Hey, who said we don’t walk in Los Angeles?

It’s true that Los Angeles is the car capital of the world, but it’s also true that our city is surrounded by mountains with countless canyons and their fire roads, which are all perfect for hiking. There are so many places to hike that I’m sure one could go on a different trail every day for a year.

There are amazing views around every bend of the Backbone trail. This  photo is from Segment Five


If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know Mr F and I have been hiking with a group of friends along the seventy mile Santa Monica Mountains Backbone Trail.

On Saturday, April 21  we hiked Segment 5 of the BackBone Trail: Latigo Canyon to Malibu Canyon.

Edith’s email:

The hike will include mostly moderate terrain and  a long downhill portion through Malibu Creek State Park at the end. We will be hiking for at least five to six hours.

Dogs are NOT allowed on this segment because we’ll be going through State Park property.


There were seven of us on this hike.  We were delighted to include Mahalia, who was visiting us from Canada.

 Mahalia who was visiting from Canada

Segment five according to the National Park Service official website:

  • Mileage: 9.5 miles
  • Agencies: National Park Service and Malibu Creek State Park
  • Flora: Again traversing many canyons through chaparral, oak woodland, and streamside communities.
  • Geology: The Castro Crest area beside the Corral Canyon parking lot has wind and erosion carved sandstone. Fossils are frequently seen on the Mesa Peak fire road.
  • Cautions: The trail is sometimes hard to find through the rocky area east of the Corral Canyon parking lot…
  • GPS units and hiking poles are recommended.



Some of the hills were steep (but we forgot our hiking poles). 



there were caves

Shells on the top of the mountain

Yours truly was felled by a blister! Photo credit: de Guzman

When Julie’s shoes died… 

she took them off

and had to walk barefoot the rest of the way. The hiking poles helped on all these pebbles

the only patch of shade at lunch time

drinking the fresh sweet water

easy to miss a sign like this

The views were magnificent. Photo by J de Guzman

ten miles



Even though the official mileage count for this segment is 9.5 miles,  according to the GPS we walked over ten miles.

Last time hiking segment four we ran out of water so this time we all brought two one liter bottles of water, and we still didn’t have enough, because it was such a HOT day with not much shade and temperatures in the 90’s


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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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37 Responses to Hey, who said we don’t walk in Los Angeles?

  1. Looks like a fabulous hike .. I love the camaraderie and the VIEWS! I really can’t believe you are so near Los Angeles and with such beautiful wildness available. That makes me indescribably happy! Rosie, when do you leave on your big trip?? I’m dying to chat with you before I leave on Sunday for Cameroon … xoxoxo b

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Betty,
      Isn’t it interesting to see what beautiful wilderness we have so near to L.A.? As you can see, it was a great hike, with great views and after walking together for all these hikes we’ve got a great camaraderie.

      Sorry I wasn’t able to answer you before I left for Spain. I can see from reading your posts about Cameroon that you had an amazing time there.

  2. magsx2 says:

    What an amazing place Los Angeles is, and what a hike it was. I really feel sorry for Julie, that must of been terribly hard for her to walk bare foot on those stones, and I hope your blister didn’t get too bad, they can be painful.

    I love the photo of the cave on the hill, that is a great shot, it makes me wonder what it is like inside, how deep it actually goes. 🙂
    I also love the unusual rock formations in the slide-show, they are amazing.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Mags,
      LA is in a beautiful location isn’t it? Because the city is surrounded by so many mountain ranges and they all have fire roads and paths which are open to the public, there are so many places waiting for us to explore them.

      Your question about the depth of the cave is interesting, but I don’t know the answer because I didn’t climb up.

      Glad you noticed the rock formations. Some of them are huge and so beautiful.

  3. What a great hike! You and your hiking buddies have a shared enthusiasm and are willing to overcome blister and shoe incidents to get to that gorgeous view! Loved the photos!! Debra

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Debra,
      Sorry I took so long to reply but it was too difficult to access my blog during my trip.
      We’re so lucky to live in the LA because we can go on so many beautiful hikes. Do you hike near your home? We’ve hardly explored the mountains near Pasadena.

  4. souldipper says:

    Drool, drool, drool. All my walking partners are with family this weekend and it’s gorgeous weather – not too hot. Loved the photos. I’m impressed with Julie’s resilience. How to go! That must have been quite a travesty.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Amy,
      I hope you managed to do a hike in the gorgeous weather.
      Julie was very courageous to walk down without her shoes, but then what was she to do when her shoes broke…?

  5. Gorgeous rocks! I don’t know what it is about immense rocks, but they absolutely lure me. So sorry about the blister. And Julie shed her shoes-yikes! Yes, when I’m back I’m going to ask daughter #1 about finding a hiking trail to take with grandson…no pets. Suggested age limit for children? He’ll be 9.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Georgette,
      The rocks are huge and gorgeous aren’t they? I don’t know much about geology so I’m not sure why they’re so enormous…

      As far as finding suitable hikes for your grandson your daughter should buy one of the books on hiking in the LA area and try a few easy ones to see whether your grandson likes hiking or perhaps she could start off by joining an organization like the Sierra Club which arrange hikes for kids of all ages.

