Backbone Trail

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Trail Distance: 67 miles
Time Estimate: 28 hrs 20 min+
Elevation Gain: 3111 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Hard
Parking: Unknown
Route Type: Point-to-point
Restroom: Unknown
Description

Imagine trekking across the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains with your faithful canine sidekick at your side. Thanks to the Backbone Trail, this dream can be a reality. Stretching from Point Mugu State Park all the way to Will Rogers Historic State Park, this puptastic trail provides respite from the busy SoCal life.

Since the Backbone Trail crosses various land jurisdictions, access, trail names, and regulations are not consistent. One of the most important things to note is that while leashed dogs are permitted on trails managed by National Parks Service, they are usually restricted on the California State Parks trails. As a result, you and your pooch won’t be able to hike the entire trail. But don’t worry, there are still miles and miles of trail available to your four legged hiking buddy. Begin your journey at Mishe Mokwa, Kanan, or Latigo Trailheads. All of these start within National Park land. It’s always wise to plan your route and double check regulations, just to be safe. You’ll have an upset pooch on your hands if you have to turn around and go back to the car.

While making your way across the trail, enjoy the unique coastal Mediterranean habitat. Your pooch will feel like a regular canine explorer as they cross through coastal sage scrub, riparian woodlands, freshwater marshes, and oak woodlands. Watch for wildlife; critters like coyote, mule deer, red-tailed hawks, lizards, and snakes all call this place home. Oh, and so do mountain lions. Your doggo will love the trademark rock formations and sandstone peaks of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Before setting off on your adventure, make sure you have plenty of water and snacks, as most trailheads do not have water refill stations. To avoid the muggy heat, plan to hike this trail in the winter or spring. No matter when you go, your pooch will simply go mutts over this trail!

Trail Features
Forest, Steep Inclines, Diverse Landscape, Loose Terrain
Wildflowers, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
Mountain lions and rattlesnakes live in the Santa Monica Mountains. Keep your pup on the trail to help prevent run-ins with wildlife. Ticks and poison oak are also prevalent.
Address
Yerba Buena Road
Malibu, CA 90265
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset
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Address
Yerba Buena Road
Malibu, CA 90265
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset