Santa monica mountains

Southern California Trail Running Camp 

The Santa Monica Mountains rise high above Los Angeles' neighboring communities. Stretching from the Oxnard Plain to the Hollywood Hills, the Santa Monica Mountains offer over 500 miles of trails to explore. They are home to fragrant sage, countless wildflowers and over fifty species of mammals. Socalultrarunninginvites you to explore these mountains from the inside out. We have personally chosen over 60 miles of gorgeous trails,

as only locals can do.

​We give you the freedom to choose where to stay based on your budget ~ Your camp. Your choice. However, our host hotel is the Westlake Village Inn where we will shuttle from every morning. They offer our guests a preferred rate with complimentary breakfast, WIFI and parking. Please mention Trail Running Escapes at your time of booking to receive this special rate. If you choose not to stay at the Westlake Village Inn, all other locations are within a 10 minute drive to the hotel. Which is our meeting point every morning.

Day 1 - Sandstone Peak/Backbone trail via Mishe Mokwa point to point

Day 2 - Backbone trail ~ Encinal, Kanan, Latigo & Buzzards Roost out & back

Day 3 - Millennium Loop trails ~ Singletrack Stampede Race Course

Day 4 - Backbone trail ~ Stunt to Piuma to MASH site in Malibu Creek State Park point  to point

Day 5 - Backbone trail ~ Encinal to Etz Meloy out & back

Fly intoLos Angeles International Airport or Burbank International Airport and take ashuttle service orrent a carto your destination hotel. Look under column "Where to Stay" for hotel options and links. We will give you some of our favorite dining suggestions upon registration.

dates & travel

camp itinerary

where to stay

santa monica mountains

While it's cold and snowy everywhere else, we'll be running the trails under a California sun. Come see Southern California's beauty from the inside out. You'll spend 5 days exploring some of the best trails Socal has to offer. The Santa Monica Mountains offer diverse terrain, miles of single track and expansive views. When the day is done, rest your legs and replenish your body at one of Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks or Malibu's  award winning restaurants and wineries. 

5 DAYS ~ 35 to 62 MILES ~ 7,100'+ ELEVATION GAIN ~ $595

Have a spouse or friend that does not run, but wants to join you for a week in California? We have lots of suggestions for a fun filled morning while you are hitting the trails. Reconnect at one of our many suggested dining locations in the Conejo Valley & Malibu area.

Training for a Triathlon? We have public pool locations and bike routes available for your afternoon down time. As well as yoga locations, massage therapists and anything else to keep your motor running smoothly.

Trail routes are subject to change due to park closures and unforeseen reasons. If so, an alternate route will be chosen.

Everyday will begin at 8:30 AM from the Westlake Village Inn. From here, we will shuttle to our start location. Each day we will average 12 miles with plenty of climbing. These camps are set in theSanta MonicaMountains where most trails head up, so bring your rested legs. These trails are not technically difficult, but challenging. Every runner should be able to run and/or hike 6-10 miles a day. Our support vehicle will be available if you choose not to go long on any day. We offer each day's proposed route along with a shorter version.

We are typically done each day by 12:30/1:00 pm. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided afterwards.

Every runner must carry at least one handheld water bottle or camel backWater, sports drinks, powders, gels, bars, chomps, salty snacks, sweets, fruit and more will be available before, after and during every run. Our support vehicle is never far for refueling, rehydrating or shedding a layer of clothing. Every runner will be given a trail route map with specific directions. In addition to an overall course description before every run. 

Trail Running Escapes camps are NOT "coaching" camps. Although our runs are hosted by certified running coaches, our camps are not comprised of coaching sessions, nor white boards or plyometric exercises. We offer fun, challenging trail runs in beautiful settings. Trail Running Escapes brings together trail runners from across the nation to share in the love of trail running ~ an "escape" from your regular run!

thursday - Day 4 - backbone trail - Saddle peak to piuma to mash site in Malibu creek state park


Elevation gain of 466' - 13.5 mile point to point

Today's "recovery run" will be another section of the 68 mile Backbone trail system in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains. We'll start high above the Pacific ocean and make our way through some of the coolest "Flintstone Bedrock" formations in the area before we start the rolling downhill to our support van waiting just 5 miles away. Here you'll refuel and rehydrate before finishing the last 3 miles of the Backbone trail and boy is it a beauty. We will continue into Malibu Creek State Park for a run out to the site of the MASH TV show. Be sure to pack your camera for a picture in the old Army jeep and picnic barracks. This is your Hollywood moment!

friday - day 5 - backbone trail~ encinal to etz meloy


Elevation gain 850' - 10.5 miles out and back

Day 5 will be our flattest day yet. A perfect recovery run to end the week and certain to get you back in time for a quick shower and to catch a shuttle to the airport; if your travel plans take you back home Friday evening. The views atop this out and back singetrack trail are none less than perfect.

wednesday - day 3 - new millennium loop trails ~ singletrack stampede race course

monday - Day 1 - Sandstone peak/backbone trail 


           Elevation gain of 1,750' - 10.6 miles point to point 

Sandstone Peak is the highest mountain in the Santa Monica Mountains range sitting at 3111'. We will start our day on a gorgeous section of the Backbone trail high above Malibu. Then regroup for our loop around Mt. Allen. Nearly all of this loop is on single track trails under the cover of beautiful chaparall tress. We'll run past Balanced rock, Split rock, Echo cliffs and Inspiration point on our way up to Sandstone Peak. Be sure to bring your phone for pictures!  


     Elevation gain 1,800' - 13 miles out & back

We will start this gorgeous run onto the Backbone trail from the Zuma Ridge Motorway for a short half mile before we start the canopied single track that will be your playground for the next 10 miles. This run is split into two sections with our support vehicle meeting you half way for refueling and rehydrating. No big climbs here, just rolling hills. We save the big day for tomorrow, so enjoy this day of pristine trails and views along the way.

tuesday - day 2 - backbone trail  - encinal, kanan, latigo and buzzards roost viewpoint


            Elevation gain 2,230 ' - 13.5 mile loop 

One of the most dynamic trails on your camp, the New Millennium loop trail will showcase some of our favorite single track. You will traverse two "pyramids" to enjoy views of the affluent Calabasas communities. Today's run will test your legs and ability to run back to back days. Lots of magnificent views and cool climbs, but the miles will challenge your will. Not all miles are created equal!

Scroll down for a more detailed description of each day.

camps and races in sedona & the santa monica mountains  


Have more questions? Click our Contact Us tab and drop us a note.

Plans changed? No problem. We do NOT offer refunds, however your registration fee can be transferred to any of our future camps.



in the beautiful

April 19-23