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Backbone Trail, Malibu

4.6
#1 of 6 in Trails in Malibu
The Backbone Trail is a long distance trail extending 67.79 miles (109.10 km) across the length of the Santa Monica Mountains in the U.S. state of California. Its western terminus is Point Mugu State Park and its eastern terminus is Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades. The trail is open to hikers throughout its length; dogs, mountain bicyclists and horseback riders are allowed on portions of the trail as posted.
Construction on the backbone trail began in the early 1980s, and involved the cooperation of the National Park Service, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and private parties interested in connecting existing trails within the Santa Monica Mountains NRA into a single trail spanning the length of the park. The range of conditions found on the trail - ranging from flat, wide fire roads to narrow single-track trails - reflects the trail's origin as a series of unconnected paths and backcountry roads, connected to form the Backbone Trail System.
In 2016, the National Park Service completed land acquisitions from former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and fitness pioneer Betty Weider to enable right-of-way for the trail. In May 2016, a new section of the trail was completed on the east side of Yerba Buena Road in support of these acquisitions.
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Backbone Trail Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
27 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Plenty of parking available when pulling into lot. There are trail maps and other information explaining what to expect. Hike does change elevation quickly. The path does split several places, but usu...  more »
  • Do it in pieces, hike it in parts, or one long jaunt. There is the Appalachia Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. Los Angeles has the Backbone Trail. Most os us do it in parts, dividing it into day hik...  more »

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