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Crags-Bulldog-Mesa Peak

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.9 (23) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

14.6

Miles

23.5

KM

15%

Singletrack

2,395' 730 m

High

468' 143 m

Low

2,667' 813 m

Up

2,657' 810 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Lost Justpastnowhere

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 23 votes

#1055

Overall
  3.9 from 23 votes
5 Star
39%
4 Star
22%
3 Star
26%
2 Star
13%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#165

in California

#1,055

Overall
149 Views Last Month
9,667 Since Feb 20, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
32%
16%
53%
0%

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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Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

May 3, 2021
Pat Myers
Did the 1st half of the ride but took coral Canyon down to the coast. overall very pretty ride. Not much singletrack though, and I found myself get…
Mar 16, 2021
Teresa Brecht
sunset run 4-7pm. strong effort with few others on the trail
Mar 6, 2021
Teresa Brecht
omfg. lots of on/off shameful walking up the hill. plan to use bulldog climb as a fitness-test/torture-trail
Feb 27, 2021
Jason Flick
Lots of climbing
Feb 18, 2021
Alex Peralta
8h 57m
Dec 20, 2020
Igor Krakovsky
18.1mi — 2h 06m
Oct 27, 2020
Ned Zolota
Awesome ride. Weather was perfect. Climb is a killer. No break. But the views are amazing and there is a real sense of accomplishment.
Oct 7, 2020
Ned Zolota
Amazing ride. Definitely doing again. The climb up bulldog was serious ass kicker. Overall, great ride — 2h 11m