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Crags-Bulldog-Mesa Peak

 7 votes

14.6 Miles 23.5 Kilometers


15%

Singletrack

2,667' 813 m

Ascent

-2,657' -810 m

Descent

2,395' 730 m

High

468' 143 m

Low

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

All Clear

84 days agoUpdate

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

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

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   Clear Rating

3.3 from 7 votes


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Nov 1, 2017
Armand M
Oct 14, 2017
Paolo Scovolo
Oct 7, 2017
Sml Frmn
High of 111 degrees. Average 98. 14.7mi — 2h 32m
Jul 2, 2017
B. Cox
May 13, 2017
Scott Balaban
Mar 19, 2017
Gary de Veyra
This was brutal and way over my skill level!! Cramped up so bad and took me over 8 hours! 16.2mi
Dec 25, 2016
Scott Hamilton
Nov 7, 2016
David Woods

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 7 votes

#2589

Overall
  3.3 from 7 votes
5 Star
14%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
57%
2 Star
14%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#317

in California

#2,589

Overall
205 Views Last Month
3,487 Since Feb 20, 2015
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Conditions


All Clear 84 days ago
Dry: Go early. Bring plenty of water. I rode it 7/3/17 at noon. 100* day and 100oz of water. Ran out at the summit.
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