Backbone Trail and Rivas Canyon Loop is a 7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Pacific Palisades, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Length7.0 miElevation gain1,620 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingNature tripsRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeOver grownRockyWashed out
Description
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Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (251)
Photos (1,539)
Recordings (231)
Completed (435)
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Jasper van Dijk
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Hiking

Loved it. Challenging and beautiful. Definitely happy I went clockwise!

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Carolyn D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 5, 2021
HikingOver grownRocky

It’s really easy to miss the turn for the second half of the loop when going counter clockwise. Also that trail (west-most part of the loop) isn’t well maintained and you have to walk through a lot of brush (we got some cuts on our legs). It also has a very steep section headed down with steep rocks and loose dirt so definitely a difficult trail so be wary. Was an adventure though and we still enjoyed it! Very beautiful scenery and views of the coastline.

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Ken A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 3, 2021
Hiking

Awesome hiking spot

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Deveily E
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 28, 2021
Hiking

We hiked way more today. And Brandon came with his bike! It was so hot and made it harder

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Sheena Ghosh
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Hiking

Great trail very peaceful once you get past inspiration look out. Narrow trail so keep an eye out for bikes but people on this trail are friendly and respectful so you shouldn’t be blindsided. Enjoy!

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Brooke Coe
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Hiking
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Jonathan Garcia
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Hiking
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Soufo C.
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Hiking

Lots of poison oak coming in at the halfway mark right before the junction back. Overgrown after that. But possibly the perfect length and variety.

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Eric Luke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 21, 2021
Hiking

Perfect trail with a few fun, steep sections and stunning views the entire way. Fantastic place to trail run.

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Wendy Shi
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HikingFeeOver grownRocky

It was a lovely trail with the top part of loop deep in the mountain among wild plants flowers. Hardly anyone on the trail towards the upper part. We went in afternoon though. Definitely very overgrown. Wear long pants & bring a long sleeve just in case. The top bend is easily missed. Very small trail looping back hidden up above the main trail a little. We went counterclockwise. Narrow paths. Trail is definitely more than 7 miles. More like 9.5-10 miles. The park itself is parking $3 per hour. There's only a small section w/ free parking outside the park. The nearby neighborhood is no parking on weekends. If coming with multiple friends, can park below the mountain/park, carpool up to split parking fee.

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Michael Patchen
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HikingGreat!

Fun trail and quick trail. Not too many people and most with masks at the ready. Did a bit of route finding after the turn to start the loop which slowed me up. Somewhat overgrown in parts.

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Michael Patchen
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Hiking

Some bit of route finding but fun.

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Trent Revic
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Hiking

Great trail, overgrown in parts, i would recommend clockwise, as we went counter clockwise and it is tougher going down the steep loose pebbles around the two summits. Not much shade, but still enough to be comfortable. Make sure to do a tic check afterwards, don’t want limes disease and it seems like it would be a high likelihood from this partially overgrown trail.

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Marcus J
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Hiking

Awesome trail!

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Annie Stamell
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Hiking

Going clockwise is the move. You’re not looking at the ocean as you hike however the steep sections are quite challenging and I could not imagine going down those. Definitely a hike where you’ll want hiking boots over shoes or sneakers. Much of Rivas Canyon is overgrown so I’d recommend long pants and long sleeves as well. A nice challenging trail that is only a fire road at the very end, distinguishing it from a lot of other nearby hikes. Great workout.

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Caitlin Carleton
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Hiking

Went clockwise but will do counterclockwise next time. Great trail.

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Max Freeman
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Hiking

Fun one

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Ramin Shakibaei
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Hiking

Beautiful trail. Loved going clockwise. Will hit it again.

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Sasha Gadalov
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HikingGreat!Rocky

nice trail, would recommend

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Willis McCord
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Hiking

Great trail! Overgrown in some areas

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Derek Nishikawa
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Hiking

Definitely go counterclockwise. Some parts are overgrown. There’s limited free street parking. Or $11 all day parking.

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Robert B
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HikingRockyScramble

What a beautiful fun hike. A little bit of everything - great vistas, shaded hollows, a few rock scrambles, and some strenuous uphill sections. Followed the learnings of others and hiked this clockwise. Much easier to scramble up the rocks than slide down! Plenty of folks close to the base, but very few on the upper loop. Some mountain bikers on the downhill side but all were courteous with no surprises around corners. I’d say it was more moderate than difficult, but definitely not for beginners. As others have mentioned the upper trail is a bit unmaintained, but no problem keeping track of the trail.

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Zac Rice
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FeeOver grownScramble

Fantastic trail. It is overgrown, so be prepared to duck under branches, but it is well shaded. I’d recommend going clockwise. There is one steep climb and one scramble.

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