The Back Bone Trail (BBT), a National Recreation Trail, traverses the Santa Monica Mountains from Point Mugu State Park on the west to Will Rogers State Historic Park on the east. The BBT passes through State and Federal holdings with a small length passing through other agencies and over public easements from private land owners. Providing access to the trail are over than 30 ingress/egress points or trailheads, varying from well “furnished” or improved to nothing more than a location where you can enter or exit the BBT.
The Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council (SMMTC) has put together a project to improve a select group of trailheads with amenities defined below. The project provides improvements to twelve BBT trailheads, broken down into four subprojects.
Implementation of the project will be by a team comprising agency representatives from National Park Service and California State Parks along with SMMTC members and volunteer organizations.
The Agencies and the SMMTC will provide guidance and much of the funding and materials.
Trailhead amenities were designed to provide a BBT user with a satisfying entry/exit to the BBT. Not all amenities will apply to every trailhead but will be applicable depending on usage and accessibility.
Michelob Ultra and the American Hiking Society awarded a grant of $21,800 to the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council through participation in the 2016 "Go The Extra Mile Fund" initiative. Twelve trails across the country were selected and competed for a share of $200,000 based on the percentage of online votes each received. Funds granted to the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council will support improvements and maintenance of the recently completed Backbone Trail within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area. Designated a National Recreation Trail by the United States Department of the Interior in June 2016, the Backbone Trail, sixty-seven miles long was decades in the making.
|Completed (waiting for maps to be printed)|
|Ray Miller Trailhead||Trailhead Kiosk|
|Danielson Group Campground||Trailhead Kiosk|
|Corral Canyon Road||Trailhead Kiosk & Picnic table|
|Dead Horse Parking Lot||Add map and BBT sign|
|Musch Meadow||Trailhead Kiosk, and improved signage|
|Will Rogers Historic State Park||Add Kiosk at parking lot at bottom of the scenic loop|
|Piuma Trailhead on Malibu Canyon Road||Picnic table and update kiosk|
|Piuma Road at Hairpin Turn||Kiosk and bench|
|Waiting to Be Assigned|
|Mulholland Highway||Trailhead Kiosk, Picnic table & improve signage|
|Encinal Canyon Road||Trailhead Kiosk & Picnic table|
|Latigo Canyon Road||Trailhead Kiosk & Picnic table|
The amenities are:
- An information kiosk to present the BBT map with a “YOU ARE HERE” arrow, and other agency specific information.
- Picnic table.
Activity Report: November 18/19 2017
“On Saturday the SMMTC advisors met with the Eagle Scout candidate and a crew of eight Boy Scout volunteers. The group caravanned to the BBT trailhead at the end of Coral Canyon Road. The task here was to assemble a six foot picnic table and to install the posts for a display kiosk (the actual display case to be installed later). The most challenging part of this day was to dig two holes for the posts into solid rock. This took several hours of hard labor. The posts for the case were put in the holes and cemented in place. The picnic table was assembled quickly and was in place by lunch time. Within an hour of completing the table, the first hikers were there to put it to good use. On Sunday, the SMMTC advisors met with the Eagle Scout candidate and his crew of eleven boy scout volunteers. The volunteers caravanned to the Ray Miller BBT trailhead in La Jolla Canyon. The only improvement for this trailhead was to install a display kiosk. The first task was to remove the remains of the original kiosk destroyed in the Springs fire. The remnants of the old kiosk were removed and new kiosk posts cemented in place. The crew then drove to the Danielson Campground in Sycamore Canyon to dig the holes for the display kiosk. The crew will return to all three locations in a couple of weeks to install the display cases on the new posts.”
