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.
Backbone is always fun for what it is! Done it several time. Beautiful views of the ocean as you hike. Not too many trees or wildlife. Zuma area is best. I'd rather be in the Sierras, but a good day trip on a whim if you want to be by the beach.
No summit views but a really nice hike.
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