Boney Mountain Trail, Newbury Park

This can be a very deceptive hike so after searching on the Internet for some time and having hiked there around 3 times now, I think you and other visitors need some reliable information about the Boney Mountain hike in Santa Monica mountains.
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Boney Peak is a peak of the sandstone Boney Mountain formation, in Circle X Ranch Park of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Southern California.[4] It is one of the highest points in the Santa Monica Mountains and is in Ventura County. From the peak, you can have views of the Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands, and Mount Baldy. Plus Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura city, Newbury park and some parts of Simi Valley. There was a big fire in May 2013 which has burnt many trees in some areas. You can see this in the beginning part of the trail. You can see this barren area (which used to be green earlier) in a panoramic view at the bottom of the page.

There are actually two ways to reach to the top of Boney Peak. Many start from Circle X Ranch in the Santa Monica mountains. However, the majority of people start from Newbury park in Ventura county. This because Circle X is a bit difficult to reach compared to easy access to the trailheads in Newbury Park. In this write-up, I am going to focus on trailheads in Newbury Park. There can be two trailheads in Newbury park itself- one on the Potrero Road where Wendy Dr ends. There is a dirt parking lot of a few cars. Or you can drive a little more West on Potrero and enter through the official parking lot of Santa Monica Mountains NPS office and start from there. See the map below for both entrances.

boney peak map

From Newbury park, there can be three popular versions of the Boney Mountain hike.

  1. Boney Mountain Overlook hike: Mark Zuber on has very good info about this. Many other websites and blogs on the Internet have probably copied info from it but in the process, they have made it more complicated. The keyword of this version is Overlook. Don't overlook that important word ;)
    I did hike with some parents and young kids on March 30, 2014, and we paid the price. I kept thinking of the hike to the peak as being 7.5 miles and we ended up hiking around 10-11 miles. Of course, it was tougher but we all enjoyed it. However, this confusing info out there on the Internet is the reason I am writing this page to help fellow hikers and local families.

    The details on does not take you to the top of the Boney Peak. This one takes you to an Overlook point from where you can have stunning views of the peak.
    I am copyng info from LocalHikes with the most important part highlighted for you.

    "This hike includes some breathtaking up-close views of the shear rock faces of Boney mountain. Follow the Satwiwa Loop trail west past a pretty pond, then bear right at a quarter mile and head toward the Boney Mountain Trail across the open grassland. Go left on the Boney mountain trail and follow above sycamore canyon to where it drops into the base of the canyon to a lovely waterfall a few hundred yards past the Hidden Valley Trail junction. Backtrack to the Boney Mountain trail and continue upwards towards the Danielson Monument, bearing left at a trail marker pointing towards the monument. From the monument/old cabin site, head south for about 1 mile to a stunning overlook of Boney Mountain, which is our turnaround point. You will see a bench like rock on the trail with an unforgettable view of the rock faces."

    Remember, this is the turning point or the destination point as per Mark Zuber. Up to this point is 7.5 miles and 1600 feet elevation!!! We overlooked this point yesterday and kept going for the peak!! Took us another hour or so but took us to even more staggering views. Read about this in #2 below. However, see the image below which shows the Boney Mountain view from this Overlook point. It is shot with a Kodak AZ521 camera with I guess 40-50x zoom.

  2. Boney Mountain 360 degree Overlook hike: First, we need to name this overlook point. It takes you very close to Boney Peak and provides even better, more stunning and also 360-degree views that span across miles and miles in each direction. I couldn't find the name of this overlook point so I am going to call it the Boney Mountain 360 overlook hike. From this 360 overlook point, you can see Boney peak very closely but there is still a valley in between. Apart of the Boney peak next to you, you can see almost all of Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, Newbury Park and most of Thousand Oaks. Click on this link. Let the full resolution photo download and then view it in full screen to enjoy the spectacular panoramic view from Bony mountains.
    If you continue (this is what we did yesterday with some 6-7 year-old kids) from the Overlook point in #1, you will ultimately reach this 360 overlook point.

    Directions. They are simple once are at the Overlook point mentioned in #1 above. Just continue going up. I personally don't think that many people turn back from the Overlook point above. Most of them continue to the 360 overlook point. The trail continues. I didn't notice and confusing points. Just keep going up another 1.5 miles or so with some ups and some minor downs. You are probably climbing another 600-800 feet or so.
    Thanks to a friend, Priyesh Shah, I have actual tracking of the hike:

    Max elevation: 799 m (2621 ft)
    Min elevation: 183 m (600 ft) - As you go up and down at places, the total elevation in the hike should be around 2400-2500 feet.

  3. Boney Peak Trail: This is a version that takes you to the top of the peak. I have not done this yet so I can not write anything with authority. However, I do want to get on the Peak someday. This is probably the toughest alternative to hikes around Boney Peak. (Come back after some time for info on this trail too.)
    Doing some research, it looks like there is some confusion, at least for Google-god lol! Wiki shows the peak at (34.116281, -118.940434) but Google has labeled a different place as Boney Peak!!! See the map screenshot below. If you have some accurate info about the peak, please let me know. If the coordinates are right, it is easier to reach on the peak from the Mishe Mokwa trail.
    If what Google labels as Mt Boney Peak is correct, you can reach it after a long long hike from either Mishe Mokwa trail or from Newbury Park. From Newbury Park, start on the Boney Mountain Overlook trails. When you see a board for Fossil Trail (or Old Boney Rd), start walking on it...for miles and miles LOL.
    If you didn't see the board of Fossil Lake and end up reaching Danialson's cabin. Turn back and within 0.2 miles you will see a trail diversion that can take you on Mt Boney Peak that Google thinks and lables as Boney Peak.

Directions and Photos for Boney Mountain 360 degree Overlook hike

Directions. As shown in the Bing Satellite image below, follow your way to the Waterfall. This can be confusing as there are many trails mixing with each other so print this page or do your homework right.

After you reach the Waterfall, follow the second map below. Continue on the Danielson fire road. DON'T turn into the trail marked as FOSSIL Trail or Old Boney Road as shown with a red X below. You must continue straight. You will come to Danielson's cabin of which only a chimney is left these days. Rest for some time if needed. To continue, take the trail on the left and you will be in a narrow but green trail. It will start getting more challenging as you reach the Overlook point. Take a look at the Boney peak from there. Then continue on the trail. Keep going another 1.5 miles or so. There are no more trails mixing with each other. Keep going until you reach some nice big rocks. Go up, be careful and enjoy the 360 views.

Boney mountain trail map

When you reach this overlook point, you are done for hiking alternative #2 above. See the photo below to make sure how this point looks. The photo shows some stunning views in the background.

Boney peak 360 overlook

Panoramic view from 360 Overlook point: To enjoy the view, to some extent, without 'wasting 7 hours' and 2000 plus calories, click on the image to download and view this in high resolution.

BoneyPeak panorama

One more view panoramic view on the way to Overlook and 360 Overlook point. Same thing. Click on it to view the full resolution photo:
BoneyPeak panoramic 2

Some more photos:


The Chimney:

Birdeye view of Newbury Park with Kodak AZ521 camera.

newbury park birdeye view

This is Amgen headquarters in Thousand Oaks from this hike:

Amgen HO, thousand oaks

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