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

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Group Hikes on the Backbone Trail

Hikers can view the colorful cliffs that make up Circle X Ranch from the Backbone Trail.

Hikers can view the colorful cliffs that make up Circle X Ranch from the Backbone Trail.

Photo by Jim Belsley

For some hikers, the idea of experiencing a trail is a wonderful idea. For others, it could be the scariest thing. There are number of advantages to taking one of the many group hikers offered throughout the year.

From meeting new people to the idea of safety in numbers to having expert guides leading you through the mountains, there are many reasons why one of the group hikers may be right for you.

Additionally, these hikes offer opportunities for shuttling to various trailheads where by individual / solo hiking does not afford or is not advantageous.

2012 Backbone Trail Hikers taking a break among the rocks at Corral Canyon.

Several organizations offer hikes on the Backbone Trail. Many of the hikes are listed in Outdoors, the quarterly calendar of events in the mountains.

The Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council offers a one week hike of the trail with overnight camping. This usually occurs in May. See their website (smmtc.org) for information.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (NPS) offers the opportunity to hike the trail each year in a series of 8 day hikes from January to April. The hikes are led by experienced BBT leaders, with assistance from park rangers and volunteers. They share the natural and cultural history of the area with hikers during the hike. Sign-ups are taken on October 1. Hikers should be in good physical condition to sign up for these 7 to 12 mile hikes. Contact us for more info.

Did You Know?

Rangers from California State Parks and the National Park Service discuss program ideas.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area was established in 1978, but the National Park Service did not own public parkland in the area until 1980. National Park Rangers devised clever ways to promote the national park goals without land by creating thriving partnerships with many agencies.