more tramping…

Earlier this month our little group of hikers walked the grueling Segment two of the Backbone Trail.

the ridgeline trail of the Santa Monica Mountains known as the Backbone Trail ties together almost seventy miles of individual parks from their westernmost point at Point Mugu (at the Pacific Ocean) to Will Rogers State Park.


Segment two

Segment Twofrom Circle X (Sandstone Peak parking lot) to Danielson Ranch.

In her email describing the trail Edith wrote:

We’ll hike about 12 miles, including some moderate to strenuous uphill portions (ascend about 1,500 feet and descend about 3,000 feet) making this the longest and most strenuous segment on the trail.

It will be a long day. We’ll most probably be hiking for 6-7 hours, and will need to allow plenty of time for shuttling between starting and ending points. (As the crow flies, the two points are only a few miles away — but by car we’re looking at approximately a 45-minute drive).

Only seven of us braved the hike.

We were rewarded with stunning views

Julie eating lunch


some fascinating geology

Split rock


Boney Mountain

plus the knowledge that we were in a sacred spiritual area!

The National Park Service website describes the area of the hike thus:

1. Flora:

Coastal Sage Scrub, Oak Woodlands and Chaparral.

Chaparral grows at a higher elevation than Coastal Sage Scrub and requires more water, although chaparral plants are still considered very drought tolerant.

Sandstone Peak, 3,111 feet

 2. Elevation:

You’ll go from just above sea level at Danielson Ranch to the highest point in the Santa Monicas (Sandstone Peak at 3111 feet).

The photograph of the sign at left was at the highest point 3,111 feet.


The description of Segment #2 ends with a Caution:

This hike is a steady uphill ascent from sea level to 3000 feet.

I didn’t realize that we’d not only hike up to 3,111 feet, but go all the way back down to sea level, and then back up again – though not as high – at the end.

I was so stiff after the hike I had trouble walking for several days.



3. Type of Trails:

You will hike partly on old fire roads,

partly on multi-use trails,

and partly on single track trails.


Personally I prefer to hike on sandy trails rather than on tarmac, but on this segment of the trail the paths were strewn with loose stones which made going downhill more difficult.

Next time we’ll hike with poles.

loose stones

I only slipped once, landing politely on my behind.

I didn’t hurt myself (just my pride).

After that I was careful where I placed my feet, and I feel I spent too much time looking down instead of enjoying the view, but that’s how I could spot stuff like this animal toilet on the path…

animal toilet

4. Geology:

 You will see evidence of the geologic changes all around this area, especially at Sandstone Peak, which is not sandstone at all, but volcanic in nature.

Can you see the rock climbers at the bottom?


I wrote about the first two hikes here

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our little group has hiked about thirty of the sixty-seven miles.


About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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26 Responses to more tramping…

  1. souldipper says:

    Oh, boy, good for you, Rosie. I love that sort of hike! Especially with a group. You are very fortunate. I’m happy when I find someone who’ll do 5 miles with me! 😀

    • dearrosie says:

      Good morning Amy,
      We’ve never hiked with a group before, and I agree with you that it’s really lovely. While we were eating lunch – we sat next to the split rock looking out a the beautiful view – a couple of guys walked past and asked whether we were a hiking club. I guess we are an unofficial one.

      I’m grateful that after all these years Mr F and I are still interested in doing the same stuff, and we both like hiking…

  2. magsx2 says:

    What a fatastic hike good on you for doint it, it certainly didn’t look easy at all, very hard ground to walk on as well. But the views are magnificent, and the rock formations are unusual, but they are huge.

    I noticed in your slide show, a picture of a sheer cliff, and a guy in a red shirt either on his way up or down, do they do mountain climbing in the area as well? Great photos, I enjoyed looking at them all. 😀

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Mags,
      You’re so observant to notice the guy in the red shirt climbing the rock (and nice for me to know that someone watched the slide show 😀 ). Yes that’s one of the favorite spots for rock climbers in the LA area.

      Even though I couldn’t walk up or down stairs for so many days, I’d do that hike again any day because of the magnificent views, and the amazing rocks around every bend in the path.

  3. Taking my hat off to you, Rosie! Your long trek did sound grueling but it sure looks like the breathtaking scenery (when you had a chance to look up!) was worth all the resulting aches and pains. I love the picture of Boney Mountain, and I can see why it is a sacred place. The split rock is huge! With the hikers in the picture we get a better sense of its size. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures!

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you Barbara, but don’t take your hat off for too long the sun here in Southern California is very fierce. Actually talking of hats I still need to buy one. I wonder if anyone reading this can recommend a decent hat that can be stuffed in a backpack.

      The split rock is also a sacred space, and you have to walk through it, which I did, even though its so claustrophobic with the high “walls” on either side.

      I’d like to go back to Boney Mountain just for the spiritual experience. I’ve been to Sedona in Arizona which is also a spiritual area but unfortunately has been overdeveloped (you’ve reminded me I must share photos from that trip).

  4. Mahalia says:

    That is a great hike! My question: what snacks did you have to keep you all going??

