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Best Hikes In California

When you plan a trip to Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, like Ventura County, it can be overwhelming with all of the choices that are available to you in the way of food, entertainment, arts, culture, and of course Nature. This part of Southern California is one that people from all around the world visit with very good reason. Sometimes though, a potential adventure can slip through cracks if you don't know where to look. A great many people are clueless to one of Southern California's greatest adventure: hiking the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains.

This shouldn't come as much of a surprise though. This major 69-mile hiking route that traverses the spine of the Santa Monica Mountains — has only been officially completed in 2016. Until now, the camping opportunities along the trail have been very limited which has made it very difficult to complete a full thru-hike from end to end on a multi-day adventure.


Trail Magic Adventures has teamed up with organizations and property owners within the Santa Monica Mountains to create private campsites for participants to camp on in order to solve this problem. So far, we are the only company or organization to have this offering, and we would love to share this experience with you! Join us at Trail Magic Adventures to experience one of the best hikes in California.

What’s the best way to hike in California?

There are more than 500 miles of public trails traversing the Santa Monica Mountains. If you prefer not to take on the 70-mile experience of the BackBone Trail, Trail Magic Adventures offers other smaller, and slightly easier adventures so that you can pack all the fun into a day trip. 

Situated in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area — the biggest urban national park in the world — the Backbone Trail offers everything from panoramic city views of Santa Monica and Malibu, to uninterrupted looks at the Pacific. The labors that produced this trail took almost 50 years, and now you finally have the chance to experience these mountains and everything they have to offer, which we are sure you will come to find is one of the best hikes in California.

Other trails will provide small pieces of what hiking the Santa Monica Mountains has to offer, no trail shows the full scope of the landscape — from volcanic cliffs to wooded canyons — quite like the Backbone Trail.


Is hiking the Backbone Trail strenuous?


Hiking can always be difficult, but the level at which you struggle is completely up to you. If you hike the Backbone Trail with Trail Magic Adventures, our All-Inclusive programs provide all hiking and overnight gear, nutritious food, water, and Wilderness First Responder backcountry guides to support hikers in their journey.

High-quality camping and cooking equipment will be securely stored at each private campsite so that hikers only need to carry a provided Osprey daypack with their essentials this minimizes weight and strain on our fellow hikers so that you can spend more time enjoying nature instead of getting blisters.

Additionally, we’ve divided the trail into five sections, which anyone with a spirit of adventure and a bit of grit can complete. You can choose the section that’s right for you, customize your trip with the number of miles/days, or do the entire 69-mile trail. If you’re looking to hike the highest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains, Section 5 is a 2-day, 17.5-mile adventure that delivers. If you’d rather stroll through rolling meadows and dramatic canyons, Section 2 covers 18.5 miles over a 3-day span so you can go at a more leisurely pace. Our programs make it very simple for youth, adults, and families to get outside in our local mountain range for multi-day adventures. Whichever adventure you decide on, you can rest assured that it will be one of the best hikes in California.

How do I get started hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains?

There are many different trailheads and options for hikes that you can take when you are considering where to go on the Backbone Trail. There are many ways for you to adventure throughout the Santa Monica Mountains, but if you are having a hard time figuring out where to begin, we are here to help.

Our team members are extremely passionate about providing our adventurers with meaningful outdoor experiences that reacquaint them with nature and beauty of California. Trail Magic Adventures can set you up with any hike that you are looking to accomplish, whether that is a single day trip to catch a sunset with your family, or if you want to challenge yourself with the full 69-mile thru-hike, we have you covered

If this information has piqued your interest and you would like to learn some more about one of the best hikes in California, we would love to have a conversation with you to answer any and all questions you may have. Get in touch so we can plan the perfect Trail Magic Adventures experience for you. Or, if you already know what you want to do and are just looking to get out there, check out the online booking options on our site. Your adventure awaits!

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