Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Hondo Canyon: Backbone Trail

MODERATE 106 reviews
#12 of 46 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

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

hiking
3 hours ago

Really beautiful and full of all kinds of nature. Be careful with poison ivy and overgrown plants, pants recommended. Very fulfilling and nurturing. Enjoy

hiking
21 days ago

Pleasantly shady for much of the walk. If you go, wear pants: there’s lots of stinging nettles and poison oak.

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

A lot of weeds and insects, one that another snake did not type but I came across one.

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

(4/25) Perfect mix of sun and shade. Underfoot there is a lot of poison ivy, thistle, and lizards. Long pants highly advised. Above that, bugs, wildflowers, rocks, fossils, and overgrowth. Overhead you’ll see and hear birds, squirrels, and see lovely shade-giving oak canopies.

hiking
over grown
1 month ago

Beautiful hike, be careful as there is lots of poison oak on the trail. My recording says over 8 Miles.

Very overgrown. active stream running. take your sticks. if you trake a left turn at some point to back down, you will in fact go near houses and farms. i fed nuts to goats.

3 months ago

Nice hike through chaparal/forest up to Saddle Peak Rd. Fortunately this area wasn't affected by the fires. It's a good choice for a hot day, as it is mostly shaded. Decent elevation gain, but it is spread out over a lot of switchbacks, and nothing is very steep, so I would say it is easy-moderate. The views aren't bad, but I wouldn't say that they are a selling feature. Best views are if you continue up the last half mile on Fossil Ridge to Topanga lookout. Current conditions are pretty good, a few overgrown spots - grass grown out a lot recently due to rains. Small tree knocked over and partly obscuring trail, but not hard to get around it. The first half mile or so was muddy due to last week's rain.

hiking
4 months ago

Really nice trail. Tree coverage and beautiful views. It rained over the weekend so the first mile was extremely muddy and slippery.

hiking
Monday, May 28, 2018

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
Sunday, April 08, 2018

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.

Monday, January 01, 2018

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

hiking
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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

Load More

Featured Trails