Backbone Trail Through Zuma Canyon is a 9.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Malibu, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Agoura Hills, CA: Travel US 101 / Ventura Freeway to Kanan Road. Head south on Kanan Road to reach Zuma / Trancas Canyons. Parking is available at Newton Canyon.
Hiked part of this trail when got lost off the Zuma Loop ... Lovely hike ... but lots of turns and biker ... so if you have a dog, keep them close ... though unlike other trails I have been on, bikers are super nice to let you know if other bikers are behind and aren't angry for sharing the trail (thx!!)
I loved it.
At the start of the trail you go down for a while, so just remember that on your way back you finish with an uphill. It is beautiful. Some great views, steeper inclines peppered with downhills, and more shade than I expected for such a heavy brush area. Really enjoyed it!
A lot of people seem to disagree with how difficult this hike is. A book I read said it was easy, this website says it's difficult. I think it's easy/moderate. I'm definitely not an experienced hiker and had to stop a few times to catch my breath but it wasn't difficult. There isn't really an end point with a grand view, but the walk is beautiful and shaded most of the way. Lots of great flowers and animals to observe! Towards the end you can see the dried up bed of what used to be Upper Zuma Falls
This hike is a great workout! At first it seems to be all downhill, but soon enough it turns into some pretty challenging rolling hills. The scenery is nice - not over the top stunning - but very pleasant. Trails are well groomed. It's 2.5 miles out... And then 2.5 miles back. If you move at a fast pace , you will work up a sweat and get a solid workout.
Loooooong trip with little to see. Connects to many other trails which makes it somewhat confusing. Best bet is to head down and explore there. Going back up the trails might just redirect you to Zuma/Newton Canyon. Cyclists seemed to be enjoying the winding trail.