• Stars appear behind a dramatic landscape of rocky mountains, rolling hills, and fields of grass

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Introduction to the BBT Hike

The first year group of Backbone Trail hikers at the end (Will Rodgers)

Where do you begin with a story as complex as the land network the Backbone Trail crosses? Years ago (as I've been told by those who were there) a group of docents from various agencies in the mountains decided to get together and hike the entire length of the trail. Here comes the first challenge, the trail wasn't complete (it still isn't…there are a few miles left) but that didn't stop them.

Starting in the early 90's, this crew, who knew the lay of the land, set out to hike what they could. They knew then that they had to get people involved if they ever wanted to see the Trail completed. Furthermore, it was an opportunity to see the park in ways many never had.

As the years went on and more sections of the trail became complete, the hikers who hiked those first years moved on, many of them becoming rangers or current park volunteers sharing the knowledge they gained from their experiences.

Years later for the park's 25th anniversary, it was proposed that the staff and volunteers do something to mark this monumental occasion, something that combines all areas of the park, something that showed the partnerships and networking definitive of the Santa Monica Mountains.

In 2003, twenty-four hikers completed the Backbone Trail on the NPS sponsored hike series that first year. It was so much fun that the park decided to do it again, sharing the story of the park, its lands, and its people.

This year, will mark the 9th consecutive year that we've done this. I hope you are excited as I am!

(Click here to return to the 2012 Backbone Trail Blog homepage.)

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