Backbone Trail / Castor Crest

Loop • 12.6 mi • 1500 ft

This is a lollipop-shaped route where the sucker is a lot bigger than the stick, but every part is worth devouring. Much of this ride takes place on the Backbone Trail, a path that snakes across the spine of the Santa Monica Mountains and is mostly closed to bikes. Irresponsible riding could close this section as well, which would be a shame since it offers a great deal of fun, easily accessible singletrack. From the Latigo Canyon Road parking area, the downhill begins almost immediately as the trail plunges south of Castro Peak before climbing back up to Newton Motorway. After crossing the motorway, an especially scenic but rocky singletrack falls into a canyon shaped by the west fork of Solstice Creek. this loose sandstone section can be dauntingly slick.
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Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Malibu
Length: 12.6 total miles
Elevation Gain: 1,500 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Aerobic: Moderate to difficult. Technical: Difficult.
Season: Year-round except after rains
Local Contacts: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Local Maps: Trail Map of the Santa Monica Mountains Central
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Recent Trail Reviews


I've done this ride three times! Tough ride physically in some up hill areas. But over all its a great ride to brag about!


Aerobically challenging, moderate technically. Nice views of the Santa Monica mountains.

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