Backbone Trail

HARD 17 reviews

Backbone Trail is a 66.6 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point 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. Horses are also able to use this trail.

66.6 miles
12772 feet
Point to Point





horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips




wild flowers




washed out

no shade

no dogs

This trail hasn't been entirely linked up yet (there are still two segments of the trail that have yet to be finished), and most people who hike it break it up into sections. The most western section travels up to the summit of Sandstone Peak (3,111') the highest mountain in the Santa Monica Mtns.

1 month ago

My hiking friends and I broke this up in 5 sections, going east to west. Section 1: Will Rogers to Deadhorse Trail,
Section 2: Deadhorse Trail to Malibu Canyon, Section 3:Malibu Canyon to Newton Canyon, Section 4: Newton Canyon to Mishe Mokwa Trailhead, Section 5: Mishe Mokwa to Ray Miller Trailhead. This is a beautiful hike with views of the Pacific on each section. We took a few side trips that shouldn't be missed, Hondo Canyon being one of them. The rock formations at Casto Crest was another favorite spot filled with caves and lots of exploring opportunities. We had multiple people in our group so we were able to shuttle back and forth with all the cars we had. I've heard that you can also arrange an Uber or Lyft car to get you back to your car. But I'd make sure you have cell phone service before you depend on this. This was one of the best times I've had on the trail. The last 16 miles (which turned into 17 due to a missed trail sign) was by far the most difficult. That could always be turned into 2 sections though. However you do this trail, just make sure you do it in Winter. There's many exposed trails, and with the warm Jan/Feb weather we had, it gave us a glimpse of what truly hot weather would be like. This is definitely a cool to mild weather hike. I also suggest an east to west direction so you are always looking at the Pacific, and if you time it right, you're last hike on The Ray Miller Trail will give you gorgeous sunset opportunities.

10 months ago

The Backbone Trail is an awesome escape to have so close to the city.

The video below shows our overnight journey from Will Rogers to Musch Camp in Topanga Canyon.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Very jagged trail with a downward steep. Very very good trail with sweat and much backbone into it.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Love the scenery- if you look close enough and skies are clear, you can see the ocean! Moderate hike.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Awesome ... Hiked over multiple days through NPS organized hike. Super awesome!

1 month ago

1 month ago

9 months ago

10 months ago

Monday, March 21, 2016

recorded BBT #4

Monday, February 22, 2016

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Friday, May 02, 2014

Monday, December 31, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012