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Standing proud and tall at 2,825 feet, Boney Mountain is one of the tallest mountains in California’s Santa Monica Mountain Range. Viewing this prominent peak, or looking out at the scenery from the summit, you may begin to wonder how these epic mountains were formed. Perhaps that’s why there is a spot named Inspiration Point along the Backbone Trail! The earth’s tectonic plates are responsible for the formation of mountains around the world. Depending upon how tectonic plates move, collide, or melt and solidify from volcanic activity, different types of mountains are formed over millions of years. Parts of the Santa Monica Mountains were formed underwater, even though they’re now the top of ridgelines! This is a dynamic place full of volcano remnants and fossils.
Distinct protected lands converge in this area, including the Rancho Sierra Vista (Satwiwa) and the Point Mugu State Park. You may still see evidence of a major spring fire that burned through the area in 2013. Historically, this place was home to the Chumash and Tongva/Gabrielino cultures. Sycamore Canyon lies in the western lands of this area, which served as an important trade route. The National Parks Service established the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center and Natural Area nearby to honor the rich history here. Knowledgeable guides are available to answer your questions, and also host workshops, programs, and art shows. This is a great place to start your hiking adventure. The challenging trek to the peak contains slippery areas of sheer rock, so any hikers must proceed with caution. There are many easier trails to explore, too. View the waterfall in the Boney Mountain State Wilderness and a monument within the Satwiwa Loop and Hidden Valley Overlook areas. Mountain biking, bird watching, picnicking, and horseback riding are other popular activities around Boney Mountain.