Woven through the picturesque Malibu landscape in California, the Backbone Trail offers a memorable cycling journey. From awe-inspiring vistas of the Pacific Ocean to the challenging inclines, it holds a special place among biking enthusiasts. Dive into the exhilarating details of this trail.
- Distance: 21 mi
- Level: Intermediate
- Route Type: Out & Back
Starting from the Trippett Ranch TH in Topanga State Park, the first miles of this route offer riders breathtaking views of the Pacific and its surrounding valleys. For those short on time or energy, a detour up to Eagle Rock provides a satisfying short ride. From the Trippett Ranch parking lot, the route unfolds as follows:
- At mile .13, turn left.
- By mile .27, a left turn leads to the Eagle Springs Fire Road.
- Turn left onto the singletrack up Eagle Rock Trail at mile 1.52.
- Reaching Eagle Rock summit at mile 1.95, press on along the Temascal Ridge.
- At mile 3.03, reach the "Hub Jctn" and continue straight.
- By mile 3.68, a tempting singletrack trail awaits on the left. Though it may seem overgrown, persevere. The trail soon opens up, revealing its charm.
- Mile 9.77 marks the boundary between Topanga State Park and Will Rogers State Park and the end of the singletrack. Here, choose between turning left towards "Inspiration Point" or heading back.
- For those pressing on, the journey culminates at mile 10.64 upon reaching the horse stables in Will Rogers State Park. From here, it's a retracing of the route.
For an out-and-back adventure, start either at Topanga State Park (Trippett Ranch TH) or Will Rogers State Park. Access the trailhead just north of the junction with Old Topanga Canyon Road on Topanga Canyon Blvd. Follow Entrada Rd for about a mile to reach the Trippett Ranch TH and parking area.
- Scenic Beauty: The trail boasts unmatched panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, especially while descending from Topanga Canyon.
- Terrain: A balance of steep inclines and thrilling descents makes this trail suitable for intermediate riders. The climb might test your patience with its long stretches and loose rocks, but the descent rewards with thrilling whoops and natural jumps.
- Trail Condition: While many describe the trail as a delightful ride, some mention areas that are overgrown. However, most agree that the overall experience is worth the occasional brush with nature.
- Local Expertise: It's advisable to stop by Topanga Creek Bicycles for a map. Chris, the owner, is known to be incredibly helpful.
The Backbone Trail, with its challenging terrains and unparalleled scenic beauty, truly is a gem in Malibu's crown of biking trails. The myriad of experiences - from the smooth single tracks to the demanding fire roads - ensures riders keep returning for more. Whether you're in it for the cardio or the views, this trail promises to deliver.