This is a lollipop loop along a part of the Boney Backbone Trail that isn't part of our regular itinerary, but good for our Thursday gentler hikes. We'll start at a parking area near some houses on Yerba Buena Road, hike out the Backbone trail, circle around a peak with an abandoned fire spotting tower, then make our way back to the parking spot via an overgrown fire road and then on the Backbone Trail.
Total distance is 5.5 miles, with an elevation gain/loss of 1,100 feet (less if you don't make the climb to the fire tower).
Views of Malibu Canyon, Serrano Canyon, Mulholland, and the nearby peaks (Sandstone, Tri-Peaks, Boney) and the ocean are absolutely spectacular, and well worth the drive off our beaten path.
The area around the abandoned fire tower is strewn with broken glass, so plan your footwear accordingly.
Exit 101 at Westlake Boulevard (23), and drive south 7.1 miles to the 2nd (right-hand) intersection with Mulholland. Turn right onto Mulholland, and in .4 miles turn right again onto Little Sycamore Canyon Road. In 2 miles, the name changes to Yerba Buena. Keep your eye out for a small settlement on the right, and two shipping containers on your left; the parking area is just past the shipping containers, in the same dirt area.
This driving route is twisty and turny, with many blind curves. Please plan on enough time (20 minutes minimum) from the 101 / Westlake intersection to arrive by 8:45 for a prompt 9:00 departure.
Parking and Carpool Suggestion
Parking is limited (6-7 cars) in this area, and the next parking is ~1 mile west, so car-pooling is a great idea. The trailhead is a quarter mile back, around the corner, with no closer parking.
Post Hike Lunch Options
Post hike options are distant, and include Neptune's Net (at the ocean end of Yerba Buena Road), or the usual places back in the Conejo Valley