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Backbone Trail: Zuma Ridge to Encincal

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

One of the best shuttle descents on the Backbone Trail, coupled with great scenery.


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Map Key

2.4

Miles

3.9

KM

95%

Singletrack

1,823' 556 m

High

1,138' 347 m

Low

345' 105 m

Up

685' 209 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

After arriving on the Zuma Ridge fire road from Kanan, make a left and you'll see the singletrack appear on your right.

Description

The trail begins with a short but very steep climb. It will turn into a very narrow, steep, and short descent that begins under cover of brush with a 90-degree sharp left at the bottom. The trail continues for about a half-mile with moderately technical and narrow sections until it dumps you out on Trancas Canyon fireroad. Continue up the fireroad (not down) for ~100 meters to discover the clearly marked trail on your left.

Now begins one of the best descents on the Backbone. It has a short uphill section near the beginning, but you can hit this with a lot of speed to mitigate the effect. The trail is pretty narrow with a fairly concerning drop on your left. There can be a lot of loose rock, so you need to pay close attention if taking this at speed. Also be mindful of hikers (rare, more on weekends) and very rarely horses (the local area is horse-friendly after all).

After about a mile of fast and, at times, sketchy descent, you'll cross a bridge into a very scenic forested area. Continue for a short distance and make a right onto a half-mile or so climb to Encinal, which features a large dirt parking lot and more of the Backbone Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Knipe

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 4 votes

#1666

Overall
  4.5 from 4 votes
5 Star
75%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#213

in California

#1,666

Overall
44 Views Last Month
1,908 Since Feb 22, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 23 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Dec 27, 2018
John Gump
Jun 9, 2018
Frank Enkelmann
Jul 1, 2017
Dan Lau