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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm New Trails near Santa Monica?

    Hey all,

    Haven't really browsed the SoCal forum too much and honestly don't know how easy it is to get info out of this board (I understand good trails may want to be kept on the DL), but my issue is I've ridden almost everything I can think of in Santa Monica and around and would like to try something new, I've ridden the Backbone, Will Rogers, Topanga, Pt Mugu, Chesebro, Malibu Creek State Park, and a couple others outside the area multiple times.

    Anyone care to share any trails worth going to without making it a full weekend trip? I'd be interested in day rides anywhere within an hour drive of Santa Monica. I ride both AM and XC and love long rides with challenging ascents and great descents.

    ... That said I have a great schedule lined up of trips to the Sierras as the summer comes around but for now am out of ideas in the nearby! PMs always welcome too!

    Thx guys,
    Kev

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by tittiot
    I've ridden the Backbone, Will Rogers, Topanga, Pt Mugu, Chesebro, Malibu Creek State Park, and a couple others outside the area multiple times.
    You didn't tell us what kind of riding you like. Mainly, how technical do you like your trails?

    You didn't mention Simi Valley - have you done Chumash/Johnson Road/Hummingbird?

    Also, there are lots of trails around Cheeseboro, not sure if you've done them all. Have you taken Palo Comado up to China Flat, east on Albertson Motorway, down Bell Canyon; or over to Las Virgenes Canyon via Gaspipe or Pumphouse? You can also ride down to Lang Ranch (a couple of different ways).

    There are a couple of different sections of Backbone; have you ridden between Kanan and Corral Canyon?

    Farther away, there are a few rides around Ojai, and then there is Santa Barbara or the San Gabriel Mountains.

    Hopefully some of those will be new! Lots of great riding there!

    From malibu Creek State Park, have you gone up Bulldog then looped around past the Corral Canyon parking lot, then down past the Tapia water reclamation plant to Malibu Canyon Road, then back (along the road or singletrack through Tapia park) to MCSP?

    Los Robles (aka Space Mountain), at the end of Moorpark Road?

    I don't think this is quite in the same class, but how about Wildwood Park (in Thousand Oaks)?

  3. #3
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Thanks a lot for the response, this is really helpful! I've included my responses below:

    Quote Originally Posted by agoura_biker
    You didn't tell us what kind of riding you like. Mainly, how technical do you like your trails?
    You're right, forgot to mention. I ride a Cannondale Rush but love riding both XC and AM trails. I like anything from flowing singletrack with tough climbs to technical AM descents. Since I already have a couple fire roads around here that I ride for cardio, don't need to know any more 100% fire road trails. Also, I prefer loops because my friend and I only ride one car. Out and backs are okay too if the trail is worth it =)

    Quote Originally Posted by agoura_biker
    You didn't mention Simi Valley - have you done Chumash/Johnson Road/Hummingbird?
    Thanks for the suggestion, I just road this yesterday and really liked it. Hummingbird was probably one of the most technical rides I've done in a while and it was loads of fun. I plan on going back there to descend Chumash soon because that looks like it could be fun too.

    Quote Originally Posted by agoura_biker
    Also, there are lots of trails around Cheeseboro, not sure if you've done them all. Have you taken Palo Comado up to China Flat, east on Albertson Motorway, down Bell Canyon; or over to Las Virgenes Canyon via Gaspipe or Pumphouse? You can also ride down to Lang Ranch (a couple of different ways).
    Haven't done too much in Cheeseboro other than the main loop (don't even remember the name unfortunately). Is there a trail you'd recommend I look in to that's not on the main loop? Looking for fun singletrack ride that's long, has good cardio, and can be done as a loop. Any names (or combination of trails) you'd recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by agoura_biker
    There are a couple of different sections of Backbone; have you ridden between Kanan and Corral Canyon?
    I've ridden all sections of the Backbone that allow mountain bikes. My favorite two sections are from Will Rogers <-> Topanga and the one you mentioned, Kanan <-> Corral Canyon

    Quote Originally Posted by agoura_biker
    Farther away, there are a few rides around Ojai, and then there is Santa Barbara or the San Gabriel Mountains.
    Anything you'd specifically recommend in the San Gabriel Mountains? I've heard specifically of Strawberry Peak, Condor Peak, and El Prieto. Which of these would you say is best if I were to go out and ride there?

