The Backbone Trail in Southern California

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This page describes a hike I have taken. The details on this page are not intended as a recommendation for you to take this hike. Hiking has inherent sidks and you must consider these risks and your ability before deciding on a hike. The trail information on this page is approximate and conditions, hazards, and even the location of trails will change over time. Do not rely on the details on this page for the safety of your hike. All information should be verified through other sources.

The Backbone Trail runs approximately 68 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, composed of segments that constitute much smaller hikes. It was constructed by interconnecting shorter existing trails, and marking a path that interconnects them. The trail runs from Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades on the south to Point Mugu State Park, near Oxnard on the north. It follows the Santa Monica Mountains along their crest and the path has an appearance that resebles the spinal column of an animal, hence its name.

You will find segements of the trail described elsewhere as hikes along Sycamore Canyon, near the Circle X Ranch, at Castro Crest, Sandstone Peak, and and Saddle Peak, as well as many other popular hikes.

The trail system was first envisioned in the early 1980s and coordinated across several agencies to interconnect the trails within in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area. Once a year, the The Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council (SMMTC) organizes a week long trek across the full route of the Backbone trail.

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