• 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 Circle X Sandstone Peak Parking Lot (mile marker 6.37 on Yerba Buena Rd.) to Yerba Buena Rd (mile marker 9.10)

  • Mileage: 5.5 miles
  • Agencies: NPS
  • Flora: Chaparral and meadows.
  • History: Circle X was formerly a boy scout camp run by the Los Angeles Exchange Club, a business men's club with the symbol of a circle and an x, thus the name Circle X.
  • Cautions: Use the connector from the Sandstone Peak parking area to the Mishe Mokwa trail parking on Yerba Buena Rd (mile marker 7.0). Cross Yerba Buena Rd to the larger parking lot. The trail continues at the lower portion of the parking lot. This section of the trail is a multi-use trail and is open to all users. Bikes yield to hikers & horses, hikers yield to horses. The trail ends at Yerba Buena Rd (mile marker 9.10).

There is an interruption of the Backbone Trail from Yerba Buena Road mile marker 9.10 until you reach Mulholland Highway. The last half of the interrupted section has been constructed and is open from Mulholland, but there is no easement for the section across the Etz Meloy motorway. Do not cross this section. Sensitive negotiations on this easement are taking place now.


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.