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Backbone Trail Loop is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Calabasas, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips.

Length 7.6 mi Elevation gain 2,017 ft Route type Loop
Hiking Nature trips Views Wild flowers Rocky No shade
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (169)
Photos (833)
Recordings (157)
Completed (207)
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Cassandra Meyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
Hiking

Arrived at the trailhead around 8:40am on a Sunday and there were a few parking spots on the side of the road. First part of the trail is on a fire road then it takes a sharp turn that we missed. If you reach a fork in the fire road, you missed the turn off! After that it’s a serious rock scramble up the ridge of the mountain until you reach the ruins of Topanga lookout tower. Finished up the loop on the backbone trail passing some rock climbers. Great views, great workout. I don’t really recommend the rock scramble for beginners, small children, or pets.

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Karly Beachler
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Hiking
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Ben Murray
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Hiking

Awesome trail; Amazing views, some fun rock scrambling near the beginning, plenty of shady paths filled with manzanita trees and beautiful rock formations. I would definitely bring a full lunch next time, and at least 3L of water

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Peter Rizzardi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 9, 2020
Hiking

Going clockwise is the move. Cool hike with some nice viewpoints.

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LONG LA
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 7, 2020
HikingGreat!

The trails is beautiful. Getting a little rocky at the end. Make sure to brings enough water

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Jerod Walburn
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Hiking

Challenging beginning clockwise, but otherwise straightforward.

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Karly Beachler
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HikingBugsRockyScramble

I'd like to echo the others here and say that clockwise is the *smarter* option for this trail, however if you want to challenge yourself a bit, do it counterclockwise. This is a magnificent trail. When starting out clockwise, you take on the steep rocky scramble first. Beware of how steep this part actually is. I recommend a good solid pair of hiking boots as you'll slide without good traction. Trail seemingly disappears but really you're just having to climb over the rocks to find it again. *Backbone* We started this trail out counterclockwise at about 4pm on a Sunday. 4 hours to finish, 8.4 miles total. We hit the rocky scramble going down the last 2 miles as the sun was setting and it got very dark, which was extra terrifying/exciting when descending. Overall one of my favorite trails in the area.

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Josh Yeager
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Hiking

Saw an owl. Majestic.

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Ty Kubart
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Hiking
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Christopher Bell
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Hiking

Agree to go clockwise. Left at 7 AM and he was not an issue. After you get past the graffiti area it’s pretty smooth sailing and makes her very interesting trail running downhill.

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Jessie Helbacka-Peterson
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Hiking

Hot one today. Went 8 miles and drank 3 liters by 7.5 miles. No shade for most of the trail, wear a hat, bring extra sunscreen

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Rebecca Foster
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HikingRockyScramble

The advice to do this clockwise is spot on! And, it truly is rock scramble. It isn’t easy, but it’s fun and makes the hike more interesting. We started hiking at 7am, and we had lots of spots with great shade throughout, but if you were much later, I think it would be a long and toasty hike. We did see a rattlesnake on the trail about 1.5 from the bottom.

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Scott D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking

Should definitely hike clockwise, as others have commented. There is serious scrambling for the first 2 miles, with some minor exposed spots to steep downhill. Overall a great trail, helps if you pick a not so hot day. The gate was locked at Stunt Ranch at the end of the trail, so had to walk along Stunt Road back to where we parked the car.

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Alex Anderson
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Hiking

Hiked this trail clockwise on a weekday morning and started just after 8am. The first 2 miles are no joke! Steady, steep incline with a lot of rock scrambling. After that, it's a much more moderate path with great views all around. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen; there's little to no shade for 80% of the hike.

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Vishal Shah
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Hiking

This is a very scenic trail. The weather was simply spectacular today with mists and fog giving the perfect cool feels. Love the colors of the flowers, the graffiti and chalk art. The elevation in the first half is a little tough and then it gets easy.

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Vince Su
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Hiking

If doing clockwise like most of us did, the hardest and most strenuous section would be from the parking area to the graffiti spot. You'll spend quite some time here climbing uphills and catching breath, and it comprised only a small section of the entire loop. After that it's easy all the way down. You'll cross the asphalt main roads 3 times, which was a bit irritating. The water tank part was a bit confusing but you'll get through if you follow the app. Overall I enjoyed it but it's only difficult during the small section in the beginning and rest can be rated as easy.

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Aaron Briones
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HikingBugsOver grownRockyScramble
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Alexandra Lee
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Highly highly recommend doing this trail counter-clockwise. The first few miles are very steep & require a bit of climbing, but the views are incredible. Bring lots of water - no shade. Would rate between moderate & difficult. Trails are not particularly well marked, but you’ll be fine so long as you follow the map.

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Jon Camche
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Hiking

Great hike! Not easy

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Reeko CC
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 25, 2020
Hiking

Clockwise. Lots of poison oak by the creek but avoidable, be careful. Awesome hike. First 2 miles are tough but doable.

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kate green
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 23, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Great trail. Recommend going clock wise like most others have said. First two miles have most of the incline and most of the rock scrambling. After that trail is much busier and mostly flat or downhill.

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Caitlin Bresnahan
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Hiking

So much poison oak by the creek at the end if you go clockwise. Otherwise an amazing trail. You can pass up the poison oak by taking the road back to the trailhead when you cross over the road for the last time

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