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Level: Beginner
Length: 65 mi (104.6 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +333/ -333 ft
Total: 48 riders

Mountain Biking Backbone Trail

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#76 of 1,003 mountain bike trails in California
#1,181 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.
To check out some of the bike-legal segments, click on the listed sub-trails below.

First added by Greg Heil on Jan 17, 2014. 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
System trails (3)
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Backbone Trail Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

GGR Girl WendyE (on Dec 30, 2020)
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Trail conditions

Dusty (on Mar 18, 2017)
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Camping & Lodging

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Backbone Trail videos

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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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  • nohyphens

    Trail system is not very well marked at all for mountain bikers. If you enter at Will Rogers State Park, you'll need to follow the trail system where the hikers and horses start. Unfortunately most of the trail marks will tell you where bikes are not allowed, rather than clearly designating where new sections of Backbone begin and end. Many sections are multi directional, as well. Great views of the beach and surrounding areas but just not a very well maintained system for mtb. You can put some serious mileage here though.

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  • memikee2

    A nice trail that has some fun downhill sections along with some good climbing.

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  • Gawin

    This trail has a bit of everything. Some semi-challenging climbs, some flowy sections, rock gardens, shaded canyons. We like riding this trail a lot watch for poison oak in the canyon sections

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  • Gawin

    Great scenery on this trail, mountain and ocean views.

    Some really fun single track especially going down between Etz Malloy and Encinal. Fun for all skill levels.

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  • Eric Foltz

    You'll have a hard time finding a more scenic trail. The ocean views from 1000' up in the Santa Monica Mountains are outstanding. The trail is mainly non-technical ST with a little bit of fireroad. Nothing hard other than a moderate climb. Great place to take beginner/intermediate riders.

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  • Eric Foltz

    This is a great trail with fantastic views. It is really hard to believe that you are right in the middle of one of the densest population areas in the State. Lots of ups and downs but nothing too extreme. Just really good singletrack in a great location. A definite SoCal must-do.

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  • mikeMojo

    smooth man made trail ! Good work out just ride up and down mostly rideable! Lot trees and ocean Breeze make the trail cooler !

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    Some great scenery, but very overgrown in spots. I haven't ridden this whole trail, though, and I imagine some sections are better than others.

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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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