Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
3,715.00 ft (1,132.33 m)
Trail type
21.40 mi (34.44 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Temescal/Backbone Loop is a scenic, 21.4-mile lollipop in the Santa Monica Mountains near the city of Tarzana. The route connects Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park, Temescal Gateway Park, and Will Rogers State Historic Park, and primarily utilizes the Temescal Ridge Trail and the Backbone Trail. The loop is used by trail runners, mountain bikers, and hearty hikers. Near the three parks, the trail can become quite crowded, and as always, be sure that you’re well-stocked with food and water. Signs indicate that no dogs are allowed on many areas of trail, however, this does not seem enforced. 

Park at the end of Reseda Boulevard at Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park, where parking is free before the yellow line, and $5 in the fee area after the yellow line. Take Mulholland Dirt Road to Temescal Canyon Road, a fire road with scenic views of the surrounding mountains and the ocean to the west. At around 5.5 miles of the route, the fire road becomes a single track named Temescal Ridge Trail. This descends to Temescal Falls and its small pools and waterfalls, and continues into sycamore-lined Temescal Canyon and Temescal Gateway Park at mile 8.6. The park has restrooms and picnic areas, and is a lovely area for a break. From here, take Rivas Canyon Trail to Will Rogers State Park at mile 10.6. More restrooms, a grassy park, and the opportunity to see where Will Rogers lived in the 1920s and 30s. From Will Rogers, this route takes the first few miles of the eastern portion of the lengthy and eminent Backbone Trail. Follow Backbone’s signs for the next 7 miles. You’ll pass an abundance of plant life along the single track here, from valley oak and tobacco tree to laurel sumac and lemonadeberry. Near mile 17.7 you’ll reconnect with the Temescal Canyon Road at the trail junction known as The Hub. Retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Scenic views. Wildlife. Near other adventures.


No camping. Crowded near trailheads.

Trailhead Elevation

1,416.00 ft (431.60 m)

Highest point

2,064.00 ft (629.11 m)


Vault toilet
Family friendly
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required




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