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A run exploring the east side of the famous Backbone Trail out of Will Rogers State Park.


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Map Key

15.8

Miles

25.4

KM

90%

Runnable

2,065' 629 m

High

438' 134 m

Low

2,227' 679 m

Up

2,227' 679 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

22%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

A great out-and-back run with climbs that reward you with spectacular views of the area around Will Rogers State Park and Topanga State Park.

Runner Notes

Watch out for mountain bikers.

Parking at Will Rogers State Park is $12. There is free street parking half a mile South of the park entrance.

Description

At the main building at Will Rogers State Park, look for the Inspiration Point Loop Trail and take a left (west). Continue on about half a mile where you'll see a sign and map of the Backbone Trail.

Go North onto the east trailhead of the Backbone Trail on a challenging incline, with a view of the Pacific Ocean behind you, and downtown Los Angeles view to the east. On a good clear day, you might also see the Santa Catalina Island which is about 30 miles off the mainland.

At 2.5 miles, you'll arrive at a bridge point, and the steepest hill climb for this part of the trail. After the climb, the trail becomes flat, and it is a good time to pick up the speed. There are a lot of trees and shady areas in the morning.

The rocky part of the trail will come after the 4-mile mark, and be sure to watch out for mountain bikers flying down the hill as you ascend the mountain. After a mile of climbing, the view of Mulholland Drive will appear and also houses in San Fernando Valley. Continue onto the Backbone Trail and merge left (West). Soon you'll see a small sign for the Hub.

The Hub is located 7 miles in and is on the Backbone Trail. If you head North, you'll hit Mulholland Drive; continue West for Backbone Trail.

For this route, return and take the same route back to the Will Rogers State Park.

Contacts

Shared By:

Swire Ho

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes

#3

in Santa Monica

#3748

Overall
  4.0 from 4 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in Santa Monica

#521

in California

#3,748

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13 Views Last Month
3,213 Since Aug 20, 2015
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Photos

Heading south on the Backbone Trail.
Jan 25, 2021 near Topanga, CA
View from Temescal Peak
Mar 16, 2024 near Topanga, CA
Amazing view of Santa Monica, you can see Catalina Island on the left side of the photo
Aug 20, 2015 near Santa M…, CA
Steepest hill climb of the trail.
Aug 20, 2015 near Santa M…, CA
Great view of the Pacific and Santa Monica.
Sep 4, 2020 near Santa M…, CA
Best way to see Los Angeles.  Downtown LA on the left, Century City in the middle and Santa Monica on the right
Aug 20, 2015 near Santa M…, CA

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 67 days ago
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Check-Ins

Mar 17, 2019
Drew Anon
Sep 2, 2017
Joshua Schlag
So stinkin hot! Nice to have shade at times, at least. Got spooked by a rattlesnake, too! 9.1mi
Jul 2, 2017
Kim C
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