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Crags-Bulldog-Mesa Peak

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.9 (29) 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 29 votes

#836

Overall
  3.9 from 29 votes
5 Star
34%
4 Star
31%
3 Star
21%
2 Star
14%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#128

in California

#836

Overall
124 Views Last Month
11,410 Since Feb 20, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
4%
25%
25%
46%
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
Looking up at the Castro Crest from the Corral Canyon rock slabs
Dec 25, 2013 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

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Check-Ins

Jul 13, 2022
Gary Walker
Apr 24, 2022
Jose Carbajal
Oct 11, 2021
Marc Mandel
long Fire road climb. To mainly fire road decent. ontop of bulldog/Castro cool rock features. very scenic ride. Little to no singletrack 15.9mi — 2h 45m
Sep 8, 2021
Darin Hornbaker
More up than expected, total 3,063 gain. lots to see. bring plenty of water. wouldn't recommend on days over 85. 15.5mi — 2h 13m
Jul 5, 2021
Marco Sulin
Jun 28, 2021
Brian Paden
Mostly steep fire road. Not great in the Summer heat. A good work out if it isn't so hot. — 3h 00m
Jun 27, 2021
Tom Asvold
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…