    Quote Originally Posted by agoura_biker
    From malibu Creek State Park, have you gone up Bulldog then looped around past the Corral Canyon parking lot, then down past the Tapia water reclamation plant to Malibu Canyon Road, then back (along the road or singletrack through Tapia park) to MCSP?
    I've actually tried doing this as a loop once and ended up getting lost! Didn't realize I had to go back down to the Corral Canyon parking lot and ride the direction opposite of Kanan. Is the Tapia plant easy to find as you're riding past corral canyon? Do I just take a left when I see singletrack after the plant?

    I've ridden this trail many times as an out and back (up bulldog to the top and back down) because I love Malibu Creek SP. Wouldn't mind completing the loop.

    Quote Originally Posted by agoura_biker
    Los Robles (aka Space Mountain), at the end of Moorpark Road?
    Haven't ridden this one and couldn't tell by the online postings if it's worth going to. What trail would you compare Space Mountain to?

    Quote Originally Posted by agoura_biker
    I don't think this is quite in the same class, but how about Wildwood Park (in Thousand Oaks)?
    Planning on going here in the next weekend or two, looks like it has a few fun trails to ride.

    Again thanks for all your help, really liked the trail you mentioned in Simi Valley and will definitely be returning there. Let me know if there's anything I can help out with down here if you're less familiar!

    Kevin

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tittiot
    Thanks a lot for the response, this is really helpful! I've included my responses below:

    thanks for the suggestion, I just road this yesterday and really liked it. Hummingbird was probably one of the most technical rides I've done in a while and it was loads of fun. I plan on going back there to descend Chumash soon because that looks like it could be fun too.

    Help out and start wearing a bell on Chumash if you are descending people hike/jog it all the time



    Haven't ridden this one and couldn't tell by the online postings if it's worth going to. What trail would you compare Space Mountain to?

    Space mtn....is a climb and then come down. Not really a hard workout. when I the trail the first time I had a 49 pound big hit with a 48t up front (single ring). I had to walked a few spots (FYI... I am not a strong climber). The trail has some tight switchback corners but hell of fun riding down..Again good to have a bell if you are flying back down After the rains the trail has a few more ruts....very few rock sections but you can avoid them easy.

    on a light AM or XC bike really fun trail

    good luck and have fun
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  5. #5
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    theres some pretty good riding of all types in castaic and canyon country, but that could be far for you. its worth looking into in my opinion

  6. #6
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    You haven't ridden the San Gabriels??? REALLY!? You haven't ridden So Cal unitl you've done that mtn range......HOWEVER, that range is mostly closed to entry until later this year. The Station fire ruined alot of those awesome trails. Not sure what to expect from them once it reopens but if Strawberry Peak is open when the whole forest reopens, do that one for sure. It's one of So Cal's EPIC rides w/o a doubt!!!

    Until then, ride the Hogie's loop or Mtn Zion loop up in Santa Anita canyon. That part of the San Gabs is still open and undamaged from the big fire....You'll like those rides for sure!!!
    fee-fy-fo-fum...

  7. #7
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    Here's three rides that are must do's....

    Wildwood Park...Singetrack with some rocky tech, step climbs with fast flowing decents... gps route http://www.geoladders.com/show_route.php?route=20323

    Millinum Trail...98% super buff singletrack... gps route http://www.geoladders.com/show_route.php?route=6200

    Los Robles EAST n WEST...Again some of the best the santa monicas have to offer....gps... http://www.geoladders.com/show_route.php?route=33026

    Have fun

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tittiot
    Thanks a lot for the response, this is really helpful! I've included my responses below:



    You're right, forgot to mention. I ride a Cannondale Rush but love riding both XC and AM trails. I like anything from flowing singletrack with tough climbs to technical AM descents. Since I already have a couple fire roads around here that I ride for cardio, don't need to know any more 100% fire road trails. Also, I prefer loops because my friend and I only ride one car. Out and backs are okay too if the trail is worth it =)
    Sounds like pretty much what I like to ride! So that helps



    Thanks for the suggestion, I just road this yesterday and really liked it. Hummingbird was probably one of the most technical rides I've done in a while and it was loads of fun. I plan on going back there to descend Chumash soon because that looks like it could be fun too.
    Did you do Johnson, too? It's the trail that takes off to your left as you ride from Chumash to Hummingbird. It's a blast - really rocky and bumpy in places. You can ride down to the bottom by houses, or however far down you feel like climbing back up! It's a pretty nice climb, in fact.

