- Friday, January 18, 2019

Southern California Trails

Content-type: text/html Register with SoCalMtB.com

  Sign-in with SoCalMtB.com

Sign-in by entering your User Name and personal password or click 'New User' to register your email address.
Registration Form
User Name: 
Forgotten:  Name.   Password. 
Temporary Cookie 
 Sign-in  New User  Back  Return
  • Backbone Trail - Mishe Mokwa To Melloy Section - #BackboneTrail-MisheMokwaToMelloySection

    Socal - Ventura County - Santa Monica Mountains NickNames: #BackboneTrail-MisheMokwaToMelloySection backbone trail

    Take the U.S. 101 to 23 South/Westlake Blvd. Take Westlake Blvd south up into the mountains until it ends on Mulholland. Turnright on Mulholland (Really just stay on the same road, Westlake turns into Mulholland). Turn right on Little Sycamore Canyon and take this for about 4 miles to the Mishe Mokwa trailhead (Closed to bikes). The Backbone trail starts right across the street for the Mishe Mokwa trailhead. If you get to Circle X Ranch you have gone a little to far. Turn around and go back less then half a mile.

    • All
    • 16 Updates
    • 0 Reviews
    • 0 Routes
    • 0 Conditions
    • 0 Checking in
    • Last update
    • Random
    • Trail UpdateA New Section Of The Backbone-Great news. One of the last remaining sections of the Backbone trail has just been completed and is open to bikers. It is the section between the Meloy fire road and Decker Canyon. It consists of 2.5 miles of moderate grade single track that will be a ton of fun to ride once we get a few rainstorms on it and the vegetation has had a chance to grow back a bit. We rode it a few weeks ago and it was a blast. It starts directly across the street from a previously new section of backbone trail that connects Encinal Canyon Road and Decker Road. That section has been rerouted a bit at its upper end to meet this new section. Both sections are very similar in style and make for an easy to slightly moderate climb up to Meloy fire road. Once you are on the fire road you can make a left and take it to the Mishe Mokwa section of the Backbone.

      Riding back down the new section is fun now (though the dirt is still a bit loose) and will be an absolute blast in the future when things have hardened up a bit. The turns have great banks on them and will allow for some of the best riding on any part of the Backbone trail.

      Kanan Tunnel to Mishe Mokwa Trailhead along the Backbone is now a fantastic upper-moderate day ride consisting of about 3000 feet of climbing over a 25 mile out and back trip.

      Get out and check out the new section. It is well worth it and makes the Backbone almost complete. Just a couple of tiny unfinished sections and a trail that has been in the works for decades will finally be complete. Now we can hope for the day when all of it is open to bikes. Currently only about 75% is.


    • Trail UpdateBackbone Loop-Did a great loop that started off at Encinal canyon right near the newest section of the Backbone trail. We parked near the fire camp and rode up the brand new section of the backbone trail up to Decker canyon. From there we rode on pavement up Little Sycamore Canyon and all the way over to the Mishe Mokwa trailhead. From here we did the fairly new 4.2 mile section of the Backbone which is currently in the best shape I have seen it. Still lots of rocks on the trail to keep you thinking but just tons of fun. Just way to much fun to ride and way to nice a view to pass up. Once back at Little Sycamore Canyon Road we crossed over and rode Meloy fire road back towards Decker Canyon. Along the way we could see the last of the new sections of the Backbone trail to be built in this area They have broken ground and cleared a lot of brush. It looks to add a lot of fun riding when this section finally opens. Can’t wait for that to happen. Lets hope it will happen soon. Once at Decker we went back down the new section of Backbone. Though it is only about 1.1 miles long it is really fun. Not to be missed and will be a blast once the upper section is finally open. The day was perfect. Highs were in the low 60’s and views into the valley were amazing and very clear. Great ride.


    • Trail UpdateWhat is this 'hiking' thing you're talking about?


    • Trail Update6.March.2005 Mishe Mokwa-My wife and I call Mishe Mokwa trail "squishy walka" due to the wet conditions yesterday. Overall the trail was in great shape with on a few slippery sections. We counted 23 creek crossing ranging anywhere from a trickle to a few feet in width. The widest crossing being at Split Rock.

      We did the entire loop starting at Ranch X trail head, on to Mishe Mokwa, to the Backbone trail, up to Sandstone Peak. It was a great hike and a beautiful day.


