Information for Volunteers and current trail work schedule.

Spring Flowers 2016 A few observations of Nature's beauty.

Sold out! Info for the Backbone Trek, 4/30-5/7

Our Presidents Vision, thoughts about trail issues

A listing of past work events and statistics from those events.

A listing of all previous Plant of the Month Pages.

A special Google map showing trail heads in our local mountains.

Let's Fix Trail Problems!

  • Missing or vandalized signs
  • New signage requests
  • Brushing or Tread Repair needed
  • Erosion correction
  • Downed trees.
Problems may be reported to 818-222-4531 or via email, mail@smmtc.org
1. Protect public trail access easements and connections through partnerships.
2. Promote the establishment of trail camps in the Santa Monica Mountains.
3. Increase public awareness of trails in the Santa Monica Mountains.
4. Support and encourage consistent and comprehensive trail signage.
5. Maintain trails in the Santa Monica Mountains through partnerships with land agencies, local government, businesses and the community.
6. Educate trail users on issues that affect access to local trails and the proper land use.

CORBA has posted that a private property owner at the west end of Etz Meloy Motorway (a section of the Backbone Trail) at Yerba Buena Road has erected a new gate to deter the public from using the route. NPS has indicated that they expect this to be re-opened by the end of next year. A new alignment needs to be surveyed and built.

Trail News - Pt Mugu State Park is now open! Most trails suffered some damage but are passable. However, La Jolla Canyon trail remains closed. Upper Sycamore Trail (half a mile from bridge) is severely damaged and may be impassable for some time. Danielson Road (waterfall trail) and Upper Sycamore Trails are now hazardous for horses and should be avoided by equestrians until further notice. The Trails Council performed restoration work on the trails throughout the park. Check our Trail Work page if you want to help rebuild the trails in this area. Photos from Dave Edwards showing the extent of damage. Other trail news... Trail Etiquette, notes from our last trail work outings, trail closures and so on.

Trail Crew Accomplishments We spent the beginning part of the year cleaning up after an intense downpour obliterated trails and fire roads in Pt. Mugu State Park. This required numerous events, coordination of volunteers from concerned hikers, and bicyclists. We have developed new relationships with other interest groups - business such as the North Face and Tom's Shoes and with the U.S. Navy. Together we put in a lot of effort to make our trails a great place to recreate!

Trail maintenance is a vital part of preserving the trails and keeping them safe for trail users. Without regular maintenance, the trails would become overgrown or washed out, limiting their use and compromising the safety of trail users.

Continue Reading...

So you need some “Community Service” hours or maybe you want to give back to the trails you love to wander and are now wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into.... Continue Reading...

George Sherman has been selected as the 2015 Hank Grateful Volunteer of the Year recipient. George is a dedicated volunteer who contributes hundreds of hours of labor every year working on our trails. He is also the webmaster and a board member.

We are usually out working on a trail every Saturday September thru June. This page offers a synopsis of each trail work event. Read more?

Our featured Plant of the Month Small Leaf Stick Plant - otherwise known as San Luis Blazingstar has adapted well to fire. The seeds of the plant lie dormant in the ground waiting for certain chemicals released from the smoke created by a fire. Click on the link to read more.

Joining our organization is also a simple and inexpensive way to show your support for the trails.

Amazon donates a purchase of your purchase when using this special link.

mail@smmtc.org We welcome your suggestions and comments regarding our organization and our website (trail conditions, trail issues, web content, plants of the month).

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Trail Etiquette Tips from the Web
  • Don’t use wet trails. If you are leaving prints (hoof, tire, or boot), the trail is too wet to use. When approaching muddy spots, go through the center of the mud to keep the trail narrow.
  • Stay on the trail. Do not go off trail (even to pass), create new trails, or cut switchbacks. Narrow trails mean less environmental impact and happier critters.
  • Respect. It’s a simple concept: if you offer respect, you are more likely to receive it. All user groups have rights and responsibilities to our trails, and to each other.
  • Whenever you stop for a view, a rest, or to yield, move off the trail so it is free for others. If you are selecting the spot for a rest, get off on a used area or a durable surface such as a rock or dirt. Don't just trample off the trail into a nice soft field of grass and flowers.
  • Do not block the trail. When taking a break, move to the side of the trail.
  • Smile. Greet. Nod. Every user on the trail is a fellow nature lover. Be friendly and expect to see other folks around every corner.
  • RESPECT: It's a simple concept: if you offer respect, you are more likely to receive it. Education with friendly respect will diminish negative encounters on the trail for all users.
  • COMMUNICATION: Let folks know you’re there — before you’re there. Riding up on horses and stock can be dangerous even for the best-trained critters. For bikers and hikers; 1. Make yourself known to stock and rider. A simple “Howdy” works to get attention. 2. Step downhill and off trail.
  • HORSES UPHILL: Horses and mules are prey animals. That means they think everything wants to eat them; even the hiker with a large, scary backpack and especially the fast-moving biker “chasing” them. When startled, frightened critters go uphill. You should move downhill to avoid an encounter with a 1,000 pound panicked animal. Yikes!
  • YIELD APPROPRIATELY: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming - a friendly greeting is a good method. Anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.
  • REVERE THE RESOURCE: The Santa Monica Mountains have lots to offer for the active person. Help protect your accessibility by playing nicely with your neighbors and treating trails with reverence. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics and pitch in to give back - pick up trash, volunteer on a trail project or become a member of your local trail club. Take action and get involved today!
  • AVOID SPREADING SEEDS: Help keep weeds out of our local mountains. Noxious weeds threaten our healthy ecosystems and livelihoods. Stay on trail, drive on designated roads, use weed seed free hay, check your socks, bikes and horse tails for hitchhikers when you get back to the trailhead. Let’s keep our forests strong and clean.
  • BE INFORMED: It’s YOUR responsibility to be “in the know.” Questions about where to ride, trail closures, outdoor ethics and local regulations are important to know before you head out on the trails. Contact your local land manager if you are unsure about what you can and can’t do in a given area.
  • Yielding to Equestrians: In Colorado, a huge part of our heritage is tied up in riding horses. Bikers often scare horses. We are less familiar to them than hikers, so use caution. We recommend that as you approach an equestrian you call out a friendly greeting from far away. Slow the heck down, too. You want to start talking from about 50-75 ft away if you can. Like I said, horses spook easily, so try asking how the person on the horse would like you to get by. Would they like you to get off and walk (this is great for horses that are really skittish) or should you pass slowly at the next safe spot? From http://bouldermountainbike.org/content/trail-etiquette
  • Yielding to Hikers: This isn't a race, so yelling "On your left!" probably isn't the best thing. In years of practice, we've found that the best thing to do is to SLOW DOWN. We know, we know, it's harshing your mellow, but good interactions mean more open trails. Then just say something like "Hi there! Great day." People usually wake up to your presence without alarm. from http://bouldermountainbike.org/content/trail-etiquette
  • When hiking in a group, hike single file or take no more than half of a wide trail. Make sure everyone in your group understands what actions to take when encountering hikers, bikers, and horses.
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