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

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Backbone Trail from Mulholland Hwy (mile marker 5.2) to Latigo Canyon parking area

Note: For the Latigo Canyon parking area, a small lot is on your left is 3-miles east of the intersection of Kanan Road and Latigo Canyon Road.

  • Mileage: 7.9
  • Agencies: NPS (except for one gap still privately owned).
  • Flora: The trail crosses brushy chaparral covered slopes then dips up and down through shaded stream cut canyons and Oak Woodlands. Notice how the slope aspect (north or south facing) of the canyon affects plants and animals as you walk in and out of the shade.
  • Human history: The trail was constructed in pieces as lands were purchased by NPS over many years. There has been great difficulty in negotiating with private landholders. This accounts for the trail gaps noted above.
  • Cautions: Parking on Mulholland is very limited, be sure to observe the signs. There are many road crossings and many intersecting trails in this section of the BBT. You'll cross Encinal Canyon Rd., go through Zuma -Trancas Canyons, cross the Backbone Trail parking lot at Kanan Road, then up and over the top of Kanan Road through Newton Canyon to Latigo Canyon. Use a good GPS or a good topographic map for this section. Hiking poles are recommended due to ascents and descents on the trail.

Did You Know?

Watch the credits a the end of a film and you may discover how often national parks are used by the movie industry.

Unique vistas and cultural significance often draw filmmakers to National Parks. Paramount Ranch is the only place in the National Park System where you can see movie making in action at a historic movie ranch once owned by Paramount Pictures (1927).