Hiking to L.A., a 65-mile Journey in the Santa Monica Mountains

Hiking the western end of the Backbone Trail between the Ray Miller Trailhead to Danielson Multi-use Area | Photo: NPS

The original idea was to have it run the length of the mountain range, from near the beaches of Ventura County through Los Angeles--all the way to Griffith Park. Like many concepts for the big city, that never happened. But what did come to fruition over the last 50 years is about 65 miles of trail in the Santa Monica Mountains between La Jolla Canyon near the Naval Air Station at Point Mugu and Pacific Palisades, an outlier L.A. neighborhood accessed by Sunset Boulevard.

This week, 25 hikers are taking seven days to complete the Backbone Trail. It's part of an annual event held by the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, a volunteer organization that is key to maintaining hundreds of miles of trail for the 500,000 visitors that take to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area each year.

The Ventura County Star's go-to-writer for anything outdoors, Zeke Barlow, nicely captured the first leg of the journey over at the paper's website. As for today, the segment included gaining 2,800 feet in elevation heading to the top of Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the range.