• 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 Ray Miller Trail to Danielson Ranch

  • Mileage: 8.1
  • Agency: Pt. Mugu State Park.
  • Flora: Coastal Sage Scrub, Sycamore Savannah, Oak Woodlands. The dry coastal Sage Scrub community is perfectly adapted for its ocean influenced landscape. This community receives very little rainfall, so oils in the leaves help to retain moisture. It is these oils that make the community so fragrant. Other moisture savers are grayish colors, small leaf sizes, smaller shrubs (you can walk between them), light colors on backs of leaves. Characteristic plants for the coastal Sage Scrub community are sages, buckwheats, sagebrush, and laurel sumac. The shaded canyon and valley floors benefits from seasonal streams and fog. Characteristic plants there will be Sycamore trees and Oaks.
  • History: Ray Miller was the long time campground host at La Jolla Canyon parking area, and the trail was named in memory of him.
  • Caution: If you are not hiking straight through, you will need to plan time for hiking back out from Danielson Ranch.

Did You Know?

A community project led by the National Park Service has restored Zuma Lagoon.

Many hands spanning different generations and agencies continue to turn back the clock on damage to the fragile environment at Zuma Lagoon. After the removal of debris and the restoration of native plants, beach visitors now find a living wetland with 108 species of birds and colorful wildflowers.