Our hike will take us just under 8 miles roundtrip on a less-traveled but quite 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 southerly a short distance, allowing us to cross over the southernmost tunnel (Tunnel 1) above Kanan Dume Road. We then proceed easterly roughly 4 miles and up 1250 feet, gradually winding our way up and through Latigo Canyon, crossing Latigo Canyon Road, and then ending on a bluff immediately south of Castro Peak with spectacular Pacific views.
The terrain is a mix of single and double-file trail and open fire road. The majority of our out and back hike is wooded and shaded canyon trails, offering periodic glimpses of the Pacific, but the route eventually gives way to open hillsides and ridgelines, and an open area over the Pacific.
From the 101 – exit at the Kanan Road exit 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 turn left into the “Backbone Trail” parking area, almost immediately after coming out of the tunnel. Free parking is available at the trailhead.
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
The hike host is a volunteer and not responsible for the group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. Please treat this meet-up as hiking with a group of friends. 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 Weekday Trailblazers 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 trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions.
If you choose to sign up for this or any Weekday Trailblazers Meetup event, you are releasing the Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.
All participants must be 18 or older, or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.