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Sullivan-Yedvarts-Cheney-Backbone

Difficult
 3.8 (25) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A fun, challenging loop which gives you a fantastic tour of the Santa Monica's and Topanga.


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Map Key

22.0

Miles

35.4

KM

50%

Singletrack

2,072' 632 m

High

556' 169 m

Low

3,681' 1,122 m

Up

3,681' 1,122 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

32%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

A nice way to link up trails to create a 2-3 hour loop in the Santa Monica's. Mostly fire road climbing and sweet singletrack descending.

The top of Yedvart's has awesome views of the surrounding canyons and peaks, a somewhat technical singletrack descent into a funky Topanga neighborhood and a steep climb up paved and dirt roads to The Hub before hitting the Backbone Trail: Will Rogers to Temescal Ridge.

Description

Start at the top of Capri and climb Sullivan Fireroad Climb to Sullivan Canyon. Once you hit Mulholland, enjoy the views of the Valley before hanging a left and heading about 1/4 mile on Mulholland. Here is where I normally like to hit the Farmers / MG Singletrack that starts at the yellow gate you'll see on your left. It's a fun, somewhat exposed little roller coaster that links back up with Mulholland after about a mile.

If that's not your thing you can skip Farmers / MG and stay on Mullholland, which will descend and then climb up to the intersection with Reseda. Go past this intersection and then stay on Mulholland by bearing right at the next intersection with Temescal Fireroad only a short distance away. Head down the hill for a fast fire road descent down to the water tank. Take a left here. This is the beginning of Yedvarts.

Yedvarts heads along the ridge, quickly turning into a narrow singletrack with a couple of short, steep climbs and descents. Make sure to stay left and not take the cheat route when climbing the first hill and you'll be rewarded with a nice panoramic view of the surrounding mountains below and the canyon, which is where you're heading.

At the bottom of the second hill, take a sharp left down into the canyon. This is a super fun, kinda steep descent with plenty of rocks and ruts to make things interesting. It mellows out after the initial drop and is a fast ride before it eventually dumps out onto Paradise Lane. Hang a right here and head down a fast paved road through the funky Topanga neighborhood.

Take a left onto paved Sylvania Rd and now you start the steep climb up to The Hub. After a few hundred yards, take a left onto the paved Callon Rd. It climbs even more steeply and basically stay to the right through all the intersections as you wind around the Topanga Canyon Inn. This is Penny Rd which turns to dirt and it will take you to the right of a house with a barking dog and a climb up to the bottom of Cheney Ranch Road, which leads you back into the Santa Monica Mountains wilderness.

Lots of rock stairs to navigate up Cheney before it eventually dumps you out right at Eagle Rock. Hang a left here, climb some more and eventually descend down to The Hub. Take a well-deserved break before hitting the Will Roger's Backbone singletrack. The Will Rogers Backbone is great and has its own write-up, but make sure to descend down Joseph Spur Trail, which is the intersection a hundred yards or so before the bridge. Also known as J-Drop, Joseph Spur Trail is a steep, somewhat technical descent down into Rustic Canyon. From here, head back up the hill on broken pavement to Sullivan and then back down the pavement to your car.

Contacts

Shared By:

George Fitz

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 25 votes

#2

in Santa Monica

#938

Overall
  3.8 from 25 votes
5 Star
8%
4 Star
72%
3 Star
12%
2 Star
4%
1 Star
4%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Santa Monica

#148

in California

#938

Overall
366 Views Last Month
16,350 Since Jun 1, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
14%
18%
59%
9%

Photos

More fun this direction :) -- watch for blind corners
Dec 23, 2015 near Topanga, CA
The Backbone Trail from the Hub to Will Rogers is great fun!
May 12, 2017 near Topanga, CA
Jump into the ocean!!
Dec 23, 2015 near Topanga, CA
Backbone Trail to Will Rogers State Historic Park
Jan 18, 2021 near Topanga, CA
Cheney Trail
Feb 6, 2016 near Topanga, CA
Caution: very steep.
Dec 23, 2015 near Santa M…, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 52 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Apr 25, 2021
Mykola Malyshenko
Nov 24, 2020
Alex Grant
2h 45m
Sep 19, 2020
Jason Shafer
Backbone could use a hedge trimmer, not just a weed whacker! Otherwise challenging, adventurous, and fun. Will do again!! — 2h 30m
Aug 30, 2020
Edgar Rosas
May 18, 2020
Alex Grant
Lots of growth
Feb 15, 2020
Patrick Gallagher
Dec 30, 2019
Martin Pagh Ludvigsen
2h 48m
Aug 19, 2019
Rex Sheen
long ride, uphill is challenging at parts so pace yourself. the backbone is completely over grown. couple of technical parts nothing to much bad.…