The sun is slowly rising above the Santa Monica Mountains. There is stillness in the air; Pacific Coast Highly is eerily quiet, except for a few cars that speed by this quant beach known as Sycamore Cove or Point Mugu State Park. This is one of the lessor known beaches north of Malibu, it is in Ventura County about an hour north of the Santa Monica Pier. Sycamore Cove is very different from most beaches in the area; there are barbeque pits, benches shaded by sycamore trees and palm trees. In the height of summer there is still plenty of parking during the week.
There are two ways to get there, you can take 10 west from Los Angles until it turns into Highway 1 and travel for about an hour, it is past Pepperdine University, Zuma Beach and Leo Carrillo State Beach. From the San Fernando Valley, you can take Los Virginas Road (Truck Route) south to Pacific Coast Highway and go north about 20 to 30 minutes.
Parking is adequate for a midsize to small crew, though north of the beach there is plenty of parking on PCH at the dunes. This is another bonus about Point Mugu Beach; you are almost walking distance from the dunes. It is a one of a kind sand dune that slopes upward. I tried to climb this dune, it is one heck of a workout; a ten year old ran up the hill four times before I was able to climb it once. For filming purposes, it is an awesome place to use as a backdrop. When I passed the dunes the other day on my way to Sycamore Cove another film crew was using it for a reality TV show. At the “magic hour” the light at the dunes is amazing and a lot closer than shooting at the Imperial Sand Dunes or Dumont Dunes if all you need is a single dune.
At Point Mugu, there is easy access to the beach, unlike El Matador Beach, which requires you to hike down a maze of stairs to get to the beach. Since Mugu is so far north, few people from Los Angeles venture this far, which is unfortunate because it is such a beautiful place to spend the day. Just keep in mind the nearest shopping center is about twenty minutes north in Oxnard; therefore make sure you have all the things you need for your shoot. The fact that this is not a popular beach can benefit a production that might need some solitude for an important celebrity shoot or something of this nature.
For your next project consider Sycamore Cove. If you have any questions about this location or you need a motor home, call me Michael Green at 818 317 7099.