top of page

An Ode To The Backyard Trail

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of backyard trails, and I’m about to do it again.

Because for a trail enthusiast, your distance from door to dirt is crucial.

If you’re considering a move to a mountainous location, you need to understand that you’re being lured in by Big Outdoor. Is that big IMBA Gold-rated trail network something you’d like to have daily access to? Yup.

If you move to that particular town is it likely you’ll live close enough to that big IMBA Gold-rated trail network to access it daily? Nope.

Finding a town and edifice where you can hop right onto dirt is what you should aim for. If you strike the lottery and land a spot in one of the more famous trail towns, good for you. But most of you reading this won’t be that lucky or able to afford it.

So I’m encouraging you to look a little more off the outdoor grid. At this point pretty much everywhere has some sort of trail infrastructure. And by looking for a town not claimed by the Outdoor Industrial Complex (the HQ of which is Boulder), you’re ahead of the curve.

Here you’re likely to have more solo time on trails that aren’t overrun by the lemmings who’ve been gaslit into thinking that to be legit in the backcountry, you must live in this town or that city.

This is why solid backyard trails are clutch. Here's a quick breakdown of my own backyard trail.

As I leave my front door I go left and then right to get out on the main sidewalk. A quick cut

through the neighboring business park puts me on Windy Way, aptly named as my goal is the small summit of the mountain just behind my neighborhood.

Windy Way takes me to a decomposed granite bike path that runs uphill to a small park. After passing the park an unmarked strip of single track appears to my right. Once on that trail the real world starts to fade away as I cut through dry vegetation and over dirt that is riddled with rocks to the connecting trail that goes straight up a steep scramble.

Halfway through the scramble I start getting glimpses of my town below and the Pacific Ocean off to the west (sunsets from the top of this backyard mountain are routinely incredible). The grade is pretty brutal on this stretch and terrain vacillates between rock steps, packed dirt and loose scree. 

Finally the steeps level off as I come out just below the summit.  One last tiny climb puts me there. Looking north I find the San Bernardino mountains (snow covered from November to May - typically) and to the west the Pacific leads my view to Catalina Island (home of the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer).

I’ve climbed 600 feet in about a mile and a half and from here I have options. There are a ton of mountain bike flow lines and a trail that goes to another higher summit just north of my current position. Or I can just drop back down to my house and complete a 3.5 mile loop.

That short loop takes me about 55 minutes to hike. A perfect lunchtime leg stretch right from my front door. Of course there are bigger and longer options to ride and hike nearby that require just a short drive. But too often the tyranny of the day to day claims chunks of my time making that difficult if not impossible.

Yeah, when I’m not humble bragging through my next column or podcast, on most days you’ll find me on my backyard trails. A quick hop, skip, jump - a roll - from my door to dirt.


Pics from my latest hike!

Drips & Dregs is the weekly column from Rock Fight Founder Colin True.

Sometimes outdoorsy and always outdoor adjacent, check in weekly to see what is on his mind.


bottom of page