Santa Monica Mountains Backpacking Adventure - Backbone Trail
Hikers who embark on this four-day backpacking expedition will complete the entire eastern half of the iconic 69-mile Backbone Trail. This all-inclusive, 37.5-mile adventure will wind us through forested mountain slopes, colorful stretches of dramatic pinnacles, and sun-soaked ridges with spectacular panoramas of the Pacific Ocean. A hidden gem in the heart of Southern California, the eastern half of the Backbone Trail will also reward us with some of the widest bird’s-eye views of Los Angeles surrounded by endless valleys and distant mountain ranges stretching out into the horizon. To enhance our journey, all hiking and camping equipment will be provided so that you can fully experience the joy of backcountry travel without having to worry about the logistics that goes into creating this exceptional outdoor experience. Additionally, you are able to travel light and only need to carry a daypack with you on this multi-day adventure. If you are ready to truly experience the beauty of nature, connect with fellow explorers, and unplug from the grind of everyday life, we encourage you to join us for this unforgettable bucket list adventure!
October 15 - 18, 2020
November 12 - 15, 2020
December 31 - January 3, 2021
January 16 - 19, 2021
February 13 - 16, 2021
March 25 - 28, 2021
Day 1: 6.5 Miles
Day 2: 9 Miles
Day 3: 12 Miles
Day 4: 10 Miles
Total: 37.5 Miles
Ages 18 and Up
$1099 for REI Members
$1199 for Non-REI Members
High-Quality Hiking and Camping Equipment: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Pad, Sleeping Bag Liner, Pillow, Day Hiking Pack, Trekking Poles, Headlamp, Food Bowl, Cutlery, Mug, Camp Chair, and more
Nutritious Meals, Snacks, Drinks, and Group Cooking Gear
Camping Locations and Fees for Three Nights
Two Wilderness First Responder Guides and Support Team
Transportation between the trailheads
To learn more about what is provided in each of our adventures, please visit our All Inclusive Page.
YOUR ADVENTURE ITINERARY
Meet your backcountry guides and fellow travelers at 9:30am at Will Rogers State Historic Park for introductions and gear distribution. Once daypacks are packed, the group is shuttled to the BBT Corral Canyon Trailhead to begin the multi-day journey through the eastern half of the Santa Monica Mountains range. Ocean panoramas abound as you traverse along the rim of Malibu Canyon. Hikers will have the opportunity to scramble up large rock formations and explore the curious caverns that are carved into the colorful sandstone. With all provided camping gear and food awaiting us at our campsite, we set up our cozy home for an evening under a star-studded sky.
We begin our hiking adventure for the day by traveling through some lovely woodlands that lead us away from the sounds of civilization. The trail twists and turns through a beautiful forest of chaparral, seasonal streams, and lichen-laden boulders. We enter into Saddle Peak’s remote uplands, with its impressive rock outcroppings and wide views of pastoral Conejo Valley. We dive down into Cold Creek Canyon to camp and prepare for our big day tomorrow.
This day of adventure will bring us to the top of one of the highest points in the Santa Monica Mountain range: Saddle Peak. Before earning its impressive ocean views, hikers will traverse through a remarkable rock garden full of epic crags and honeycombed hoodoos. After climbing up the semi-arid mountainside, the miles of coastline and panorama of indigo blue that is revealed on top of Saddle Peak is truly a spectacular sight. The landscape diversifies once more as we make our descent into Hondo Canyon, one the most rugged and dramatic canyons in all of the Santa Monica Mountains. We cap off our final evening with a hearty meal in our bellies, hot drinks in hand, and revived spirits as our trail family cherishes one more night of life outdoors.
The final day of our journey will take place in Topanga State Park, which is the world’s largest wildland contained within the boundaries of a major city. Our travels will take us up to Eagle Rock, a stunning outcropping that offers sweeping views and captivating mini-caves to explore. As we draw closer to the eastern terminus of the Backbone Trail, we will be rewarded with ever growing views of miles of Pacific coastline. With bird’s-eye views of city of angels before us, we are able to reflect on our journey and appreciate the time that we had to reconnect with ourselves, others, and the natural world.
LEARN MORE & SIGN UP
Specific trip logistics with times and meeting locations can be found on the REI Event page.