Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak

MODERATE 139 reviews
#2 of 17 trails in

Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Malibu, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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.

3.2 miles
1,030 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running



wild flowers


Directions from Thousand Oaks, CA: Travel US 101 / Ventura Freeway east to Highway 23 / Westlake Boulevard. Head south on Hwy. 23 to Mulholland Highway. Turn right (west) and proceed to Yerba Buena Road to reach Circle X Ranch. Park at Sandstone Peak Trailhead.

14 days ago

Too many rocks on the trail but the trail is really clean and the views are amazing! It gets a bit dangerous towards the top. You’ll have to climb the rocks so be careful! As for parking, there’s a parking lot across the entrance of the trail and it’s free.

1 month ago

Intense yet beautiful!! Worth every step of the way up!!!

3 months ago

Really enjoyed this. Challenging, beautiful views & well-marked trails. Took my little chihuahua with me and had a blast. Not very packed on the day I went (monday afternoon). Go to the tippy top to see the statue. The rock can be challenging to scale but both my chihuahua and I did it just fine.

4 months ago

My favorite Malibu hike! Beautiful summit views, especially at sunrise. The final climb will make your legs burn, but the payoff is so worth it!

4 months ago

5 months ago

Great views and decent workout, but nothing bad. Leave time for soaking in the views at the top!

5 months ago

Great trail with amazing view most especially at the peak. Definitely one of my favorite trails.

6 months ago

Great views, clean trail.

7 months ago

It was a great short hike. took me about 2 hours ( with a long stop when I got to the top).

7 months ago

very good clean trail, and the best views you can ask for, especially at the peak.

7 months ago

Went out first thing this morning, Great trail moderate traffic, easy going!

7 months ago

Great hike. Long one. Awesome views.

11 months ago

Great hike, amazing views - totally exposed so wear a hat/UV gear and you'll be good.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Great trail with spectacular vistas. Could not see the ocean due to fog! Was hot so bring lots of H2O. Incline is not for small kids. Confusing at the top how to get to the summit so veer left.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017


Thursday, June 01, 2017

The highest point in Los Angeles county. Well worth the hike up. If you really want a great view Continue down the trail to the balancing Rock across the creek.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

I went there today and will be back . Like that trail .

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wild flowers are definitely blooming. Pretty shady relative to some of the other trails around 3PM till sundown.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Did this hike for the 2nd time today, but this time starting from the Backbone Trailhead at Yerba Buena. I did the loop going counterclockwise and also made the trek up to Tri Peaks and included the small loop back around to the main trail. I did forget to start my recording of the track when I started so the first mile or so is missing. This area is the most interesting of all the trails in the Santa Monica mountains, offering up unique rock formations, ocean, valley, and mountain views, and if you go up to Tri Peaks you will also be able to see the Channel islands and the Oxnard area. It is not overly challenging if you go counterclockwise as the trail is more of a gradual incline. Total mileage was 8 miles with a little over 2,000 ft. of gain and took me about 3 1/2 hours to complete.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Amazing views, not too long and moderately steep. Dog friendly

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Great weekend exercising spot. The trail is not that long and dangerous. Great for family visit.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

This trail was amazing! It is a bit challenging at some point but not hard. I took my little brother with me and he made it to the top. Views are amazing! I'm not kidding, they're just breathtaking. Loved the notebook at the top, so cute. Honestly I just loved it, can't wait to go back.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Loved this trail didn't complete it kid friendly if they are regulars at hiking, need to go back its been a while

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The trail itself is rather boring but the view at the top is one of the best in Socal.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Nice quick hike with some great views..
A good sweat to the top..about 45 minutes..
I had the whole place to myself!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Great views of the ocean and mountains from the top. Very popular trail, but a fun one as well.

Monday, May 23, 2016

This hike is a short one, but seems a lot longer. We started from the Mishe Mokwa trailhead. The whole hike is pretty steep. At points the trail is full of loose rocks. Make sure you’re wearing sturdy shoes with good ankle support. There is not a lot of shade until you get farther up the trail. I would consider this hike a moderate to upper moderate level purely because the steepness and the trail condition being so loose. But don’t let that deter a more novice hiker. Just take your time. Once you reach the Mt. Allen peak, elevation 3111ft, you get to experience what the hike is really about. A beautiful 360 degree view of everything! From the ocean to the steep valleys. When at the peak, find the elevation marker and inside the marker is a notebook you can sign. Have fun!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

We planned on hitting Circle X but continued on and found ourselves here. We didn't know it was a "difficult" hike. At any rate, the views were stellar! Amazing 360-degree gorgeous views of canyons and the ocean. It's a steep hike up for which seems like forever but it totally pays off at the end. We did go on a weekend, and although we saw other groups, it didn't feel crowded at all. The length of the hike isn't long, but due to the steepness of the trail, allow some extra time for rest and enjoying the view as you go along the trail.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

It was an extremely rewarding trail. Just the drive through these mountains was terrifying for me, I don't do well with curves, deep valleys & narrow roads. The trail itself, I started around 8:30 & was at the peak by 9:50. I took my time, there wasn't much foot traffic at the this time on a Friday. I did the loop on the way down so I was at the car around 11ish. This was the time most were starting their hike, so I was glad I started early. The views of the Santa Monica peaks, the various homes, & the Pacific Ocean are astounding. All the reviews are right bring at least 3 liters of water, the semi steep but very loose rock trail does drain a bit. Great trail, not too physically demanding. You'll definitely enjoy the views!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Huge expansive views when you get to the top. About 45 minutes from the parking lot to the peak.

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