    I've only done Chumash once, when I broke my seat clamp and didn't feel like doing the whole ride without a seat, so I can't say I got the full effect. I'm sure it's a great ride, but Hummingbird is just so much fun, I can never skip that when I'm out there. And like SMT says, be careful if you do ride down Chumash - there are always lots of hikers, it's very popular.


    Haven't done too much in Cheeseboro other than the main loop (don't even remember the name unfortunately). Is there a trail you'd recommend I look in to that's not on the main loop? Looking for fun singletrack ride that's long, has good cardio, and can be done as a loop. Any names (or combination of trails) you'd recommend?
    There's a lot around Cheeseboro, too much to list here. But for a starter, I suggest you ride up to Shepherd's Flat, turn right on the singletrack that Ts at the Cheeseboro Ridge/Baleen Wall trail, make a short jog to the left, and then take the single track on your right. We call that Gaspipe. It's a really fun descent, fairly technical. It leads into Las Virgenes Canyon, and you can follow that singletrack until it intersects with a fire road. For a much longer ride you can turn left on the fire road to go to the Bell Canyon singletrack, but for this ride, turn right. Take the fire road for a couple of miles, mostly downhill. There is a singletrack on the right but the entrance is really overgrown so you probably won't see it unless you know where it is. No matter, if you stay on the fire road you'll come to an intersection with another fire road coming in from the right. Take the road on the right ("Pumphouse") and climb back up to Cheeseboro Canyon. That's a nice loop. There are lots of ways to extend it if you want to ride longer.


    Anything you'd specifically recommend in the San Gabriel Mountains? I've heard specifically of Strawberry Peak, Condor Peak, and El Prieto. Which of these would you say is best if I were to go out and ride there?
    Wish I knew those better! Sorry.

    I've actually tried doing this as a loop once and ended up getting lost! Didn't realize I had to go back down to the Corral Canyon parking lot and ride the direction opposite of Kanan. Is the Tapia plant easy to find as you're riding past corral canyon? Do I just take a left when I see singletrack after the plant?

    I've ridden this trail many times as an out and back (up bulldog to the top and back down) because I love Malibu Creek SP. Wouldn't mind completing the loop.
    There are a few semi-tricky turns on this loop, but it's pretty straightforward. From the top of Bulldog, go left down to the Corral Canyon parking lot. (We used to like to go right so we could connect to the Backbone Trail singletrack, but that crosses private property and there's a gate/fence across the road now.) Continue down the paved road out of Corral Canyon a fairly short while until you see a dirt road with gate on your left. Take that! You will be starting the loop over towards Malibu Canyon Road. You stay on this, and after a good number of miles you have a choice of going left, back in the general direction you came from, or right. Right will take you to the ocean - probably a great ride, but I wouldn't want to do the climb back up! So go left. A lot of this is downhill, though there are a few climbs mixed in. Eventually, you will go down a really steep fire road, and right above the Tapia Plant, you cross over to a singletrack. That takes you down to Malibu Canyon Road. You could ride the road back to MCSP, but it's more fun to take the singletrack back. Unfortunately, I can't give good directions to it - I always just ride along and find it. Basically, you cross the bridge on Malibu Canyon Road and then turn left into the park area. Follow the road/trail that parallels the creek, and after a while you will see the singletrack take off on your right. Follow that back to MCSP. There is a surprising (to me, at least) amount of climbing on this trail and after 3 hours of riding or so my legs are usually pretty tired by here, but it's a pretty nice track.

    Haven't ridden this one and couldn't tell by the online postings if it's worth going to. What trail would you compare Space Mountain to?
    Space Mountain is worth it, though not as long as some of the other trails. It takes less than two hours of my riding (not fast). The inital climb up (and ride down) has the best set of switchbacks around, really fun. Then you continue on a traverse on the north side of the mountain, so it's moister and cooler than everywhere else, and you can follow the trail all the way west until it meets Pacheco Road. (We usually stop a bit before there.) There are a couple of places were the trail forks, but if you take the left fork each time you'll stay on the main trail. Also a few really steep hills - challenging going down and up!

    Again thanks for all your help, really liked the trail you mentioned in Simi Valley and will definitely be returning there. Let me know if there's anything I can help out with down here if you're less familiar!

    Kevin
    I'm glad you like Simi. I'm sure you'll like these other trails, too.

    BTW, when you've done Pt. Mugu/Sycamore Canyon, did you do Guadalasca and the Backbone trail? Those are the best for the type of riding I think you like!

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