Backbone Trail in Topanga - TRAIL

Backbone Trail in Topanga - Trail, Topanga, California

6 miles of speedy singletrack downhill with epic vistas.

User Reviews (19)

Showing 1-10 of 19  
DesertRiderAZ   Weekend Warrior [Oct 31, 2010]

SAVE BACKBONE! They just bulldozed the top portion from the fire road, and plan to bulldoze all the way to Will Rogers State Park. This crown jewel of the Santa Monica Mountains is being destroyed. Confirmed with a park ranger 10/31/2010.

Contact Superintendant Lynette Brody at 310 454 8121 extension 105 to ask them to stop. Please be polite. Call immediately - the bulldozing will continue tomorrow!

The rationale for the bulldozing is that the trail is overgrown. Ask them to use clippers - not a bulldozer - to address!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
TheAgent86   Weekend Warrior [Oct 31, 2010]

SAVE BACKBONE! They just bulldozed the top portion from the fire road, and plan to bulldoze all the way to Will Rogers State Park. This crown jewel of the Santa Monica Mountains is being destroyed. Confirmed with a park ranger 10/31/2010.

Contact Superintendant Lynette Brody at 310 454 8121 extension 105 to ask them to stop. Please be polite. Call immediately - the bulldozing will continue tomorrow!

The rationale for the bulldozing is that the trail is overgrown. Ask them to use clippers - not a bulldozer - to address!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Syks7   Weekend Warrior [Jul 31, 2005]

The top of the trail after the hub is washed out so sling the bike over your shoulder and hike about 20 yards through the wash to where the trail reappears. The top is also pretty overgrown which can make it tough to see the ruts from this years storms. Its fairly flat, not that fast at the top but it gets steeper and faster the further you go. Its definitely one of the better trails I've ridden in Southern California, take the time to check out the vistas, which are spectacular even on a smoggy day. Pack lots of water though, it was hotter than the sun up there the other day.

Customer Service

Ride up Sullivan fire road, make a left on dirt Mullholland and ride past the hub to where the trail starts.

Similar Products Used: Sullivan canyon, Crags road in Malibu (short but fun).
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
RustyBearings   Cross Country Rider [Apr 17, 2005]

I ride this trail pretty often, since it's right around the corner from my house and the only singletrack I can get to without getting a ride. But I've got to say that it's never been this fun. Rode it today (April 17, 05) and was amazed at how fast and smooth the ride was (even for a 14yr old like me, ha). The ruts from this year's rains were somewhat filled, so the entire trail was rideable. The little middle downhill section (does it have a name :D) was pretty loose, but just added a little challenge to the ride. The trail overall got a bit less technical than it was maybe a month ago after the rains, but is instead now a really fast ride. The only weakness I can think of is that the beginning is a bit overgrown, and there are some really low branches, so make sure you're wearing a helmet, or you'll get to Will Rogers with an assortment of dents in your scalp. I'd advise anyone in the area to head out there now before the trail crew comes through and makes this a four lane highway. I don't know much about trail maintainance, but you'd think they'd do something to it because of the recent storms. (Btw, the aroebic difficulty is based on a ride down the Backbone, not up)

Customer Service

Take Trailer Canyon to the Will Roger's trailhead to mix in a climb into your ride. If you're coming from he valley side, take Fire Road #30 to the Hub and just head down for maybe 0.3 miles to the trailhead. Might want to mix in Caballero Canyon for some fun. A longer route from the beach would be up sullivan (ridge or canyon) and then left on Mullhuland untill you get to fire road #30. Take that to the Hub (like the route above.)

Similar Products Used: Sullivan Ridge/Canyon Paseo Miramar(best fire road in the area) Caballero Canyon (fun little downhill with a couple small stream crossings) Malibu Creek is a great place to ride too. Going to explore it more, but what I've ridden is fabulous.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
jksu2000   Cross Country Rider [Jun 17, 2004]

fun ride about 2-3 hours loop for me. fire road and fun downhill singletrack. it used to be much more narrow and rutted, but has been bulldozed recently. a shame. the rain had indeed taken it's toll on the trail and it needed repair. but repair does not mean a trail needs to be widened and in this case it was literally bulldozed wide and flat. a real shame. for good trail maintenance, check out ken burton or latuna, fun fun rides.

Customer Service

sullivan up to mullholland, left on mullholland towards the hub, hub down the backgone to will rogers, then sunset back to sullivan

Similar Products Used: ken burton, el priety, la tuna, kenter, maibu state park
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
biznetone   Weekend Warrior [May 21, 2004]

This trail used to be terrific. This spring the lower section of the Backbone Trail was basically bulldozed. This great trail has been ruined, and is basically just for hiking now. Very sad.