    • Trail UpdateConditions Are Great-Rode it this weekend and man the rains have done some great things to this trail. It is in great shape. All the loose stuff has settled in and this trail is now a blast. Rode up to Sandstone peak and back. That sucks as always. Then took off on the new section of Backbone to Melloy fireroad down to Temescal and then back onto the backbone and headed off towards Las Virgines. Rode the backbone all the way there. A nice long ride and tons of fun. Had a ride pick me up at Tapia. Will wipe you out but it is worth it. Hard to beat this ride anywhere I have ever been.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 30 + miles Elevation change: a lot
      Singletrack=70% Dirt Road=25% Paved Path=5%
      Matt a Cross-Country Rider from Newbury Park


    • Trail UpdateMuholland To Backbone-As far as I know that is open. I have never seen a no bikes sign there and have seen several other riders there. The only sign I have ever seen there is one that states "No Motor Vehicles".
      Matt a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider from Newbury Park


    • Trail UpdateBackbone-Melloy-Sounds great. I am also assuming the section of existing Backbone from Muholland down to Encinal is now legal for bikes cause that always had a "No Bikes" sign at the trailhead there on Muholland. If it's now legal for bikes, that, combined with the new trail and fireroad should make for a pretty good ride. I've ridden the Zuma Motorway section before. We're anxious to give it another try.
      Thanks again,
      Ed Morris


    • Trail UpdateBackbone-Melloy-Sounds great. I am also assuming the section of existing Backbone from Muholland down to Encinal is now legal for bikes cause that always had a "No Bikes" sign at the trailhead there on Muholland. If it's now legal for bikes, that, combined with the new trail and fireroad should make for a pretty good ride. I've ridden the Zuma Motorway section before. We're anxious to give it another try.
      Thanks again,
      Ed Morris


    • Trail UpdateMelloy Is Legal-Melloy is indeed open to the public. Some of the side roads and trails may not be as a few venture onto private land and that is why I would recommend staying off of them. But Melloy Fire Road is completly open and legal to use as a Multi-Use road. There are no gates and fences on it at all. There is a No-Tresspassing sign posted near the Muholland Entrance but that is intended for the split that heads off to the North and some houses on private land. If you look at the "Tom Harrison" Map for the Santa Monica Mountains West it will show you which roads go on private and public land and Melloy is entirly on Public land. Also, I am lucky enough to have a friend that works for the NPS as a wildlife biologist and they have the most current information. They use that road all the time for wildlife studies and need no permits there, as everything is open to the public. Hope that helps clear any confusion.


    • Trail UpdateBackbone-Melloy-I know the fireroad you're talking about. But I'm not sure about how legal it is to ride it currently. I've been on that in the past and there are some gates/fences you have to jump over. I know the NPS and Santa Monica Conservancy have purchased land in the section to complete Backbone, but where the private/public borders are at the moment is kind of a mystery. I guess you can always ride it until or if somebody catches you and yells at ya. But we might just give it a try in the future. I know where the section on Encinal that connects with Zuma Fireroad part is. Thanks for the info though, some options to think about. Even if it is a fireroad, would still be better than 8 miles of pavement.
      Ed Morris


    • Trail UpdateBackbone To Encinal-In regards to Ed's post, you actually can go from Mishe Mokwa to Zuma riding less then 1 mile of paved road. Start at Mishe Mokwa and ride for about 4 miles to Little Sycamore Road. It is true that the next official section of the Backbone Trail is to be continued here with a potential start date in 2004. However until then the Meloy fire road is a very good substitute. When you hit Little Sycamore make a quick left and then a right on the fire road. There are a few offshoots to the main road but just stay on the main “most traveled” road. It starts off steep and follows the ridge line going up and down for a few miles and will deposit you on Muholland Highway about 1/2 mile south of Westlake Blvd. Make a right here and follow the road (This is the short section of paved road) through all the curves. The road will begin to descend past some houses and a fire road (The Backbone Trail) with a gate will appear on the left. Take this. It is about 1 1/2 miles and will drop you out at Encinal Canyon Road. Cross the street and just a little ways (50 yards) up the road on the right you will see the Backbone Trail continue into Encinal canyon. Follow this down into the canyon and then on a fantastic climb out of the canyon to a fire road. Make a right here, follow it for about 1/10th of a mile and you will see the Backbone Trail take off again on the left (It is not marked here). This section is over grown but a fun ride. Another 1 1/2 miles will put you onto the Zuma Canyon fire Road that takes you up to Buzzards Roost. To continue on the Backbone however go downhill to the left a short distance. The cutoff for the Backbone will appear on your right just as the fire road reaches the low point before climbing again. This section of Backbone leads you off towards Kanan. All of this riding is very fun. I will admit that I am looking forward to the new section of Backbone that will replace the Meloy fire road but until then the riding here is a lot of fun. This will be a good addition to my yearly "Backbone Trail in a Day" ride. Happy riding.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 13 miles Elevation change: lots
      Singletrack=75% Dirt Road=20% Paved Path=5%
      Matt a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider from Newbury Park


