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

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Camping on the Backbone Trail

The Backbone Trail can provide views of green mountains high above costal fog.

The Backbone Trail can provide views of green mountains high above coastal fog.

Photo by Jim Belsley

Presently, there is no camping outside of designated campgrounds along the trail. Once the trail is complete, a Backbone Trail Backcountry camping plan will be announced for review and public comment. After approval, contracts for building the trail camps will be accepted and trail camps will be built. A permit system for camping will be initiated at that time.

Current trailside campgrounds on the Backbone Trail:

  • Musch Trail Camp at Topanga State Park camp has room for 8 tents, has tables, running water and a flush toilet. It is not resevable, and is on a first come, first served basis. Small fee ($7/person/night). No open fires permitted during times of high fire danger.
  • Danielson Ranch at Point Mugu State Park is a group campground. Contact California State Parks for reservations at 310-457-8144.

Current campgrounds that are near the Backbone Trail:

  • Malibu Creek State Park campground is 1.5 miles from where the BBT crosses Malibu Canyon. Regular campground with fire ring, water, bathrooms, nearby. Reserve a camp site up to 7 months in advance at: www.parks.ca.gov

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.