Socal - Ventura County - Santa Paula NickNames: #SisarRoad
From highway 126 exit 10th street (Hwy 150)Take Hwy 150 towards Ojai about twelve miles until you reach fire station, Just past the fire station on the right is Sisar Road. Park in the dirt lot at the bottom of Sisar Road as there is extremely limited parking at the Forest Service gate. The trailhead is approx. 1 mile up the rural Sisar Road. Thomas Guide page 366
Interesting note: I was overtaken by a four wheel drive tow truck on it's way to rescue a stupid mini-van driver who tried coming down from the saddle and had it's radiator or oil pan cracked open by high-centering on a rock less than a mile south of the saddle. I thought the Forest Service did a better job of keeping these idiots and their cars out of this area. It's rare to see 4-wheel vehicles back here and they're supposed to have permits.
The trail is currently in excellent condition. Some volunteers (mountain bikers) have been doing trail work along the lower 2 miles or so. It's very steep in places, but all ridable. Above camp is steeper than below, quite a bit steeper. There are plenty of things on the trail to keep it interesting (nice poppers for the downhill, semi-technical rock piles to negotiate), and basically you can bite off as much (or as little) as you want. If you like fast, groomed singletrack this is the stuff you dream about (IMHO).
You can ride up Sisar Road to the saddle, make a right and find the upper end of Red Reef a couple miles along the way (about 1/2 mile past Lion Trail, as I recall) and make a loop out of it (about 16 miles from the first gate). Or you can climb the trail and ride back down. If you really want a ride, come up Lion Trail or Cheif Peak Road from Rose Valley and drop into Red Reef, or do the reverse. But that's something for another post.
While I am rating it as an intermediate ride, it's got some more advanced sections. Be careful in the switchbacks, you're going way too fast. I've taken beginners there (as far as camp) and all involved had a good time, just walked through the more difficult sections. And you can turn it into an expert ride, if you got big ones.
The dirt road has been graded a couple times in the past 6 months or so, and it's pretty smooth and fast right now, all the way to the saddle. In the Summer it will be dusty and loose. Watch for hikers (dogs!), horses, and even cars on the dirt road (there are a couple residences inside the first gate - almost crashed into a Volvo last time I was there!). It's real easy to go very fast here. The water crossings are probably 8-10" deep (unless you pick the wrong line), maybe 4" later in the Summer, but always running.
Enough said, just ride it. Have fun.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 6 miles Elevation change: 3000'
Singletrack=45% Dirt Road=55%
Catfish a 41 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a heavy, old bike from Ventura