Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Backbone Trail and River Canyon Loop is a 7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Pacific Palisades, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Length 7.0 mi Elevation gain 1,620 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Nature trips

Running

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Over grown

Rocky

Washed out

Description
Waypoints (0)

Please see the park page for up to date park information: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=626

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (166)
Photos (825)
Recordings (140)
Completed (208)
David Dawson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeOver grownScramble

It was amazing for the views and you won’t see anyone as it’s mostly bush waking on the ridge back ( I went clockwise) the “great escape trail” which I was planning on taking May have escaped because I couldn’t find it anywhere.. shoes with good grip a must as there’s lots of steep slippery descents on rodeo ridge, which is perhaps off this trail but it’s easy to take a wrong turn also and no cell service up there.

Stephen Walden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingNo shadeOver grown
View Stephen's Recording
John Kessler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingBugsFeeNo shadeOver grownScramble

Definitely should have read the reviews about it being overgrown! I would highly recommend long pants and a long shirt for this hike. I went counter-clockwise and the first 2 miles were good, but then the vegetation gets dense. Not really bushwacking, but if you're not comfortable walking through tall grass I would recommend turning back as it doesn't get better. Hike is moderate, but the hard part is mentally preparing to be very friendly with tall grass! Also, don't forget if you are parking at Will Rogers this will set you back about $12 to park in their lot (over 2 hrs). Don't forget your wallet!

Nicole Breed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 8, 2020
HikingFeeNo shadeOver grownScramble

Lots of bushwhacking this time, if I did it again I’d go early and in pants! Also, loads of poison oak, beware!

Diane Nahm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2020
HikingOver grown
View Diane's Recording
S.A ALEAVEYOU
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 14, 2020
HikingOver grownRocky

I didn’t get a chance to do the loop, the grass was waAaaAaay over grown and I didn’t bring the cord for my phone charger, ughh!. So I went back to the same way I came in. But all and all it’s not bad. I think it’s a moderate hike it’s not that hard.

View S.A's Recording
Ivan Chavez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 30, 2020
HikingBugsOver grownScramble

This is one of my favorite hikes in the area. Flowers are in full bloom (that means plenty of bees!). Did the hike clockwise to get the incline out of the way. Once you pass the first peak, the overgrowth gets really bad. You can push through it but you will be bushwhacking for a solid mile or two until you hit the hairpin / backbone trail to loop back. Backbone trail has overgrowth as well but nothing you have to fight through. All-in still an amazing hike with sweeping views and diverse flora throughout. Just be mentally prepared to get very friendly with the brush!

George Sandler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 26, 2020
HikingOver grown

Went counterclockwise. Super nice but once you hit the hairpin midway through it becomes way too overgrown as everyone else said. Would have liked to push through but turned back since I was without sleeves/pants or a partner.

View George's Recording
Rohan Vashi
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 26, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeOver grown

This trail is severely overgrown. If you are not wearing pants, I would highly advise not doing this hike. We started at will rogers and went counter clockwise and after the main bridge up high, that’s where the overgrown plants started. We thought it would get better after the halfway point, but unfortunately we had to turn back because trees/shrubs completely blocked the trail. We were pretty miserable trying to do this hike the way it is now. If this trail was not overgrown, it would have been a good one.

View Rohan's Recording
Kaveh Mashkouri
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 15, 2020
Hiking

Did this trail yesterday, clockwise, and I think we took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up on the trail that intersects the loop through the middle. This 1.5 mile stretch was the most challenging part of the hike where it was severely overgrown, steep, and complicated by thorny bushes. Once we were committed about 0.3 miles, it would have been more difficult to go back downhill, so we pressed on and finally got out of the trail after 2 hours, where it met up close to the backbone trail. Otherwise great hike with great views. Keep the alltrails map open and make sure you're not steering far off course. Signs say you must wear masks. Not too many people on the trail.

Nick Bergeman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 21, 2020
Hiking

A little overgrown at the zenith, but quite delightful. Absolutely loved this and I usually prefer hikes out in the wilderness. Highly recommended way to get a break from a quarantine.

View Nick's Recording
Whitney Roth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 21, 2020
HikingOver grown
View Whitney's Recording
yung kuo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 20, 2020
HikingOver grown

Went clockwise. The first half of the loop is very overgrown which I don’t mind at all because this part also has less people and beautiful wild flowers.

View yung's Recording
Brianna Angèle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 15, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeOver grown

The first half of the trail is all sun but offers some great views. The second half is overgrown and steep/rocky, but also really pretty with a fun high point surprise.

Showing results 1 - 14 of 166