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Hondo Canyon

Intermediate/Difficult
  4.0 ( 3 ) Favorite

Trail

4.1 mile 6.6 kilometer point to point
82% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 121' 37 m
Descent: -1,703' -519 m
High: 2,455' 748 m
Low: 791' 241 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by John McKinney

A four-mile run through Hondo Canyon in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains.

John McKinney

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overview

Utilizing the Backbone Trail, the Hondo Canyon point-to-point run takes you through one of the most dramatic and scenic canyons in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Need to Know

Note this run is mapped as a point-to-point or shuttle. The out-and-back option would double the listed distance to over eight miles roundtrip.

Description

Start this run at the yellow fire gate that lies just to the north of Stunt Rd. After running for roughly 100 yards past the gate, you'll find a dirt path that diverges to the right. Take this path, the Backbone Trail, along Fossil Ridge, known for its abundance of clam fossils. After running along the ridge for 6/10 of a mile the path will start to take you down into Hondo Canyon.

Once in the canyon, you'll pass a stream and waterfall that flow during rainy seasons. You'll then briefly ascend on the path as it runs along the south canyon wall before descending further into the canyon. Along this descent, you'll catch a glimpse of some the damage done by the 1994 earthquake that rocked the area; shattered trees and displaced boulders lay near the canyon's mouth.

Continuing along the path, you'll soon cross Topanga Meadows, which can become pretty muddy after periods of heavy rain. After crossing Topanga Meadows, you'll cross the creek and continue to the end of the Hondo Canyon run as the trail comes across Old Topanga Road.

Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store.

Flora & Fauna

Tree poppy, bush lupine, and mariposa lily are present on the hillsides of Hondo Canyon.

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Runner Notes, History & Background

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Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Topanga State Park

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Apr 21, 2018
Max Richards
Great variety. Starts with a brushy meadow and a steep climb, then turns into switchback mountain climbs on a clean trail. Recommended for elevation 7mi

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes

#2913

Overall
  4.0 from 3 votes
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Featured Run Rankings

#468

in California

#2,913

Overall
19 Views Last Month
445 Since Jul 26, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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33%
67%
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Photos

The Topanga Microwave Tower.
Jan 24, 2017 near Topanga, CA

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