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Level: Intermediate
Length: 21 mi (33.8 km)
Surface: Other
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +1,553/ -1,558 ft
Total: 66 riders

Mountain Biking Backbone Trail: Topanga State Park to Will Rogers State Park

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#191 of 1,003 mountain bike trails in California
#2,532 in the world

The Backbone Trail will stretch from Will Rogers State Park all the way to Point Mugu State Park when it is completed. Unfortunately, large portions of this trail will not be open to mountain bikes. The first 10.65 miles of this trail, starting at Will Rogers State Park, is open to mountain bikes. This describes this route as an out-and-back route starting at the Trippett Ranch TH in Topanga State Park. If you choose to start at Will Rogers SP, do the math to come up with your own mileages to each intersection. Of course you can also do a shuttle if you want to go to the effort.

The first few miles of this route will bring you up to some ridges with stunning views of the Pacific and inland valleys. If you only have time and energy for a short ride, go up to Eagle Rock. Do a quick lollipop loop and return to your car.

From the Trippett Ranch parking lot follow the multi-purpose trail up the hill.

@ mile .13 turn left

@ mile .27 turn left again and follow the Eagle Springs Fire Road

@ mile 1.52 turn left on the singletrack up Eagle Rock Trail

@ mile 1.95 reach Eagle Rock summit. Continue straight along Temascal Ridge

@ mile 3.03 you reach the "Hub Jctn" ... continue straight on Temascal Ridge fire road. (Turn right here to follow the fire road if you are doing the Eagle Rock lollipop.)

@ mile 3.68 take the (sweet & smooth) singletrack to your left. This is signed ("Backbone Trail to Will Rogers"). It isn't sweet and smooth the whole way, but it is a fun singletrack. If it's overgrown so you can't see the trail very well, just think of it as an adventure. It will open up soon enough. You'll be glad you did.

@ mile 9.77 you reach the boundary between Topanga State Park and Will Rogers State Park. You also reach the end of the singletrack.

Turn left on the "Inspiration Point" double-track (or turn around here).

@ mile 10.64 you reach asphalt and the horse stables in Will Rogers State Park. Turn around and retrace your route.

First added by norski on Jul 21, 2011. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
You can do this as an out-and-back starting either at Topanga State Park (Trippett Ranch TH) or Will Rogers State Park. The route described below begins at Topanga State Park. Access the trailhead

off Topanga Canyon Blvd just north (uphill) of the junction with the Old

Topanga Canyon Road. Follow Entrada Rd. for about a mile to the

Trippett Ranch TH and parking area. The parking lot is normally about

empty because almost everyone parks outside the entrance to avoid

paying the state park fee.
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Backbone Trail: Topanga State Park to Will Rogers State Park Trail map

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GGR Girl WendyE (on Feb 20, 2022)
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Rider questions

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  • RD3R

    The Backbone trail has amazing vistas of the Pacific ocean as you descend from Topanga Canyon to the pacific ocean. Most people probably park at Will Rogers State Park and climb up before bombing back down (careful to slow for any hikers coming up). However I was visiting from out of town and rented an awesome BMC Trailfox 29er the Topanga Creek Outpost instead. The owner was nice enough to show me how I could ride from the shop up to fire roads that connect to the backbone with some awesome bonus single track sections in between.The full ride from Topanga Creek bike shop to Will Rogers and back is about 25 miles and 4200 ft vertical gain, if anyone wants to try this route they can read about my full experience and Stava route here.


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  • nateamoore13

    Awesome ride when you go to murphys ranch from Reseda and make a loop out of it via Sullivan canyon

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  • Dave Hunt

    Absolutely gorgeous scenery. Lots of climbing. Definitely bucket list action!

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  • gfabes

    Backbone is awesome! The way down to the Palisades via Temescal Canyon was a bit boring though. I usually just go back down Backbone after hitting the main fire road on the way up.

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  • Grace Chua

    It's a pretty painful climb up. Not technical, just long with loose rocks in some sections to make it that much more difficult. The descent is so worth it, though. Lots of little natural whoops and rocks and lips to drop/pop off. There's also a steep rocky section that's narrow. Thankfully, that section has railings on the side with the steep drop off. I didn't find it overgrown. It's suitable for intermediate riders.

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  • Reet_TripOutside.com

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: stop by Topanga Creek Bicycles for a nice printed map. I'm from Atlanta and rent from this shop when in CA. The owner Chris is a great guy and can set you up with a map.

    Great cardio trail with some decent technical stuff.
    Lots of double track and fire road, wish there was more singletrack* Review edited 9/3/2012

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    Decent trail, but it would have been much better if it hadn't been so overgrown higher up.

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  • xtian

    Good training trail with nice views but lacks single track and technicality. If you are looking for fun, look else where.

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  • RonB:~)

    Yep.. What fun.. Love the view.

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