A vision of local hikers and nature lovers for over 50 years, the Backbone Trail traverses the  Santa Monica Mountains ridgeline for 68 rugged, sage-scented miles. The point-to-point course starts at Will Rogers State Park in Richie Rich Brentwood and heads up coast, collecting nearly 15,000 knee-knackering feet of elevation before a spectacularly scenic finish down the unparalleled Ray Miller Trail. Along the way, runners are treated to gorgeous Pacific Ocean views, shaded canyons lined with scrub oak, massive limestone boulder formations, ancient fossils and modern graffiti frescoes.

Turn by turn Directions

The 100 mile runners will enjoy three unique loops after coming down into Danielson Ranch.  Hot food and flush toilets will pamper you!  Now time to head out to explore Sycamore Canyon… First a scamper up Coyote Trail-Hidden Pond-Old Boney with a little time to refresh back at Danielson, next a restful jaunt through Serrano Canyon and back up Sycamore to Danielson to feed yourself, whew, yes a third loop up Hell Hill and into La Jolla Valley, which includes a little climb up Mugu Peak and a flag pole visit, a run around the peak, and a little “V” detour through the valley, returning to Danielson Ranch.  At this point you will head for the finish line, up Wood Canyon Vista, a stroll along Overlook Fire Rd and down the beautiful Ray Miller Trail to the group campground and finish line.   See the Maps Page for more on the 100 mile run option.  This is over 20,000 ft in elevation gain…

100 Mile Loop Elevation Maps are below!

Loop 1

Coyote Hidden Pond Elevation

Loop 2

Serrano Trail loop Elevation

Loop 3



Prior players will attest to this: expect – and come prepared for – any and all temperatures and weather conditions. Day-to-night temperatures can vary wildly, and the mountains and valleys serve up multiple micro-climates even betwixt aid stations. Don’t be fooled by your Baywatch-inspired notions of mild beach climates – layer people, layer.

An El Nino year. That’s Spanish for “Mother Nature is throwin’ it down.”