• 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 Stunt, Scheueren and Saddle Peak Roads to Topanga State Park

  • Mileage: 6.3 miles
  • Agencies: Mountains Restoration Trust, Topanga State Park
  • Flora: Chaparral, Steamside, Meadow, Oak Woodland, Bay Tree Woodland.
  • History: In Hondo Canyon you'll pass the burned ruins of a cabin surrounded by bay trees. This cabin was the vacation cabin of Paul C. Bragg who was a pioneer in the health food movement in California. His cabin was here until the early 1990s, and burned in the 1993 Topanga fire.
  • Cautions: From the intersection of Stunt, Scheueren and Saddle Peak Roads, walk east, behind the gate onto the Topanga Fireroad. Watch for a small trail behind the first telephone pole on the right. This is the Fossil Trail which will take you down info Hondo Canyon. Trail intersections on this segment will also be confusing so a GPS unit as well as hiking poles are useful. From Hondo Canyon, cross Old Topanga Rd, follow the trail up the drainage, then around the water tanks and around Topanga School. The trail comes down to the dumpsters at Greenlead Road. Follow Greenleaf to Topanga Canyon Blvd. Carefully cross Topanga and watch for the beaten path that takes you up to the Dead Horse parking lot. If you can not find the trail, walk down the road to Entrada Rd and up to the Dead Horse parking lot and pick up the trail to Topanga State Park (Trippet Ranch).

Did You Know?

The need for plants used in restoration projects loomed large for many years, but volunteers made it happen.

A core group of dedicated National Park volunteers, often laboring in the hot sun, built a native plant nursery from the ground up in 2002. Native plants, from the common Ceanothus to the endangered Lyons pygmy daisy germinated in this volunteer-run nursery will help restore disturbed habitat.