- Thursday, July 25, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • San Fernando Road(Viper) - #SanFernandoRoad(Viper)

    Socal - Los Angeles County - Santa Clarita NickNames: #SanFernandoRoad(Viper)

    From the San Fernando Valley, take the 405 N to the 5N to the 14N. Once you get on the 14 exit San Fernando Road (1st off ramp) turn right and park at the immediate dead end. Take your bike through the gate and head right on the trail. Viper trailhead will be 4 miles up the fire road on your right. Thomas Guide page 4641

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    • Trail UpdateNight Ride On The Fire Road-Tried out my new Magicshine light the other night on the fire road to the towers and back. Trail is still in good shape, great views from the top at night! Saw several mice, rabbits, and a skunk. Took the two spur singletracks below the gate. Both are a little bushy but are still fun. For a singletrack at the beginning, make a quick right by the entrance gate before heading up to the main fire road. It will roll south and come into the fire road at the first switchback and isn't as steep.
      Steve K a 23 year old Racer riding a Giant Trance X3 from Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo), CA


    • Trail UpdateSan Fernando Road/Viper-Back home for a while in SCV...Rode Viper twice in the last 2 weeks; haven't been on it since it had been bulldozed after the fire. Most of the trail has recovered pretty well and is back to singletrack, about 90% ride-able. One of the most exciting and challenging DH rides in SCV. When making a left to cut over from the oilfield to Whitney Canyon, the singletrack is somewhat overgrown and the trail is slightly eroded so there is some unpleasant bushwhacking on the legs. The climb up Santa Clara Truck Trail from San Fernando Road (Newhall Ave) Park & Ride is in good shape, but definitely bring some water. There are 2 interesting singletrack cuts along the road that are kinda neat to explore if you end up going down the fire road before the gate half-way up.
      Steve K a 23 year old Racer riding a Giant Trance X3 from Cal Poly- San Luis Obispo


    • Trail UpdateViper Update-Rode viper for the first time in a year. It's recovered pretty well from the fire in 2008. It's totally rideable again. The bottom section is in good shape and the tops single track line is pretty well formed again. Lots of ruts from the recent rains, but it is completely rideable from top to bottom... The more of us who ride it the better it will become... So get to it :) Don't forget to ride the single track just before the oil fields near the bottom. It goes up left from the road following a barbed wire fence.

      BTW I rode also rode Los Pinetos today and its in fantastic shape. Very tacky and smooth.


    • Trail UpdateRiders Wanted-Check out Chaingang.com. We are a local group and ride in the area once or twice a week.


    • Trail UpdateRiders Wanted!-Sorry this isn't a trail update but any you SCV riders know of any clubs/groups that that meet consistently?? Thanks for any help! BTW, just rode Strawberry Peak loop and its in near perfect cond!!
      Ricky Mo a 44 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a 08 Specialized Epic from Santa Clarita


    • Trail UpdateViper Latest-Yes they used Viper as a contingency firebreak and dozed it about 3 blades wide. We rode nature center Friday and stopped at top of Viper to survey the damage. It has been fast and flowy until now and one epic downhill. If you don';t feel like you are going OTB everytime then you aren't riding it fast enough! Let the rains pack down the loose soil and it will be sweet in about 3 months. I plan to be one of the first to blaze it again.
      a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Blue LT, Rocky Element 70 from Valencia, CA.


    • Trail UpdateFrom my house it looks like you got your wish and they bulldozed viper. It will take a long time for it to get back to nice and fast single track.


