Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak and Mishe Mokwa Trail Loop

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Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

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.

Length5.7 miElevation gain1,312 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningForestViewswild-flowersWildlifeRockyScramble
Description
Waypoints (1)
Contact
Getting There

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. Please note: off line map is recommended to get oriented as several users have reported that this trail is not well marked and/or that there may be poor cell reception in this area.

Santa Monica Rec. Area - 805-370-2301

The trailhead is 1 mile east of the Circle X Ranch, which is located 5 miles from Pacific Coast Highway on Yerba Buena Road in Malibu. Alternately, from Westlake Village, exit on Westlake Blvd from the 101 Freeway, and follow it south for several miles as it merges with Mulholland highway. Turn right onto Little Sycamore Canyon and it will become Yerba Buena Road as you cross the county line. Proceed on Yerba Buena Road for about 4 miles to trailhead (about a mike before you hit the Circle X Ranch Ranger Station).

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1,541)
Photos (4,146)
Recordings (1,274)
Completed (4,662)
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Nadia Padilla
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HikingGreat!
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Olivier Dispas
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RunningGreat!

Beautiful, well maintained trail with changing terrain

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Natalie Palmieri-Crosby
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HikingGreat!

Gorgeous! Feb 28th... highly suggest for beautiful sunset hike.

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Christine Chan Nguyen
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Hiking
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Freddy Jarjour
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Hiking

Beautiful views! Sunday Feb 28- there were some strong wind gusts. Otherwise trail is in good shape. My recording shows us making a pit stop at the balance rock, which I highly recommend.

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Marla Galloway
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HikingGreat!

This was a 5 star hike for us probably because we started before sunrise and did not see another sole for the first 6 miles or so. Just to let you know though, it is very dry and there is still much fire damage visibile (but with much new growth happily.) The views on this walk are wonderful. Our favorite part was the side hike up to Tri Peaks. The views here made us want to just hang out for a long while, and we had it to ourselves. Sandstone Peak was pretty crowded. Glad we climbed up but probably won't do it again. Will definitely do the rest of it though!

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Matt Lincoln
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Hiking

Well kept. Basically unlimited visibility. Pretty much deserted on a Friday afternoon. Will do again!

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Caryn Medina
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Hiking

Awesome trail. Good breeze all along the hike. Don’t forget to sign the book at the top of sandstone peak!

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Kat Sullivan
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HikingGreat!

First time doing this trail and I loved it! Went clockwise. Beautiful views from the top of sandstone and inspiration point. Split rock was also very cool to see. Definitely recommend!!!

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AllTrails User
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful trail. Not very challenging, although there are some long uphills in the beginning portion. Nicely maintained and not too busy when we came (9am on a Wednesday). Overall great experience! Will be doing it again.

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Devin M
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Hiking
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Joseph Farrell
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Hiking

Excellent hike with a variety of terrain and scenery. Great ocean views and a nice oak valley. The trail has a couple of difficult spots, but overall moderate.

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Karla Avalos
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Hiking

Amazing hike. Good work out and nice views. Recommend

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Mai Vuong
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HikingGreat!No shadeRockyScramble

Arrived at 7:30 am at the trail head. Not too many people in the trail. I was so scared when climbed up to Sandstone Peak but it so beautiful at the top. Nice trail.

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Lee Horvitz
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Hiking

Great hike. Beautiful views. Lots of different terrain. Not too crowded. Terrific work out.

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John Petring
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Hiking
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Anica C
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Hiking

Arrived semi- early on a Saturday. There was still a good amount of parking available, but around 9-10am it starts to get busy. I saw most people at the beginning and end of the hikes. So I assumed not many did the whole loop. I started the loop on the trail to the right - Mishe Mokwa trail. Lead to some pretty amazing views. It was a steady incline not so challenging at all. The trail is rocky for most of the trek. The trail then leads into the Backbone Trail. Took a little pit stop at Inspiration Point - another great view! The day was clear. I was able to see the ocean and Leo Carrillo State Park. At Sandstone Peak take care when climbing up, it’s steep and rocky. And the other side it a ledge! A great hike for a sunny clear day.

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Memo P
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Hiking

solid hike! crazy rock formations. tons of views

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Glenn C
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Hiking
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Sara Erwin
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HikingBugsRockyScramble
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Nathaniel Weiss
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Hiking
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Henry Yandell
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Israel Albores
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Hiking

Amazing.

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Dylan Williamson
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HikingBugs

Great views, still a lot of damage from wildfires but there is a lot of growth.

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Reut Feldman
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Hiking

Absolutely gorgeous! Had the trail almost entirely to ourselves on a Friday morning. Incredible views and rock formations. Can easily add Tri Peaks to this route but I was short on time.

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