Past Meetup

Hondo Canyon (a section of the Backbone Trail)

This Meetup is past

3 people went

Location image of event venue


DESCRIPTION OF HIKE: Moderate-to-strenuous 7.6 miles RT with 1,500’ of elevation gain/loss.

This spectacular section of the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains includes views of pink-colored sedimentary rock formations. The trail crosses a stream near the trailhead and then climbs steadily through live oaks and a sloping green meadow. It soon reaches a wonderful pink gorge on the right with a side path down to a small waterfall. The main trail then begins switching back and forth up the steep south slope of Hondo Canyon through a lovely oak forest and then a dense chaparral woodland. Along the way there are breathtaking views of the sedimentary rock formation known as the Sespe Formation.

PREPAREDNESS: Bring 2-3 liters/quarts of water (or other suitable liquid) and lunch/snack. Wear appropriate footwear (preferably hiking boots) and be prepared for bright sunlight (sunglasses), heat (layers of clothing), and/or precipitation (rain gear). Hiking pole(s) and a camera might come in handy.

NOTE: At the beginning of each outing you will be required to read and sign a liability release form (a sign-in sheet).


Take Hwy 118 to the Madera Road exit in Simi Valley.

Head south 1.4 miles on Madera Road to its intersection with Royal Avenue (there’s a traffic light at the intersection).

Turn left (east) onto Royal Avenue and then immediately turn left into the first driveway (which leads into a strip mall) and park near the Donut Delite store.

Wait for the hiking leader(s).

DIRECTIONS TO THE TRAILHEAD (for anyone who intends to meet us at the trailhead) – NOTE: You should be at the trailhead (see below) by 8:40 a.m.

In Simi Valley, take Highway 118 west to Highway 23; take Highway 23 south to Highway 101 in Thousand Oaks.

Drive 14.1 miles “south” (toward Los Angeles) on Highway 101 to the Mulholland Drive/Valley Circle Blvd exit.

Take the Mulholland Drive/Valley Circle Blvd exit and turn left (northeast) onto Calabasas Road.

Drive 0.2 mile on Calabasas Road and then turn right (southeast) onto Mulholland Drive.

Drive 0.3 mile on Mulholland Drive and then turn right (south) onto Valmar Road.

Drive 0.4 mile on Valmar Road and then continue on Old Topanga Canyon Road [a continuation of Valmar Road] for 0.8 mile to Mulholland Highway.

Turn right (southwest) onto Mulholland Highway and drive 0.2 mile to Old Topanga Canyon Road.

Turn left (south) onto Old Topanga Canyon Road and drive the winding road 5.3 miles to the trailhead (where the Backbone Trail crosses Old Topanga Canyon Road).

Park and wait for the hiking leader(s); there is parking in the dirt along the road.

NOTE: There’s a bridge over the stream just past where you should park. If you cross the bridge, turn around as soon as you can and head back to the trailhead. If you reach the junction of Old Topanga Canyon Road and Topanga Canyon Blvd in “downtown” Topanga, turn around and drive 0.4 mile back up Old Topanga Canyon Road to the trailhead.


The organizer(s) or leader(s) take no responsibility and will not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur during any Rancho Simi Trail Blazers Club (RSTB) hike/outing. These events can be inherently dangerous and accidents will happen.

By participating voluntarily you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being and acknowledge, appreciate, and in consideration for being allowed to participate in any way you further agree:

1. The risk of injury from the many of the activities is significant, including the potential for permanent paralysis and death, and while particular skills, rules, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious injury does exist; and

2. TO KNOWINGLY AND FREELY ASSUME ALL SUCH RISKS, both known and unknown, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES or others and assume full responsibility for your participation; and

3. To willingly agree to comply with the stated and customary terms and conditions for participation. If, however, you observe any unusual significant hazard during your presence or participation, you will remove yourself from participation and bring such to the attention of the nearest official immediately; and

4. You, for yourself and on behalf of your heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS Rancho Simi Trail Blazers, its organizers, officers, officials, agents, and/or employees, other participants, sponsoring agencies, sponsors, advertisers, and, if applicable, owners and leasers of premises used to conduct the event ("RELEASEES”), WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL INJURY, DISABILITY, DEATH, LOSS OR DAMAGE TO PERSON OR PROPERTY, WHETHER ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE, to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Activity participant agrees that this release will apply to all known and unknown as well as unanticipated claims, injures and damages resulting from group activities, as well as those now disclosed and all rights under section 1542 of the Civil Code of California and hereby are expressly waived. Section 1542 of the Civil Code of California reads as follows:

“A general release does not extend to claims which the (participant) does not know or suspect to exist in his (or her) favor, at the time of execution of the release, which if known by him (or her) must have materially affected his (or her) (participation and agreeing to) the release.”

By participating in any group event or activity, you hereby, for yourself, your heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, your executors and administrators, waive any and all rights and claims for damages you may have against any and all entities and individuals associated with the group, their representatives, successors and assigns and will hold them harmless and free of all liability or claim of negligence related to any and all injuries, disability, illness, death, loss or damage to person or property, suffered in connection with any and all activities organized by the group.