Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak and Mishe Mokwa Trail Loop

moderate 914 reviews

Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak and Mishe Mokwa Trail Loop is a 5.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Malibu, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,312 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Reopened 1/20/2019 This is one of the most beautiful hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. Highlights include the spectacular Echo Cliffs where rock climbers ascend the cliffs. There are stunning sandstone formations and breathtaking views from the top of Sandstone Peak and Inspiration point. Highly recommended.

Nice beautiful trail. So many things to look at. Started at 8:10 finished at 11am. Hike clockwise

This is easily one of my favorite trails in the LA area. My partner and I did it clockwise, hitting sandstone peak first. Inspiration point and split rock were beautiful. But my favorite part of this hike was the diversity of the terrain and the beautiful lush greenery toward the end of the loop. Will definitely be back for more.

Beautiful! Thursday morning, started at 9am with my pup. Did it clockwise. Took about 3 hours at a leisurely pace. All exposed, no shade, but nice breeze on a February morning.

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL hike. Started at 0600 and had amazing sunrise views. Took a little under 2 hours

Amazing views, the up is very steep but well worth it. Took us 3 hours with a few rest stops.

hiking
rocky
scramble
29 days ago

Great trail- the views were amazing, even in this foggy morning. Made for a pleasant hike, I can imagine it being very hot, as there’s no coverage. We took Backbone- Mishe Mokwa- Sandstone Peak back.. lots of varied terrain crock formations were interesting. Getting to Sandstone Peak was definitely a scramble, little steep coming back down to the main trail. Will definitely come back on a clear day to see the views! But thoroughly enjoyable by or whole group.

Maybe one of the best hikes I have ever done. Good time and distance, good variation in sloop and difficulty. The best part, the views, the rock formations in the mountains and the ocean views were magical. I did this hike clockwise and enjoyed the initial difficulty to the summit and the mostly downhill after, but would love to try it the other way. There is not really a path to get to the summit, had difficulty with that and got a little confused but it was worth it.

Beautiful views, but we had to turn around after 1.5 miles because the trail was covered in sharp rocks and my dog’s paws started to hurt. I’ll try it again next time by myself.

Loved it!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This was my favorite hike to date. Started at 6am. Headed Clockwise to the peak first to catch the Sunrise. Lots of Rocks. Steady Incline. You have to Scramble to get to the Peak. It was amazing up there. Great Views. There is a Plaque at the Top dedicating Herbert Allen. Then you'll find Inspiration Point which was an amazing view as well. There was also a Plaque at the top. Next up was Balance Rock. I want to do that hike too. That was an amazing thing to see. After that it was Jurassic Park. Endless Green Valleys. Took me a total of almost 4 Hours because I took my sweet time and sat at the peak for a while!

Note to self, bring snacks

heavily traveled would be nice if a little more quiet.

One of my favorite hikes in SoCal. Enjoy the view!!! Better to go in winter season. Bring 2 bottles of water and some snacks. It can be kinda windy up there.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Amazing trail ! Fun and quick. If you don’t like heavily trekked trails and waking up early to grab a parking spot this may not be the trail for you

Definitely recommend this trail. Beautiful views of the valley and ocean. Weather was perfect and got to see a beautiful sunset . Hike counterclockwise if you’re doing a sunset hike. The balanced rock detour is a pass in my opinion - I did it but the trail isn’t groomed and very unclear where to go. The path I went on was sketchy and I think it was the best one

Beautiful hike on the last day of 2019. Day was a windy one which afforded outstanding views from Catalina to Channel Islands on the Ocean side and from the farmlands of Ventura county to the snow covered peaks peaks of the San Gabriels. Highly recommend this hike!

This...was interesting. I actually was trying to hike the other backbone trail down by the water but I couldn’t find it in alltrails so just YOLOd it here instead since it had a similar name. Anyways, much of the trail is eroded and rocky which makes it difficult to run but fine for hiking. The last 4 miles (or first 4 depending on which way you hike it) are kinda overgrown too. This is a small price to pay however for the incredible views at the top which might be the best in the area. It’s also a very remote hike which is nice since there are no crowds and plenty of easy free parking. There is also a trailhead bathroom further down the road if you need it.

hiking
muddy
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes I’ve done here so far! Beautiful the whole time. Muddy because we went after a week of rain but loved it. Would recommend!!

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