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Inspiration Point - Rustic Canyon Loop



5.1 mile 8.2 kilometer loop
86% Runnable


Ascent: 906' 276 m
Descent: -907' -276 m
High: 1,216' 371 m
Low: 315' 96 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)


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Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

A popular, scenic loop in Will Rogers State Park with beautiful views and picnic spots.

Zander Göpfert

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


One of the most popular loops in Will Rogers State Park. This run connects the Backbone Trail with a few other trails in the area for a terrific, mid-length day hike option.

Need to Know

Can be hot during summer. Limited water. Watch out for mountain bikers.

Runner Notes

A mixed tread with dirt and rocks.


From Will Roger State Park, take the Inspiration Loop Trail as it bends to the southwest and back to the north. After around one mile on the dirt trail, you'll see a sign for the Backbone Trail, turn left and continue up (north) onto the Backbone Trail.

This singletrack trail has some loose rock in the first section but nothing too technical. After reaching the high point of the loop at around 2.2 miles, the first junction comes up with the Josepho Spur Trail. Turn right onto the Josepho Spur Trail. The Backbone Trail continues to the north quite a ways to The Hub. For more info, see The Hub Out-and-Back featured run.

Once on the Josepho Spur Trail, dive down to the northeast until you come to the Rustic Canyon Trail. Turn right and head south on the Rustic Canyon Trail as it heads along the west side of Murphy's Ranch and the Murphy Ranch trail (which you'll see pass on the left after ~0.5 miles).

Continue south on Rustic Canyon Trail as it gradually descends through the chaparral with views out over Riviera and West L.A. before arriving back at the Will Rogers State Park parking area.

Flora & Fauna

Prepare to encounter a lot of wildlife if you go early, such as deer, foxes, and sometimes coyotes. Poison oak!

History & Background

Backbone Trail is one of the most famous trails in California. This loop heads by Murphy's Ranch, which was a camp built by anti-semitic sympathizers of the Silver Legion of America back in the 30's with a lot of secret spots to explore.

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Aug 22, 2019
Matthew Robinson
Final two miles of the trail is super overgrown and washed out along the creek. Expect to hike in the water. 5.9mi — 1h 25m
Nov 24, 2016
Wayne Chamberlain
Aug 13, 2016
William Prokop
Trails were hard to follow. Lopped through the park and out to the water and back. 20mi — 3h 55m

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 26 votes


in Santa Monica


  3.9 from 26 votes
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in Santa Monica


in California


69 Views Last Month
5,262 Since Sep 24, 2015



Amazing view of Santa Monica, you can see Catalina Island on the left side of the photo
Aug 20, 2015 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
Steepest hill climb of the trail.
Aug 20, 2015 near Santa M…, CA
Admiring the view at the inspiration point at Will Rogers State Park.
Jun 17, 2015 near Santa M…, CA
Good morning Los Angeles!
Aug 20, 2015 near Santa M…, CA
Abandoned buildings.
Jun 20, 2015 near Santa M…, CA


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