    • Trail UpdateConnecting Mishe Mokwa To...-Encinal then Zuma Ridge. There is actaully a section of Backbone (fire road) that connects Mulholland to Encinal. Then there is a great (newer) section of Backbone that connects Encinal to Zuma Ridge Motorway, without having to enter at Buzzard's Roost. This should cut down the pavement to about 3 miles.

      Email me at rockmick @ adelphia . net (remove the gaps) for details.


    • Trail UpdateBackbone-Melloy-After seeing the post on this trail early in the week decided to do an exploratory ride Sunday. It's a nice section of trail with increadible views of the ocean and Southern California ranges. Was able to see Mt Pinos and San Nicolas Island from the same spot at the top of the old WWII radar site, which is about a 3/4 mile climb off of the main trail on an old jeep road. (Knew about it from previous experience.) My estimate is this is a distance of around 100 miles, point to point.

      Anyway, unfortunately this section of trail doesn't really go anywhere. It's about 4 miles of non-technical double track with great views. But it doesn't even come close to connecting with any of the other sections of Backbone. If you start from the Mishe Mokwa trailhead it comes out about halfway down Little Sycamore Canyon Road. From that point to the Buzzard's Roost Ranch Road trailhead (Zuma Canyon section) of Backbone is a 6-8 mile pavement ride with a couple of tough climbs. There is a sign at the lower trailhead on Little Sycamore that says the next section is slated to be completed sometime in 2004. Hopefully that section will go all the way to Encinal, crossing Muholland Hwy. When they do link this trail up with the Zuma Canyon section, we'll truly have one of the the best singletrack rides in the country.

      For now, if you want to take a beginner mountain biker out for a fun, short and fairly easy ride with world class views of the Pacific Ocean, Malibu and Southern California mountain ranges, this is a great ride. The only drawback is that it's a long drive out there. Oh yeah, one more thing, get there early in the am, the small parking lot fills up quick with people rock climbing and hiking to Sandstone Peak. Finally, you can incorporate this section of trail with riding up Sandstone Peak fireroad. Just ride on down the pavement on Yerba Buena Road (towards the beach) from the parking lot about 1/2 mile and you'll see the other Backbone parking lot and access to Sandstone Peak FR. It's a pretty tough climb of about 3 miles, but again, great views and Sandstone Peak is the highest point in the Santa Monica Mts.

      Have fun.
      Ride rating: Beginner
      Ride distance: 8 miles-RT Elevation change: maybe 300'
      Ed Morris a 48 year old Racer


    • Trail UpdateNice To See-It's great to see this section of the Backbone Trail is finally getting some attention. It really is a nice ride. Very loose dirt right now, but if we ever finally get some rain that should fix that. A lot of scaring from all the recent trail work, but give it a few years to grow back in and this trail will be a fantastic addition. The trail workers did a great job and although it does not offer any technical challanges, it covers some amazing terrian and will bring lots of new Mountain Bikers years and years of fun.
      Ride rating: Beginner
      Ride distance: 4 miles Elevation change: little


    • Trail UpdateBeautful {Western} trailhead area looking at Sandstone Peak, trail was built the correct way.
      A lot of the time your just below the road, but don't notice unless you happen to hear a car going by.
      We made a one-way trip starting from here and ending at Malibu Crk St Park.


    • Trail UpdateBackbone Trail - Mishi Mokwa Sec-A new 4-mile section of the Backbone Trail has been opened. This section links the Melloy fire road and Circle X sections of the Backbone trail. It is all single track (although very wide single track) and is probably the most consistently easy 4 miles of single track along the entire Backbone trail. A great ride for the beginning single track rider once the dirt firms up a bit. It offers great views of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean below. The best thing about this new section of trail is that bikers now have the ability to ride all the way from Malibu Creek State Park to Sandstone Peak along the Backbone trail. We are one step closer to the completion of the entire trail and hopefully the opening of the entire trail to bikes. After a few rain storms this trail should be a very enjoyable ride and a great addition to available single track in our local mountains.
      Ride rating: Novice
      Ride distance: 4 miles Elevation change:
      a Cross-Country Rider


SoCalMtB.com - Your Internet Resource for Mountain Biking in Southern California.