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blueBlack Inspiration Point - Rustic Canyon Loop

  4.0 ( 24 ) Favorite


5.1 mile 8.2 kilometer loop


Ascent: 906' 276 m
Descent: -907' -276 m
High: 1,216' 371 m
Low: 315' 96 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)


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Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

A popular, scenic loop in Will Rogers State Park with beautiful views and picnic spots.

Zander Göpfert

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly At just over five miles and less than 1000' of elevation, this is a great option for families who have some experience hiking. Bring water and snacks or even a picnic!


One of the most popular loops in Will Rogers State Park. This hike connects the Backbone Trail with a few other trails in the area for a terrific, mid-length day hike option.

Need to Know

Can be hot during summer. Limited water. Watch out for mountain bikers.


From Will Roger State Park, take the Inspiration Loop Trail as it bends to the southwest and back to the north. After around one mile on the dirt trail, you'll see a sign for the Backbone Trail, turn left and continue up (north) onto the Backbone Trail.

This singletrack trail has some loose rock in the first section but nothing too technical. After reaching the high point of the loop at around 2.2 miles, the first junction comes up with the Josepho Spur Trail. Turn right onto the Josepho Spur Trail. The Backbone Trail continues to the north quite a ways to The Hub. For more info, see The Hub Out-and-Back featured hike.

Once on the Josepho Spur Trail, dive down to the northeast until you come to the Rustic Canyon Trail. Turn right and head south on the Rustic Canyon Trail as it heads along the west side of Murphy's Ranch and the Murphy Ranch trail (which you'll see pass on the left after ~0.5 miles).

Continue south on Rustic Canyon Trail as it gradually descends through the chaparral with views out over Riviera and West L.A. before arriving back at the Will Rogers State Park parking area.

Flora & Fauna

Prepare to encounter a lot of wildlife if you go early, such as deer, foxes, and sometimes coyotes. Poison oak!

History & Background

Backbone Trail is one of the most famous trails in California. This loop heads by Murphy's Ranch, which was a camp built by anti-semitic sympathizers of the Silver Legion of America back in the 30's with a lot of secret spots to explore.

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Apr 20, 2019
Ted Kaufmann
Apr 16, 2019
Cassie Rivkin
Mar 31, 2019
Mondo M
Mar 24, 2019
Vladimir Yanov
Mar 17, 2019
Louiza Smith
Will Rodgers State Park — 1h 30m
Feb 22, 2019
Rob Wolk
Jan 27, 2019
Damien Sutevski
Nov 17, 2018
Joe Randolph

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 24 votes


in Santa Monica


  4.0 from 24 votes
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in Santa Monica


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