Back Bone Lookout To Red Rock is a 10.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Topanga, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and running and is accessible year-round.

Length10.3 miElevation gain2,063 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingWalkingRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScrambleNo dogs
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

Lots of green stuff, Picnic tables at Red Rock, and delicious views

Drive up or down route 27 to Topanga. Turn into Old Topanga Canyon Road. Starting point is behind first bridge. Parking along the road. 10 places

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (96)
Photos (1,269)
Activities (102)
Completed (219)
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Chris hernandez
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Hiking
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Oksana Proskurina
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Hiking

We went clockwise. -first part was quiet, woody, windy, not crowded area, not very scenic -then we hit a beautiful ocean view -got more crowded towards the helipad with graffitis -as we left helipad it got more interesting, challenging, steep. My friend was scared, I fell once. Very scenic, not many people. Poles are + + then we hit the road, passed parking lot, and the road turned into an actual road. No pedestrian walk, nothing. Some parts were so bad that cars had to use the upcoming traffic lane not to hit us. I’m guilty of not being extra cautious with my hikes, but even for me it felt not normal. That lasted for at least over 2 miles. We got to our car dusty, and it felt like my face and my nose are full of that nasty car smell dust. I can’t believe someone created the route this way. Not recommend to anyone. I would rather go to that parking that we’ve past, go counterclockwise, hike to helipad and get back the same way.

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Wint R
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Hiking

Went counterclockwise like a few others here have mentioned. Once off the main road (a little over 1.5 mile hike) there were a lot of people and dogs until I got off of the fire road. The hike up the ridge is very steep with lots of scrambling. Great workout and super fun! When I was close to the graffiti area I noticed an abundance of trash and broken bottles then lots of people and dogs again until the turn off of that fire road. The rest of the way had lots of shade and there were only a few people. All in all, great hike!

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Brooke Coe
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Hiking
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My Hanh Nguyen
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HikingGreat!

Great trail. Hiking on dirt trail (it’s a gradual climb) for about 4 miles until you hit views of the beautiful Pacific Ocean, and then the crowd near the graffiti area, and then it’s a rocky and steep climb up and down on the back end (ate it twice lol). Thank God for AllTrails map, because I detoured twice, and you lose sight of the trails sometimes because you have to climb over rocks. Definitely a fun hike, though I didn’t expect a lengthy walk (~1.5 mile walk) on the open road back to the car. The road doesn’t have much space for walking at times and cars are racing up and down the highway, so be careful. Great weather and hiking conditions. Worth the views!

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Christian Simionato
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Hiking
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Brett Quinn
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Hiking

This was a great hike! The views were insane. Back end is very steep, glad I had all trails would have gotten lost :)

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Jimmy P
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HikingGreat!

Great hike w/ a range of terrains. Limited parking. Hiked it clockwise. There are three parts: shaded uphill with a covid crowd at top, steep rocky trail downhill, then a walk on old topanga rd. Really fun hike 9:40. Car 11:15 top and b bone trail Crowded with people 12:40. Calabasas mtrwy 1:15. old Topanga Rd 1:45. Car

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Carlos Martinez
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Hiking

Nice trail! I also suggest going counter-clockwise to get the road portion out of the way. The climb up to the lookout is fairly steep, but going the other direction would have you sliding down on a few portions. Best views are on the Red Rock side on the way up.

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Brian Dittmar
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Hiking
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vivian rivas
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Hiking

Wow !! Incredible

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Nina Simon
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RunningScramble

A special blend of surfaces, views, and challenges. Go counterclockwise. The run on the road at the start felt mostly safe except at a couple tight corners. When you get to the bench at Red Rock lookout, the trail continues up a steep footpath to the left above the fire road. It’s a fun rock scramble for the next mile (not runnable, but very safe and not too exposed - class 3). Then you can run over Saddle Peak and make a left on Fossil Ridge to Hondo/Backbone and fly back to the car.

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Ced Ced
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Hiking

Nice trail, some steep stretchs though.

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Ben Murray
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Hiking
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cody nygard
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Hiking
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Michael Vasger
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Backpacking

Definitely a workout with different terrains. Views are worth it.

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Gregory Deitrick
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Fishing
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Julia Tock
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Hiking
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Alex Kost
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Hiking
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Gabriel Carranza
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Hiking

Nice, scenic hike. Crowd can pile up on the peak but wasn’t an issue.

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C G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
HikingGreat!

Beautiful trail, even in the semi-smoky skies of Los Angeles wildfire season. Lightly trafficked on a Sunday, which was definitely a plus during COVID. We had read the reviews and were planning to brush up again once we arrived at the parking spot (parked on the side of the road, no true trailhead), but beware there is no service! I recommend knowing your route before you set out. We ended up hiking counterclockwise, which we probably would have done differently because our route started through a shady grove in the cool morning, that would have been nice in the afternoon heat. Also our counterclockwise route took us down from the peak, and descending ginger's ridge was a bit slippery going down. That said, I am pretty height-aversive, but was never pushed out of my comfort zone on this hike. It's a beautiful adventure, enjoy!

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Ron Mac
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HikingGreat!Scramble

Hey there. If you're looking for a spot to go bouldering, hiking, birding, or capturing a great view of the topanga/simi/Malibu canyon area, go here. Today. We had a record breaking heatwave and fires etc this weekend, but here was an alternative slice of heaven due to its location to the cooling ocean. As others have commented, there was a lot of refreshing shade, green plants and wildflowers that smell amazing and look weird and excellent. However although it was a ton of fun, not everyone is suited for this trail It is rated as hard probably not because of the grade, but because the bouldering really does require good footing. I wear my Navy combat boots work great, perhaps you have something as good to grab smooth surfaces. Some suggested leg covering... eh, my Navy PT horts worked fine. yeah you'll touch somethin. High socks plus atrong high ankled boots worked fine. Bring first aid kit and ointments if you hit something JIC, you'll be fine. (basically I'm suggesting go to army navy store lol) Advice: Go the CLOCKWISE route. I parked at one of the towns empty restaraunt parking lots, rode my bike to the red Rock canyon park entrance, dropped off the bike and started the hike. Multiple opportunities to go off trail a bit and watch awesome birds, rabbits, and deer etc from 2500+ feet. I didnt complete the loop (started late 2pm) but I'm anxious to try from that direction next time. Enjoy your hike here, its beautiful!

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Bobby Lady
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Hiking

Start counterclockwise along the road and scramble up towards the hike's peak, rather than down, which would definitely be more challenging.

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Rick Kron
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HikingGreat!
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Josh Montoya
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HikingBugsNo shadeOver grownPrivate propertyRockyScramble

Such a fun trail but it does get difficult once you reach the top. You are more exposed and a lot of scrambling through rocks and lots of lose gravel. The views are amazing though! Good hiking shoes are recommended. Depending which way you go, there’s about a mile walk on a road. Watch out for cars! Stay safe! @studio901__

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