Backbone Trail / Castor Crest

Malibu, California 90264

Backbone Trail / Castor Crest

Backbone Trail / Castor Crest Professional Review and Guide

"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."

Backbone Trail / Castor Crest Reviews

4
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon11 Total
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!
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments
11/26/2007
Aerobically challenging, moderate technically. Nice views of the Santa Monica mountains.
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments
11/13/2006
Overall it is a good ride. The description is fairly accurate as the aerobic difficulty quite strenuous at times, but overall I would say it was moderate. It has some good technical sections making parts of the ride quite challenging. It is however no longer a "lollipop." The Newton Motorway has two impassible gates. Once you get out to the Castro Motorway the only way back to the trailhead is to return the same way you came in.
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments
11/12/2006
The trail was great - lots of single track, good aerobic workout, nice views - all except for the spot where you have to scale a tall fence with barbed wire and trespass on some private property in order to complete the loop part. Once we had gotten that far, we weren't prepared to retrace our tracks (too tuckered), so we took the illegal route. It's unfortunate because the trail is a great one otherwise. Does anyone know of an alternative trail to complete the loop?
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments
9/17/2006
Pretty steep climb, but really fun going down. Left me wanting more. I'd recommend getting there early. Watch out for hikers and trail runners. Other mountain bikers were very curtious as were the hikers. I'm going to do it again.
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments
8/1/2006
Fantastic ride. Best done as an out & back on the single tracks. One of the best in the county.
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments
7/23/2006
We hiked from Kanan Rd. Trailhead to Piuma on Las Virgenes. We went from Kanan to Latigo Trailhead to Corral Canyon Trailhead to Piuma. It was 12.12 miles. DO NOT DO THIS IN THE HEAT! I went through 164 oz. of water and still ran out. There is no shade. The first part is shady. The views are great. On one side you have views of the ocean in parts and on the other side are views of the valley. We would probably do it again in the winter months.
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments
2/20/2006
Early sunday morning in February we were the first to arrive at the trailhead just after 7:00am Within minutes five SUV's stacked with bikes had arrived to join us on the rugged trail east along the Backbone. This trail mixes steep rutted sections and eroded gullies with gentle banked switchback trails through chaparral and oak studded knolls and canyons. Breathtaking views are found at each turn. We failed to make the full loop but were fully satisfied with the parts of the trail that are not even considered the best parts. Go early in hot weather. A Mtjoy, Cambridge, MA
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments
8/28/2005
hot and hard, with some steep climbs on loose or obstacle ridden trails, but why else do you mountain bike!
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments
8/1/2005
Huge aerobic exercise. The first uphill is almost impossible because the rain creates holes on it. The scenery is incredible. There are a lot of vegetation and fauna. The road to get the trail is wonderful. The only problem is that in some places shared single track road is narrow and some cyclist are coming in the opposite side you must stop and put your body and bicycle over the trees.
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments

Backbone Trail / Castor Crest Photos

Help others discover amazing sights!

Trail Information

Malibu
Nearby City
12.6
Distance
1,500 feet
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Difficult
Technical Difficulty
Moderate to Difficult
Physical Difficulty
Year-round except after rains
Season
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Local Contacts
Trail Map of the Santa Monica Mountains Central
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018