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  1. #1
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    Figueroa Mountain trails?

    Can anybody out there give recommendations re: Figueroa Mountain trails (Santa Barabara backcountry, Los Padres Nat'l Forest)? We've been up there on a couple different road trips trying to orient ourselves using an old trail map. Haven't mtb'd it yet, but we'll be back soon for it's reeeeeally pretty. I'd like to find a decent loop to lead my women's club (plus associated males) on. I won't do this until I've had the chance to ride it myself at least twice.

    Most of the girls are Low Intermediate-level riders, so I'd rather avoid scary exposures and highly technical trails while maximizing dirt time. Looks like we'll do a ton of pavement climbing no matter what. Climbing steep ST isn't a good choice for this group.

    My two main choices (so far):
    1) Start at Ranger Saddle, East Pinery to the end, Munch Canyon ST (or dirt access road?) down to Sunset Valley Rd, climb back up to Cachuma Saddle and back to Ranger Saddle, 9.7 mi & 2,000 ft of climbing. Seems kinda short, tho.

    2) Start at Catway Picnic, climb Catway, Descend Jeepway, then climb Sunset Valley Rd, right at Cachuma Saddle and climb Figueroa Mountain Rd to Ranger Saddle, then descend back to the cars for a 17 mi ride w/ 3,000 ft of climbing. Better length, incredibly scenic, but no ST at all in this loop

    I'm also considering shuttling them up from Mattei's Taven and then, after completing the loop I settle on, letting them coast all the way back down to Los Olivos. Depends on how many riders we have. Our groups tend to be fairly small.

    Enlightenment would be greatly appreciated. Is Jeepway fun to descend? How dangerous are the hunters? What's the smoothest way down to Sunset Rd from the end of E. Pinery? The aerial/satellite views of that area are really criss-crossy confusing and don't match our trail map at all.

    Thanks so much in advance!

  2. #2
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    Some NFS offices sell the map "Figueroa Mountain Hiking and Biking Routes"

    Take Davey Brown trail (rated best!) down to the campground on Sunset Valley Road. Then it's your choice to climb the Jeepway or SVR. I've done it both ways. The SVR to Ranger Peak has some great views but it's pavement.


    If I were riding Catway I'd make a loop with Ballard Trail. My last time there Ballard was undergoing maintenance. Current conditions are ?

    2,000 feet of climbing seems like a lot for low-intermediate riders. If that's not enough climb on up to Figueroa Mountain.


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    Some NFS offices sell the map "Figueroa Mountain Hiking and Biking Routes"

    Take Davey Brown trail (rated best!) down to the campground on Sunset Valley Road. Then it's your choice to climb the Jeepway or SVR. I've done it both ways. The SVR to Ranger Peak has some great views but it's pavement.


    If I were riding Catway I'd make a loop with Ballard Trail. My last time there Ballard was undergoing maintenance. Current conditions are ?

    2,000 feet of climbing seems like a lot for low-intermediate riders. If that's not enough climb on up to Figueroa Mountain.
    Ok, thanks for the advice! To clarify on the riders-- a couple of our gals are Advanced and the rest are more like Intermediate (including yours truly)-- physically fit to handle long climbs but not skilled for technical climbs. I've actually found some pics of Davy Brown trail online. It looks great! We'll probably climb SVR after to complete the loop, for reasons given above. Maybe we'll also incorporate East Pinery as an out & back because it adds 2.5 fairly flat miles in the shade.

  4. #4
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    Just FYI, the heat is deadly in the summer months, so I would seriously take that in consideration on plaining a date.

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