26 Hikers Complete Backbone Trail Trek 2013

Story by Annie Salerno
Photos by Pauline Matthews

The annual Backbone Trek, sponsored by the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, was conducted May 6 to 11, 2013. This trek was two days shorter than originally planned due to the Camarillo Springs fire, which just three days before the start of the trek, swept across the Santa Monica Mountains with Circle X Camp, Danielson Ranch and La Jolla Camp in the path of the fire. This is the first time since the hike was established in 2000 that there has been any kind of natural disaster interrupting the hike. At the last minute the hike was shortened by two days to avoid those areas touched by or threatened by the fire. We camped four nights at Malibu Creek State Park and one night at Musch Ranch with shuttles moving us to available trailheads. In spite of this, there were only four cancellations and all participants declared the hike a smashing success. The participants were an enthusiastic group; many old friendships were renewed and new ones were formed. The weather was lovely, wildflowers abounded, wildlife was sighted daily, and a very good time was had by all. Our volunteers rallied, rearranging hike schedules, camping and parking arrangements and food preparation. Our meals were, as usual, superb. We could not have asked for a better outcome in the face of such adversity! The popularity of this event continues to grow from year to year. We are now planning the 2014 hike, and we look forward to doing the entire hike. The 2014 Backbone Trek is scheduled for the dates of May 3 to 10, 2014. Mark these dates on your calendar. We are anticipating the hike will be filled the first day of registration, as it was in 2013. Registration begins February 1st, 2014. On February 1st we will post the registration form on our website. http://www.smmtc.org/bbtrek/. Annie Salerno will be the BBT Trek coordinator for 2014. She can be reached at 805-907-1826 or e-mailed at backbonetrek@yahoo.com for additional information.