2018 Accomplishments

2018 Trail Maintenance Year in Review


Back to Top

Effects of the ongoing drought in our region kept us busy removing fallen trees at the beginning of the year. The Woolsey Fire in November was massive enough that it will affect our trail work for the foreseeable future. We expect this to be a multi-year effort; fire and the rain are a potent one-two punch. Without plants to absorb the rain, water becomes a driving force to move earth from one place to another. In between these two kinds of activities, we managed to get one more kiosk completed along the Backbone Trail, held another Trail Days event in Point Mugu State Park and provided crew leaders for three COSCA trail building events. We marshaled the resources and volunteers to keep trails open where we could, but the task we attempt is a job that will never be finished. It is worth repeating that the majority of trails we worked on would not have been repaired without our efforts. Government budgets for Trail Work are anemic at best - NPS and State Parks depend on us and in turn we depend on you to join us for an event or two each year. Consider joining us for a work event in 2019!

72 events were held in 2018.

64 of those events took place on trails in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

4,286 hours of volunteer labor performed on the trails.

285 unique volunteers provided 1,753 hours of labor

14 dedicated volunteers accounted for 2,518 hours!

15 volunteers from CSU Channel Islands worked 186 hours

2 Events and 153 volunteer hours in Channel Islands National Park

Along the way, we worked with CORBA, Trail Runners, employees from Farmers Insurance, Air Force personnel, Sierra Club Task Force, and North Face Employees. With a shared appreciation for our trails, we repaired and worked together for a common cause.

The Woolsey Fire in November of 2018 burned hot and moved fast. SMMTC crew leaders performed several post fire assessments for NPS and State Parks. With a mixture of sadness, awe and optimism we noted areas of the Backbone Trail that survived and areas that were damaged. Of concern were trails that traversed slopes that had burned. Water will either cut straight down the slope and bisect the trail or stay on the trail and scour the tread. That adds up to lots of work. Look at the image above and see where Barry's trekking pole is pointing. Thousands of these long channels appeared after the last rain.


The Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council (SMMTC) has put together a project to improve a select group of trailheads with amenities defined below. The project provides improvements to twelve BBT trailheads, broken down into four subprojects.

The Four Project Groups
  1. Ray Miller, Danielson Group Campground, Corral Canyon Road
  2. Latigo Canyon Road, Encinal Canyon Road, Mulholland Highway
  3. Piuma TH @Malibu Canyon Road, Piuma Road @Hairpin Turn
  4. Dead Horse Parking Lot, Musch Meadow, Musch Camp, Will Rogers State Historic Park

Implementation of the project will be by a team comprising agency representatives from National Park Service and California State Parks along with SMMTC members and volunteer organizations. Three of the twelve sites have been completed as part of an Eagle Scout Project. The young men worked hard planning, organizing, digging, installing and learning skills that will be useful in their future careers.

The Agencies and the SMMTC will provide guidance and much of the funding and materials. This project will continue thru 2019.

Trailhead amenities were designed to provide a BBT user with a satisfying entry/exit to the BBT. Not all amenities will apply to every trailhead but will be applicable depending on usage and accessibility.



Year End Highlights Pages From Previous Years: