The Kanan-Zuma Backbone Area, including Trancas
riders coming up the Backbone Trail between Latigo Canyon
Rd and the Saddle.
All the trails in this area provide some great rides
for intermediate to advanced riders. There is a real diversity
of conditions, but all of it it is challenging. The almost 9 miles of
Backbone singletrack between Zuma Ridge and Corral Canyon descends
into and climbs out of 4 canyons, while the Zuma Ridge Motorway
provides some spectacular views of the Malibu coast and a great
workout. For a climbing challenge, nothing compares to the
Zuma Canyon Edison Rd, part of the Upper Zuma Loop ride, with over
6000 feet of climbing in about 18 miles.
Directions: There are several major
parking areas that give direct access to the trails.
- The one we use most is on Kanan Dume Rd, immediately north
of the closest tunnel to the ocean (third one from the 101),
on the west side. This is next to the Backbone trail.
- For access to the Zuma Ridge Motorway, there is plenty of
parking a few hundred yards west of the trailhead on Encinal
Canyon Rd, on both sides of the road.
- There is more parking at the south end of Zuma Ridge Motorway
in Malibu, at the north end of Busch Dr where it intersects
- For access to the middle of the Backbone Trail, you can
park on Newton Motorway where it meets Latigo Canyon Rd.
- The Corral Canyon parking lot lies at the east end of the
Backbone singletrack at the north end of Corral Canyon Rd for
access from Malibu. Unfortunately this is a twisy, windy, slow
road so it does not provide quick access from the Pacific Coast
- Finally, not shown on the map, there is parking on Mulholland
Rd in both places where it intersects Decker Canyon Rd. This
is just beyond the north-west corner of the map below.
- Backbone Trail, Kanan to Corral Canyon and back: Starting
at the Backbone trailhead on Kanan, ride east on the Backbone
singletrack, cross Latigo Canyon Rd, cross Newton Motorway at the Saddle,
continuing to the parking area at the end of Corral Canyon Rd. Then return
the way you came. (12.6 miles; 3400'
elevation gain). If you still have energy to burn when you get back
to the parking area on Kanan, ride the Backbone
singletrack west to Zuma Ridge, then return (17.6
miles; 4500' elevation gain altogether)
- Upper Zuma Loop: Starting at the Backbone trailhead on Kanan,
ride west on the Backbone singletrack,
turn left on Zuma Ridge Motorway
and ride to the top, past Buzzard's Roost, and down about 1.5 miles. Turn
left (down) onto the Zuma Canyon
Edison Rd, ride to the bottom of Zuma Canyon and them up, up, up over
the ridge and down to Kanan-Dume Rd. Turn right on Kanan and ride down for
about a half mile, turn left onto Dume
Canyon Motorway (paved), turn left onto Ramera
Motorway (paved), continue straight and up when it turns to dirt,
cross Latigo Canyon Rd, continue up on Newton
Motorway (dirt) and down to the Saddle. Turn left onto the Backbone
Trail singletrack, cross back over Latigo Canyon Rd and continue on
the singletrack back to the start. (18.0 miles;
5500' elevation gain). For those who are overwhelmed,
you can turn back after 10 miles by turning left on Kanan and taking an
easy ride back to the parking lot. Or, you can continue to Latigo Canyon
Rd (almost 14 miles), turn left onto it (instead of crossing) and ride the
quarter mile and turn left onto the Backbone singletrack where it crosses
back over the road, riding the 2.25 miles back to the parking area on Kanan.