65-Mile Trail in Santa Monica Mountains Closer to Completion

The new 5-acre property contains a one-third mile of the trail and has a 360-degree | Photo: Courtesy National Park Service

To put together the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains, it's been a patient step-by-step process. Since the 1960s, 177 parcels have been obtained to make the 65-mile artery from Point Mugu in Ventura County to the Pacific Palisades neighborhood in Los Angeles a reality. As of this month, there are only two more left.


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The National Park Service announced that it has acquired a five-acre property that contains a one-third of a mile portion of the trail and a 360-degree view along Etz Meloy Motorway. That leaves 1.4 miles of trail to open after obtaining two more parcels.

A nearby one-mile trail section is closed because the Park Service needs to acquire a small property containing a tenth-mile right-of-way. Talks with the owners are in the works. "They are amenable," Melanie Beck of the Park Service told the Ventura County Star. "We are in communication, but we have not worked out an agreement."

Yellow indicates a one-mile trail closure. The red circle is the tenth-mile right-of-way that needs to be secured | Map: Courtesy National Park Service

The remaining property in Upper Trancas Canyon holds a fourth-mile trail section and is co-owned by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He's a willing seller, but the other owner is not.

If you've never hiked the Backbone Trail before, meet and listen to veteran BBT hike leaders at "Hiking the Backbone Trail: What You Need to Know" on October 1st at 2 p.m. at the National Park Service visitor center in Thousand Oaks.

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