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Inspiration Point - Rustic Canyon Loop

Difficult
 3.9 (26) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

5.1

Miles

8.2

KM

Loop

1,216' 371 m

High

315' 96 m

Low

906' 276 m

Up

907' 276 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

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!

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 26 votes

#1

in Santa Monica

#782

Overall
  3.9 from 26 votes
5 Star
35%
4 Star
31%
3 Star
23%
2 Star
12%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Santa Monica

#130

in California

#782

Overall
90 Views Last Month
5,554 Since Sep 24, 2015
Difficult

0%
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25%
0%
71%
4%

Photos

Amazing view of Santa Monica, you can see Catalina Island on the left side of the photo
Aug 20, 2015 near Santa M…, CA
Steepest hill climb of the trail.
Aug 20, 2015 near Santa M…, CA
Admiring the view at the inspiration point at Will Rogers State Park.
Jun 17, 2015 near Santa M…, CA
Good morning Los Angeles!
Aug 20, 2015 near Santa M…, CA
Abandoned buildings.
Jun 20, 2015 near Santa M…, CA
Chasing the sun rise from Rogers Road.  View of Downtown Los Angeles.
Sep 23, 2015 near Santa M…, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Jun 29, 2020
A D
Jun 7, 2020
Kathy Hwang
Hike with Michelle. To the bridge then to Murphy Ranch. 9.5mi — 5h 30m
Jun 6, 2020
Amy L
5.1mi — 3h 30m
Feb 2, 2020
Nikita Sawinyh
Sep 22, 2019
Chad Pollock
Sep 8, 2019
Remy Nevarez
Return trail is overgrown. Lots of stream crossing and trail kinda gets hard to find at points. 6.3mi
Sep 2, 2019
Lucy Parker
Apr 20, 2019
Ted Kaufmann