used for meetings) and pass a small picnic area shaded by oaks. On the right, you'll see a marked hiking trail slanting up and across a meadow. On that trail, you'll circle to the rim of a little canyon (an upper tributary of the stream called Arroyo Sequit), where you can catch an outstanding view of Boney Mountain, the highest promontory in the Santa Monica range. You then curve back down through more grassland -- dotted with spring wildflowers and blooming plants such as wild peony and ceanothus -- and loop back to the ranger station.

It is entirely possible to visit the site on a weekend and see no one else on the trail. At most, this is an hour-long hike, but one that will serve you well as a way to stretch your legs while touring the Santa Monica Mountains by car during the agreeably scenic early-spring season.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any adverse experience.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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