Customer Service

Pick another trail.

Similar Products Used: Backbone Malibu.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
  Downhiller [Feb 16, 2004]

It's ok but better at night. It's not that wild so all you padded yahoos are playing yourself. Best to go on Mon-Fri. Weekends are to full of hikers and you'll just get it closed trying to be hardcore. Ride it at night if you want a challenge and to avoid hikers. I'm that guy always up there with the 50 pound Big Hit DH bike smokin all the wannabe XC racers. If I wanted to go DH I'd go to the real DH spots (none in the Santa Monicas). I just ride there to get my XC on since I like to race both classes.

Similar Products Used: None they all suck
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
pipsqueekspire   Downhiller [Jan 28, 2004]

Best Local West LA Trail Hands Down The climbing starts at the top of Capri off of Sunset. Take the paved section past the big stone gates(this is where you comeout) then up the hill drop into a breif single track on the left. Fun and fast x-country riding gets you to the start of the fire road on Sullivan. Ride this grind until the big oak tree with a wooden seat. From there go up another 100 yards and see if you can ride up Cardiac! Its hard single track on the right but fun if you like pain. Finish on the fireroad topping out on mulholand. Make a laft and ride 300yards to the small fence on your left. Take this single track down and make the choice of a cool clifeside ride (make a 2 rights when the come up) or a steep steep drop to the same spot looking over reseda in the valley. This gets you back on Mulholand climbing to the hub...a grind! (there is one left at a yellow gate to make it from Mulholand to the hub. Pad up at the hub and get ready for a fun drop down back bone. 500yards from the hub make the left to back bone. Its a fun steep drop at first then mellow x country for 2 miles. Zipping through the trees you enter a few very fast sections... not technical but fun! Then you enter the jungle area and come out at the oak tree. Here the ruts begin and it gets steeper. Be careful of hikers since its a very narrow bendy trail here. Bells are a good idea on weekends! If you know the trail then you know the drop down into Josepho but youve never done it! Its 200yards BEFORE you get to the railroad ties that lead you to the bridge. Lower your seats cause this section is NOT for beginners. Down the hole into the woods. it never opens up and it only gets rougher. There are a very rock/root gardens and 3-4 medium drops (18inches+) with bad landings and in quick sucsession! FUN FUN!! If you make it without dabbing and you turn all the switch backs without falling down the cliff give yourself a hand and pat yourself on the back cause you just did the best trail in the Santa Monicas. Now take the pads off and climb out to the stone gates up the pavement. It should be almost 3.5 hours later and you should be a happy biker! For more fun try it at night!

Customer Service

Park at Capri- up Sullivan ridge cross mulhuland to the hub down back bone then drop into Camp Josepho and climb back out the old gates to the top of capri- 12 miles maybe

Similar Products Used: Westridge Single Track Sullivan Single Track! Cookies! Scratch!
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jason sager   [Oct 27, 1998]

riding from the valley(woodland hills) give you a nice 30 min warm up-all up hill but mild, then a fun but blind DH, then a short steep climb to the hub-then its rip it down to Will Rodgers and climb back to the top, or take the northern direction to eagel rock and make a few climb-DH loops. this reminds me of the old Cactus Cup course....a roaster in the summer and in the afternoon a hiker's delight. so be sure to creep the corners and smile often.

Customer Service

the most fun is ride from topanga canyon, take mullholland to dirt mullholland, past the gate, past the water towers then left thru the gate to the hub....

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Kevin S   [Oct 29, 1998]

This trail is part of a bigger network of trails in the Santa Monica's that have been aptly described by other people here. I like doing this trail as a shuttle from my house in Venice. Drive the bikes to Trippet Ranch, climb to The Hub, descend the Backbone through Will Rogers State Park then ride through the neighborhood of Rustic Canyon to the bike path and ride the tail wind back home. It's a lot of riding with a dowhnhill emphasis. Stop in for a bite and a beer at one of the seaside cafe's in Venice. The downside is that you gotta go fetch your car in Topanaga.

The trail itself is pretty easy, save for a few El Nino'd sections. It used to be a fire road but they stopped grading it so it's "decaying" into singletrack. You can really fly on some sections but BE CAREFUL: the trail is heavily used by hikers and runners, esp. near the bottom. Best ridden on a week day.

Customer Service

Down!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 19  

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