Backbone Trail | Photo Credit: NPS
Backbone Trail winds through a portion of burned terrain in the Santa Monica Mountains | Photo Credits (+Cover Photo): National Park Service

While Los Angeles is known for its short day hikes that surround the city, a newly connected, 67-mile trail called The Backbone Trail is being billed by many as LA’s first thru-hike.

With nearly 40 years of planning, $100 million in development costs, and lots of political maneuvering, the final step in the long journey to completing the trail was a 40 acre donation by none other than the governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. With the donation in hand, the trail spans 67 miles of designated wilderness through the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 10.04.39 AMAt 150,000 acres, The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the biggest urban national park in the USA

As of now, only one campsite exists on the trail but NPS officials hope to add permitted backcountry camp sites in the near future. In the meantime, the trail is practically within a stone’s throw of the 101 freeway and hikers can easily access food, water, and public transportation along the way.

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“As hikers on this trail you will benefit from our Mediterranean ecosystem, found only in five places in the world, experiencing its many unique plant and animal communities. By being able to escape from city life, you enjoy the health benefits of hiking and learning a lot about our own unique area.”NPS

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Find out more here: Backbone Trail