Past Meetup

Kanan Dume To Castro Crest! (Fast-Paced Conditioning Hike)

This Meetup is past

12 people went

Newton Canyon Trailhead

1600 S Kanan Dume Rd · Malibu, CA

How to find us

My cell is 818.618.7897 and I have a Blue X5

Location image of event venue


Please note 5:30pm start time

This is a fast-paced conditioning hike for intermediate-level hikers and above.

Depending on the group, we'll go to Castro Crest on the Backbone Trail as usual, and then decide whether to return the same way or go back along Latigo Canyon Road to the 2.5 mile marker and then return the rest of the way as we came up. If we take the shorter route, it will cut this rolling and athletic hike down to about 7 miles and 1500 feet of gain...otherwise 8 miles and about 1800 feet.

Please note that the guest feature is not activated for this meetup. On all my hikes, I expect everyone coming to have signed up themselves, read the write-up, and arrive informed and prepared.

Hope to see you on the trails,


Our hikes are afternoon conditioning hikes for people hiking at an intermediate level or above, and enjoying time outdoors with fun and friendly people sharing similar interests and fitness goals.

Our hike format emphasizes easy-to-access and scenic 5-8 mile Malibu-area conditioning routes with[masked] foot elevation gains, a relatively fast pace with a single rest stop, and optional technique discussions and conditioning exercises (based on individual and group interest). Total hiking time is normally 2.5-3 hours.

We schedule our hikes as late in the day as the season allows, minimizing hiking in the dark while encouraging people with a variety of schedules to get one or more conditioning hikes in during the week and tune-up for bigger adventures.

Here is info on our scheduled hike…hope to see you there!

Kanan Dume to Castro Crest

Hike Type: Conditioning

Level: Intermediate

Route Type: Out & back

Distance: 7-8 miles

Elevation gain:[masked] feet

Terrain: Double & single-file trail, fire road

Dogs allowed: Yes

Route summary:

Our hike will take us 7-8 miles roundtrip on a less-traveled but beautiful part of the 60-mile Backbone Trail, which runs through the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area from Will Rogers State Park in the east to Point Mugu in the west.

The route begins at Kanan Dume Road and goes south a short distance, allowing us to cross over the southernmost tunnel above Kanan Dume Road. We then proceed easterly roughly 2.5 miles and up 800 feet, gradually winding our way up and down through Latigo Canyon until we reach Latigo Canyon Road. We then continue until we reach the saddle and bluff immediately south of Castro Peak, adding an additional 1.5 miles and 400 feet of ascent, and can enjoy the spectacular Pacific views there. The terrain is a mix of single and double-file trail and open fire road.

The majority of our hike is a mix of wooded canyon trails and open hillsides and ridgelines, offering periodic views of the Pacific, and then culminates at an open area over the Pacific. Since we begin on the floor of Latigo Canyon and reach exposed areas above the Pacific, weather can range from calm and humid to misty with ocean winds to quite warm and dry conditions. We will stop at the bluff south of Castro Peak to grab a snack and enjoy the great view, and then return either the same way or via Latigo Canyon Road to the 2.5 mile maker & then down to the trailhead


Please wear – brush-resistant pants, one or more wicking shirts appropriate to the temperature, comfortable hiking shoes or light boots, your favorite undergarments and accessories, and a light backpack.

Please bring – at least two liters of water, snacks, an extra layer of clothing, a charged cell phone, identification, a headlamp, a small first-aid kit, bug repellant and sunscreen, a waterproof shell if rain is forecast, and any medications or anything else you might need on the trail.


Free parking is available at our meet-up location.

Please do not leave anything of value in your car, at this or any other trailhead.


From the 101 – exit at Kanan Road and drive south (toward the ocean) 7.8 miles, going through two of the three tunnels on this road (which changes name to Kanan Dume Road). Turn right into the “Backbone Trail” parking area, just before entering the third tunnel.

From PCH – turn up South Kanan Dume Road. Drive 4.4 miles from PCH, going through one tunnel, and then take a left into the “Backbone Trail” parking area, almost immediately after coming out of the tunnel.



The hike host is a volunteer and not responsible for the group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. If you become fatigued and unable to continue the hike, it is expected you will advise the hike host of this and return to our starting point on your own. If you are able to proceed, it is expected that you will maintain line of sight with other members of the group at all times and help to promote the group’s safety and fitness goals.

Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Malibu Hiking Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in events. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.

WAIVER OF LIABILITY: This group, its organizer, assistant organizers, event organizers will not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur carpooling to and from hikes, or for any injuries or accidents before, during, and after group hikes. If you sign up and come on this hike outing you are acknowledging that you freely and voluntarily assume all risks of injuries and damages and agree to participate in the hike/outing. No +1s or guests allowed at Malibu Hiking events. All attending must be group members.

All participants must be 18 or older, or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.