  5. dearrosie says:

    That’s a good question Mahalia.
    We always take
    (a) fresh fruit: apples, pears and oranges (which are great for quenching that thirst you get from hiking.
    (b) dried apricots
    (c) nuts like almonds and cashews (I’m allergic to peanuts)
    (d) for lunch our sandwich had slices of turkey, arugula and avocado.
    (e) I took two bottles of water

  6. Sybil says:

    Had to go through the slides again, looking for the guy in the red shirt. Found him ! The photos are lovely. What a wonderful hike Rosie !

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Sybil,
      It’s always a pleasure to share a good hike with another hiker. Thank you for going through the slide show again to find the guy in the red shirt. He was just a speck on the rock when we saw him from the other side. I took the photo with my telephoto at full strength.

  7. shoreacres says:

    You’re an inspiration for sure, Rosie. Even though I do manual labor and spend most of my time outdoors, I don’t walk as much as I should, and even when I do there’s not much up and down around here!

    Still, the coastal prairies are lovely, and a more disciplined approach to walking would help me get off the weight that needs to go. Besides, it will get me in shape for taking on more challenges if I ever get away from here and find a place with hills!

    Thanks for the beautiful scenery, and a most enjoyable post!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Linda,
      It feels good to know I’ve inspired you to begin walking. You don’t have to walk far, or walk fast, or up hills. Just walk.

      Do you have any hills near you?

      I find hiking to be so empowering. After I’ve spent several hours on a strenuous hike I wake up next day feeling invigorated and ready to take on any challenges.

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Not many people know there’s more to L.A.than Hollywood…

  8. You are quite the hiker! Sounds like an amazing day. And I loved the photos of the split rock — in the slideshow, you can see it’s split the whole way down. How did that happen, I wonder?

    As usual, great photos. And so impressive! But Rosie — next time hand the camera to a fellow hiker to get a shot of you! 🙂

  9. dearrosie says:

    Melissa it’s always a pleasure to welcome you here but you wrote your comment after midnight your time. Why are you up? Hang on a sec, I’m coming over to make you a hot milky drink, and tuck you under the covers.

    I’ll let you know if I find out what happened to that poor rock. Because it’s split all the way down you can walk through.

  10. Love your outdoorsy spirit! Looks like a fantastic hike and I just love the fact that this is right outside LA… thanks for sharing!!!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hey Betty,
      I’m glad you enjoyed coming on the hike with me, but I think you’re writing from Peru, and views from15,000 feet must be spectacular. I’m looking forward to seeing your pictures.

  11. The ultimate luxury is to live in an environment conducive to being outdoors all year long with the physical ability to enjoy it….add the mental acuity to realize how important getting all that exercise is. Put it all together and you have Life’s Trifecta of Longevity.

    PS: I might have missed your explanation being gone so long, but is there a particular reason you have your photos now tagged with your name? Was someone using them without your permission?

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi EOS,
      Nice to see you’re back in blogging land again.
      We are really fortunate to live in an environment which affords us with, as you so perfectly described it, Life’s Trifecta of Longevity. When are you moving here?

      Why have I started tagging my photos? I was doing a google search a few weeks ago and found one of my photos – of Mr F actually – out there for anyone to use. I didn’t think that was right – in fact I was furious! – and then I heard about people stealing entire posts without acknowledging the source, so that’s why I’ve put my name prominently on the photos.
      I’m glad to have feedback. Funnily enough just today I received an email from another reader to ask me about it.

  12. Split rock is huge when you consider the hikers standing next to it. The scenery is spectacular. How interesting that people rock climb and are successful. What strength, courage and skill that must take. I am in awe. The guy in the red shirt is already half way up.
    I always swam for exercise…it was easier on my ankles and knees. But you certainly point out, I could never get scenery like this doing laps in a pool. Thank you for such an intriguing post.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Georgette,
      I’m sorry I somehow missed answering your comment. I also love swimming – its a great way to get some exercise – but as you can see the scenery isn’t as good.

      Split rock is huge and if you’re not claustrophobic you can walk inbetween the two parts.

      I also can’t imagine the strength and courage of climbing a solid rock face. I could never do it.

  13. Dinah says:

    Wow! I’m breathless just reading about your strenuous feat. And very impressed, too! Congratulations! Well done!!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Dinah,
      I must apologize for taking so long to reply to your comment. We live in such a beautiful part of the world and I’m grateful my body allows me to do these hikes.

  14. heather says:

    Hey Rosie
    What gorgeous pictures you took on this hike! It is so beautiful. Great warm up for the Camino and lovely, you are right, that your Mr F and you like to hike together (an with others)!
    I loved the slide show! How did you do that??

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Heather,
      Always a pleasure to welcome you here. I’m so glad to know you enjoyed hiking with us, and that you took the time to watch the slide show. How did I include a slide show? It’s thanks to wordpress who not only allow us to upload pictures, but to share them in a slide show.

      Mr F and I are fortunate that we still both enjoy hiking. When you marry young you never know how your spouse is going to age… 🙂

  15. Pingback: Hiking in California: Backbone Trail Segment 7 | Wondering Rose

  16. Pingback: Hiking in California: Backbone Trail – Segment 8 | Wondering Rose

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