Our hike will take us approximately 3+ miles roundtrip up to one of the most beautiful sections of the 60-mile Backbone Trail, which runs through the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area from Will Rogers State Park in the east to Point Mugu in the west.
The route begins at the gate on Puerco Canyon Road, just off PCH, and proceeds northerly roughly 3.5 miles and 2000 feet up to a long ridgeline trail that leads to Mesa Peak, with spectacular Pacific views. The terrain is open fire road. Depending on the group and available time, we normally add an additional 2 miles of traverse and sight-seeing along the Backbone Trail after reaching Mesa Peak, which adds roughly 500 feet of elevation gain.
The route begins near the ocean but quickly gives way to open hillsides and ridgelines. Since we begin a short distance from the beach and reach exposed areas above the Pacific, weather can range from calm and humid to misty with ocean winds to quite warm and dry conditions. We will stop at Mesa Peak, or at the endpoint of our optional traverse, to grab a snack and enjoy the great view.