Hondo Canyon: Backbone Trail

MODERATE 71 reviews
#13 of 40 trails in

Hondo Canyon: Backbone Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Topanga, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
7.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,751 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

hiking
1 month ago

Nice wooded trail, the walk was very enjoyable with the sound of birds along the way, I did this hike on May 19 and the weather was perfect.

trail running
3 months ago

Challenging but runnable climb, maybe not quite as exciting for hiking but I would still hike it. Part of the the backbone trail that runs across all the SM mountains so I’m glad I know it. Also be sure to continue at least to the fire overlook by making a right at the top of Hondo, behind the old radar tower, it’s a beautiful view.

6 months ago

Pretty boring. Goes through a lot a shaded scrub. Go to Trippet Ranch right nearby instead

hiking
9 months ago

Nice hike. Slow steady climb. The higher you get the nicer the scenery. Take the extra .7 mile to the overlook for some nice ocean views. Some overgrown areas so long pants might be a good idea.

hiking
10 months ago

This is a great trail offering a good workout. Other reviews say it's not steep, but that's only if starting at the top. If you start at the Old Topanga Canyon trailhead, be ready for a steady climb to the top, easy in some parts, but moderately steep in other parts. Overall it's a fun, fun hike and quite secluded for the most part. The exceptions/cons I would list are that from some spots you can see houses across the canyon and at least a couple of times I've had airplane noise overhead for almost the entire hike (like someone flying small planes over the area).

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

I'd give this trail 5 stars if the destination wasn't on the side of a road. The majority of the hike is fairly secluded, so the top is a bit of a let down. It's a beautiful area though, with varied scenery and terrain. Bring 2 liters of water per person if you're going on a hot day.

hiking
Sunday, April 09, 2017

Fantastic Trail! One of the best in LA. Very green. Mostly Forest. Lost of shade. Excellent views, especially on top, of both San Fernando Valley and Santa Monica beaches. Hike starts over a small creek and then it goes up for several miles via narrow forest trail. Lots of vegetation. Hiked this trail in spring, so the grass was tall with many wild flowers, and the weather was perfect 65 degrees. Lots of large lizards. Several snakes in tall grass. Poison Oak all around at the beginning. No dogs or bikers. Passed several large groups of hikers.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Great trail! we hiked out and back an it was 10 miles. watch out for rattlesnakes on the trail!

Monday, March 13, 2017

i hiked this yesterday and it was beautiful! If it hadnt been for the rattlesnake that scared me nearly to death, it would have been perfect. Be aware of what is hiding in the tall green grass.

hiking
Tuesday, March 07, 2017

There's park on the shoulder of Old Topanga Road for about 6 cars. The trailhead is right off the parking area and is easy to locate. The trail immediately crosses a little stream. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow the entire way. The trail is not steep in any place. The 0.7 mile trail extension to the "Overlook" is worth the added time. It was an enjoyable hike, especially when I was treated to a hillside of blooming California Lilac.

hiking
Sunday, March 05, 2017

Took the trail from Old Topanga Rd., crossed a small stream, crossed 2 meadows with beautiful wild flowers, then entered the forest part of the trail. The views are amazing! The hike sort of ends at a road, so we opted to go an extra 0.7 miles to the overlook.
BEWARE: Poison oak lines the trail in a lot of parts which was a little frustrating. The trail is fine going up, but heading down, its very rocky and I rolled my ankle on more than one occasion, so just be careful.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Free parking, great views

hiking
Sunday, September 11, 2016

Great workout
Hot at mid day
Lots of shaded hiking
Strenuous for the less experienced hiker
Mixture of meadows, forest and scrub.
No water
Great view at the top
Cool rock formations
Poorly marked trail head
Well marked trail once found
Parking on side of road no cost
No park amenities

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Great hike. Bit hot as it's very uphill for a lot of it. More like 8.3miles round trip from old Topanga road.

hiking
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The hike is great. We hiked all the way to Stunt Road took us 4 hours. Easy to find

hiking
Monday, November 19, 2012

it can get your shoes muddy after rain, nice breeze it can give a little kick

hiking
Monday, March 12, 2012

We did this hike today - it was mostly cloudy. There are some rock formations that are pretty cool, and it's a good workout. We saw a rabbit, several squirrels, and some birds.

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

recorded old Topanga

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

trail running
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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