  6. Oh my, I’m pained just looking at Julie’s attempt to walk without shoes. If one of you becomes unable to hike or falls, who comes to rescue? Are there State Park rangers still or have California budget cuts eliminated them?

    Wonderful photos from the top. I bet if you hadn’t said you lived in LA and posted those photos and asked people to guess where you were hiking, California would be the last guess. Lucky you to know ALL that LA has to offer.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi EOS,
      Julie had no option but to walk down barefoot. I don’t know what one does if someone has an accident and can’t make it down, even though there are many budget cuts I’m sure there are still rescue teams with helicopters who’ll come out in an emergency.

      You’re right that no one would guess the photos were taken in LA.

      When we moved here we were fortunate to be introduced to LA’s marvelous hiking by some friends. There are so many wonderful hikes and so many we still haven’t tried.

  7. shoreacres says:

    That barefoot walking looks like a real pain. Likewise the blister, of course. It’s the Three Bears School of Hiking Advice – your shoes shouldn’t be too new, or too old. They need to be “just right”!

    What’s the elevation there? There’s some good hiking in the Texas hill country, with plenty of steep hills, but the actual elevation isn’t that high. When I moved out to Salt Lake City, it took me a while to get used to the elevation – does it bother any folks to go from sea level up into the hills (mountains?)

    • dearrosie says:

      HI Linda,
      I love the Three Bears School of Hiking Advice. Very true.
      I didn’t actually have a proper blister. I had the beginnings of one and had been told that as soon as you feel a blister beginning you should cover it with a bandaid. So that’s what I did.

      I’m not sure what the elevation is. We weren’t that high – I’d guess about 1,000 feet at the highest point – but I’m just guessing.
      How high is Salt Lake City? I know I find it hard when I’ve been in cities that are at a high altitude like Sante Fe

  8. Eve Redwater says:

    Wow, looks like you had an amazing walk, (bar the blisters – ouch!)! The views are stunning too. 😀

  9. bronxboy55 says:

    Great photos and commentary, as always, Rosie. Those mountain-top shells are interesting. What’s your theory about them? Did birds take them up there for lunch last week, or are we looking at ancient history?

    I imagine you’re in Spain right now. I hope you’re safe, and having an unforgettable time.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Charles,
      I was in Spain when you left your comment and that’s why it’s taken me so long to reply.

      I think I read that those shells we found at the mountain top were once at sea level before the mountain ranges formed ….

  10. Linda Shapiro says:

    I love your blog! thanks for sharing those amazing pictures with us. I am so glad that you manage to follow your dreams. I look forward to reading about Spain.

  11. Nandini says:

    Such an amazing post, Rose. I felt like I was there too. 🙂 Great writing and photos. Very interesting stuff too.

    Have fun and take care!

  12. Wonderful photos, and what a wonderful hike … except for Shoe-less Suzy. I hope Julie was okay after your adventure. Do you encounter any critters along these hikes???

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi AA,
      I didn’t actually ask Julie whether her feet were OK after having to go shoe-less at the end of the hike.
      We do encounter critters – lizards, snakes, spiders etc – that Julie is able to identify for us

      • Spiders? Spiders! Please tell Julie she can’t hike barefoot ever again. I am shuttering at the thought of her – and the barefoot lady from your pilgrimage (please tell her too!) – stepping on a spider in her bare feet … or having a snake bite them on their big toe. I’m less concerned about the snake, just because I am more afraid of spiders. (hee hee)

      • dearrosie says:

        Oh dear AA, I didn’t know you weren’t on friendly terms with spiders. They don’t spin their webs on the ground so you don’t have to be frightened of stepping on them, but now that you mention it, I too wouldn’t like to have a snake bite my bare toe. Ouch.

  13. Hi Rosie, welcome back! Boy you have a lot of comments waiting for you. 🙂 You’ll have to take a day off to catch up on your blogging duties. 🙂 In any event, great photos! Looks like a fabulous way to spend a day. Though barefoot? Wow. I think I would’ve found some vines to tie my shoes back together before I’d risk going barefoot on a hike! Your friend must be very brave. And it was nice to SORT OF see a picture of you, finally, enjoying one of your hikes!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Melissa,
      As you can see it took me a while to catch up with my blogging duties here. I still have to visit to all my buddies blogs…

      Julie was brave to walk down barefoot but she had to get down the mountain and going barefoot was her only option!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the photo of me putting on the band aid.

  14. What an adventure you all had! It looks like it was very hot in those pictures – you all must be made of tough stuff to endure the sun beating down on you all day. The views are spectacular, though!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Barbara,
      We drive past those hills on our way to Malibu, and though I always look up at them and think how lovely they are, I never thought I’d one day be walking along those paths. The views were magnificent and it was a great adventure discovering the caves and the shells at the top of the mountain.

      It was extremely hot for a day in April but we sometimes get those hot days when the Santa Ana winds are blowing. I guess we are a tough bunch to walk in that heat.

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

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

  17. Rosie, this looks like a fabulous hike. I love the caves and the views. I can’t believe Julie walked all that way barefooted! 🙂

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