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Crags-Bulldog-Mesa Peak

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

14.6 mile 23.5 kilometer loop
15% Singletrack
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,667' 813 m
Descent: -2,657' -810 m
High: 2,395' 730 m
Low: 468' 143 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Lost Justpastnowhere

This ride features a steep ascent/descent on fire road and passes near the outdoor location for the M*A*S*H sitcom/movie.

Lost Justpastnowhere

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

This ride can be done in either direction but both feature a challenging fire road climb and a screaming fire road descent. There is some good, although short, singletrack: a portion of Crags Road along Malibu Creek, a fun, rocky section at the high point near mile nine, and the last mile of the descent on Backbone Trail: Corral Canyon Trailhead to Tapia Trailhead. The Backbone Trail has great views and a cool ocean breeze in summer. At about mile 3.5, you can go back into a canyon where there is a small lake/swimming.

Need to Know

Bring $12 (2017) for parking in Malibu Creek State Park. The parking machines take credit cards.

Description

This loop starts outside the park along Malibu Canyon Road assuming you've found free parking outside Malibu Creek State Park. Take the fun little singletrack Tapia Spur Trail into the park.

This is followed with an easy ride out along Crags Road to the location for the M*A*S*H outdoor set. There is about a half mile of singletrack along Malibu Creek just before the M*A*S*H set.

Shortly after the M*A*S*H set, you'll start the long, arduous climb of Bulldog Motorway. Bring plenty of water and prepare for a long grind to the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains. Along the way, you'll enjoy sweeping views back into the Malibu State Park and the Santa Monica Mountains.

Once you reach the top of Bulldog Motorway, turn left onto Castro Peak Motorway and descend to the Corral Canyons Parking area. From there, you can continue following this loop along the Backbone Trail: Corral Canyon Trailhead to Tapia Trailhead which initially is a steep but rewarding climb on a rutted, wind-formed, very grippy rock formation. The reward for this climb is a short descent of the same rock formation.

After that, the Backbone Trail joins the Mesa Peak Motorway for most of the descent down to Malibu Canyon Road. The last mile of the Backbone Trail is a steep, twisting singletrack descent. Enjoy, but watch for hikers. A short segment along Malibu Canyon Road completes the loop.

If you don't like the looks of the rock formation at the start of the Backbone Trail, you can continue a quarter mile on Castro Peak Motorway and then turn left onto the Upper Mesa Peak Motorway section which soon joins the route for the Backbone Trail.

History & Background

Much of Malibu Creek State Park is the former 20th Century Fox Ranch. It was used by the studio to shoot a number of movies. Perhaps though the property is best known as the outdoor site for M*A*S*H. (Since many of you are probably too young to remember - this was a movie and later popular television show set in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War running from 1972-1983). You'll reach this site around 4.7 miles. There are a couple of very rusted vehicles, one less rusted ambulance, and a couple of informational placards.

Biked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed

Contacts

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Check-Ins

Jun 6, 2020
Quentin Archibeck
Apr 17, 2020
Kreg Kowarsch
Sep 14, 2019
John Bayon
May 27, 2019
Thomas Clenney
May 25, 2019
Carlos C
May 5, 2019
Antoine Gargot
14.6mi
Dec 27, 2018
John Gump

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 16 votes

#1716

Overall
  3.8 from 16 votes
5 Star
38%
4 Star
13%
3 Star
38%
2 Star
13%
1 Star
0%
Ride Rankings

#221

in California

#1,716

Overall
194 Views Last Month
7,688 Since Feb 20, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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36%
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64%
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Photos

Corral Canyon rock formations
Dec 25, 2013 near Agoura…, CA
Speaking of cruising down with a majestic view.
Dec 14, 2015 near Agoura, CA
MASH film site
Jan 4, 2015 near Agoura, CA
Corral Canyon
Nov 27, 2017 near Agoura, CA
Looking back from the peak. Well earned view.
Oct 7, 2017 near Agoura…, CA
Malibu State Park in the early winter
Nov 27, 2017 near Agoura, CA

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