Start: Will Rogers State Park
End: Musch Campground
Approximate Distance: 10.8 miles
Approximate Ascent: 2,641 feet
Approximate Time: 5 hours (including a 45 minute lunch break)
Since moving to California several years ago, I have often enjoy hiking in the Santa Monica mountains on the weekends. My favorite places to go are Malibu Creek State Park and Will Rogers State Park – I love the expansive views of the Pacific Ocean that can be had from the highest peaks in these parks.
In June of 2016, I was excited to learn that the final portions of the Backbone Trail were completed – starting in Will Rogers State Park in Santa Monica and ending at Point Mugu in Ventura. I feel a special connection to the trail since it links my old home – Santa Barbara to my new home of Santa Monica. After reading and researching the trail for almost a year, I determined that with a lot of training, planning, and hard work, it would be possible for me to hike the entire 69 mile length over the course of 4 days.
I started my hike along the Backbone Trail at Will Rogers State Park on Wednesday, April 5. This was the shortest day of hiking for me, at 10.8 miles. I started the hike with beautiful views of the Los Angeles basin and the Pacific Ocean. As I hiked farther, I saw many oak trees, wildflowers, and green grasses. The highlight of the day was eating my lunch at Eagle Rock, which is an enormous rock formation located in Topanga State Park. I got to Musch Campgrounds a little before noon, so I had plenty of time to set up my tent, listen to a couple of podcasts, eat, and relax.