• Afternoon clouds cover the distance peaks of the iconic Boney Mountain

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Maps and Information for the Backbone Trail

View of the ocean from Circle X Ranch with the clouds breaking across the jagged range.

NPS Photo

The National Park Service Visitor Center in Calabasas has many of the tools you will need for hiking the BBT. The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area map and brochure includes the Backbone Trail itself and shows roads and parking throughout the area. The Backbone Trail map (672kb) shows roads, trailheads, water, and bathrooms along the trail. It also shows which areas of the trail are open for mountain bikers and which areas of the trail you can have your dog with you. Both of these are free maps.

BBT Map Image
Click on the picture of the map to get the Backbone Trail brochure and guide.

For detailed topographic information, purchase the four Tom Harrison maps:

  • Pt. Mugu State Park
  • Zuma-Trancas Canyon
  • Malibu Creek State Park
  • Topanga State Park

The Trails Illustrated Santa Monica Mountains Map is less detailed, but covers the entire Santa Monica Mountains in one map (half on each side). The NPS Visitor Center has all of these maps.

The National Park Service website has information specific to the Backbone Trail at: http://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/backbonetrail.htm

Hikers with GPS units can download the BBT west to east GPS coordinates and via points from the BBT website.

Did You Know?

Sue Nelson, Jill Swift, and Margo Feurer were instrumental in the movement to create a national recreation area near Los Angeles.

Four state parks were the triumph of a grassroots movement to protect open spaces minutes from Los Angeles in the 1950s & 60s. Three women, Sue Nelson, Jill Swift, and Margo Feuer further galvanized the movement that helped make Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area a reality in 1978.