Activity Report: December 2 2017
This was the third workday of an Eagle Scout project to implement the first sub project of the TH Improvements Project. This workday resulted in the completion of installation of fixtures at the Coral Canyon, Ray Miller and Danielson Ranch Backbone Trail trailheads. The previous two workdays of this subproject installed the posts for the display kiosks at each trailhead. Today's tasks were to complete the assembly of the kiosk, add a "Backbone Trail" sign and attach the kiosk to the previously installed posts. There were two SMMTC volunteers (plus one adult scout member) and four minor boy scouts present. Arrived at the Coral Canyon trailhead. Began work. Attached the pre-assembled roof and added the custom made "Backbone Trail" sign to the Kiosk. Stood the kiosk upright and attached to the posts. Carpooled/caravanned to the Ray Miller BBT trailhead in La Jolla Canyon. Arrived at the Ray Miller Coral Canyon trailhead. Began work. Attached the pre-assembled roof and added the custom made "Backbone Trail" sign to the Kiosk. Stood the kiosk upright and attached to the posts. Carpooled/caravanned through Sycamore Canyon to the BBT trailhead at the Danielson Ranch Group Campground in Sycamore Canyon. Arrived at Danielson Ranch Group Campground. Began work. Attached the pre-assembled roof and added the custom made "Backbone Trail" sign to the Kiosk. Stood the kiosk upright and attached to the posts. Total volunteer hours: 3 Volunteers x 6 hours = 18 hours Feet of trail maintained: NA
This was the second of four subproject in the Trails Council’s plan to provide improvements to 12 Backbone Trailheads. This project was in Topanga and Will Rogers Historic State Parks and involved the installation of three display kiosks. One young man's Eagle Scout Project is nicely documented here Gabriels Eagle Project
August 1, 2018: Picked up materials from Malibu Creek State Park location.
August 2, 2018: Met at Saint Mathews Church in Newbury Park. Today’s task was to install the legs for one display kiosk at the Backbone Trail trailhead at Will Rogers State Historic Park. Today we had one SMMTC volunteer, two scouting adults and three boy scouts. Drove to Will Rogers State Historic Park. Unloaded tools and materials from the truck. Began digging the holes for the two legs of the kiosk. The ground in this area was very compacted soil making the digging very difficult. Positioned the legs in the holes and poured concrete in the holes. It is necessary to keep the upper part of the kiosk, laying in a horsional position while the concrete hardens. Waited one hour for the concrete to harden. Once the concrete hardened, detached the upper portion of the kiosk and set it aside, off the trail.
August 3, 2018: Today’s task was to install the upper part of the kiosk and attach a Backbone Trail sign. There were two SMMTC volunteers, one scouting adult and four boy scouts. Attached the Backbone Trail sign, attached the roof and installed the upper part of the kiosk. Drove to the Dead Horse Trail head in Topanga State Park. Installed a Backbone Trail Sign on the existing kiosk.
August 4, 2018: Today’s task was to install the lower part of the kiosk at two sites in Topanga State Park. There were two SMMTC volunteers, three scouting adults and five boy scouts. Drove to Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park. At the Musch Trail trailhead, dug the two holes for the lower portion of the kiosk. Seated the legs, squared them up and poured cement. Loaded tools drove out of the park and around to Musch Camp. At Musch Camp, dug the two holes for the lower portion of the kiosk. Seated the legs, squared them up and poured cement.
August 5, 2018: Arrived at Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park. Proceded to Musch Trail trailhead, attached the Backbone Trail sign, attached the roof and installed the upper part of the kiosk. Loaded tools drove out of the park and around to Musch Camp. Attached the Backbone Trail sign, attached the roof and installed the upper part of the kiosk.
June 15, 2019:Loaded a picnic table and a kiosk onto Jerry's truck and transported them to the Piuma TH at the hairpin turn. We installed the kiosk legs by digging two post holes 30 inches deep, aligning them and pouring cement. We also prepared a pad for the picnic table, assembled the table and installed a cable to secure the table. We also prepared the table pad at theTapia TH. This effort involved 6 adults and 14 scouts and took 7.5 hours
June 16, 2019: Transported the second picnic table to the Tapia TH, assembled the table and secured it with a cable. We then moved to the hairpin turn and completed the installation of the kiosk which included installing a BBT sigh attaching the roof and raising the kiosk to a vertical position. This effort involved five adults and six scouts. and took 4.0 hours.