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Backpacking the Santa Monica Mountains’ Backbone Trail


The Backbone Trail traces a rollercoaster path across the spine of Southern California’s Santa Monica Mountains, traversing craggy peaks, lush canyons, and grassy ridgelines, often within view of the Pacific Ocean. It makes for a gorgeous backpacking route in winter and spring when hillsides explode with bright bursts of wildflowers and carpets of impossibly green foliage. Lack of “legal” campsites and natural water sources, however, creates a tricky logistical puzzle for hikers who want to cover its entire length in one go.

After connecting the dots on a recent eastbound winter thru-hike of the Backbone Trail, I hope to demystify this incredible route so that more people can experience what I feel is one of the best—and most challenging—multi-day backpacking trips located near a major city (that’s Los Angeles, if you’re wondering).

Find the full article written by Shawnté Salabert here.


October 22, 2023

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Shawnté Salabert

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