    • Trail UpdateViper Made Me Shite-Steep, slippery, loose sand, rutted, hope they plowed it with a dozer. Very nasty runoff ditch in one of the steep chutes almost had me OTB with a mondo sized flying W. Saw a guy the last time I rode it get messed up and flown out of there on a helicopter.
      Turbo Steve a 27 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Reign X0 from Stevenson Ranch


    • Trail UpdateViper Cooked In Sayre Fire-Nothing but blackness and ashes, Santa Clara Truck Trail is cooked clear past Viper and Los Pinetos to near camp 9 due to the fires this weekend. First the Sesnon Fires, now the Sayre Fires... all of the North San Fernando Valley clear to Simi Valley is blackened from fires.
      Pipiloco a Downhiller riding a Santa Cruz Juliana from West Hollywood


    • Trail UpdateXlnt Conditions-With the slight rain on saturday 10/4, viper was in top form. Moist and tacky on the steep sections, dry and fast on the rollers. A little more rain will definetly do it good.
      Dirtshark99 a 46 year old Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateCabbage-Many thanks for the maps! I am visiting from England and never would have found this trail without your help. Rode it on a FSR XC expert, just about kept it together on the steep sections, very sandy in places........Next time I will know to carry more speed into the roller coaster up sections!!

      Once again many thanks...........


    • Trail UpdateI guess I can't post to the photos? Here is a 3D image of the climb up the fire road in blue and Viper back down in yellow.
      DRH a 43 year old


    • Trail UpdateNo Linkee To Mapee-Can't get to your map that you talk about.


    • Trail UpdateViper Trail Map-I posted a map of the Viper Single Track Trail into the photo section. Here is the map hosted at photobucket- Photobucket

      The directions listed above for the trail on this site are incorrect. The trail starts off a turnout on the "left" or north side of the fire road, not the right side.

      Here are the four way points to go with the map below. The powerline access road that intersects the trail was recently plowed at it is easy to miss the turn off to the lower section if you are not familiar with the trail.

      Start of Viper MTB ride From San Fernando Truck Trail-
      LAT: 34°21'36.38"N
      LONG: 118°27'13.64"W
      Altitude: 3178 Ft.

      The Lower part of viper can be ridden from Placerita Canyon Nature Center. The trail from Placerita intersects Viper at the following location-
      LAT: 34°22'18.36"N
      LONG: 118°28'6.87"W
      Altitude: 2,091 Ft.

      Viper intersects with the power line access road for .19 miles, Viper continues at this point into the lower section of Whitney canyon.
      LAT: 34°22'12.50"N
      LONG: 118°29'20.67"W
      Altitude: 1769 Ft.

      End of Viper trail at Whitney Canyon Wash-
      LAT: 34°21'59.28"N
      LONG: 118°29'43.85"W
      Altitude: 1,440 Ft.

      I hope this is a help to those who have not yet ridden this trail. It is an awesome ride, get on it!
      DRH a 43 year old Downhiller riding a Specialized Pitch from Santa Clarita


    • Trail UpdateThats what I am talking about. Viper is not the fire road and it is not the boring single track down to the nature center. It is an overgrown firebreak (singletrack)down the top of the parallel ridge to the fireroad that you climb from the park and ride. It is technical, but not trials riding. If you ride it with any speed you will crash or almost crash many times. Here is a video from the Over the Bars guys. Unfortunately like all video it does not show how steep it is. Also these guys are very good and they make it look easy, which it is not.


    • Trail UpdateRival?-You are so right if by rival you mean fireroads that are slightly loose and go down steep hills. I myself like a bit more of a challange and some technical aspects to my downhills. Not some wide road that has piss poor surface and whose only challange is getting steep. It is a wide almost boring fireroad that is by far the most overrated trail in the area. Both suicide and Hummingbird are 1000 times better if you want to get your downhill fix on.


    • Trail UpdateViper-So many people are confused about the Viper trail it is sad. I hear mountain bikers talking about the rocky sections through the trees being the best part. Unfortunately they are mistakenly riding the lame single track back into the Placerita Nature center and thinking they did Viper. Folks, this firebreak is an awesome decent similar in style to the steep rollercoaster it is named after at Magic Mountain. I have been riding for over twenty years and have done most of the trail in so cal and there are very few decents that rival this one!
      DRH a 43 year old Downhiller


    • Trail UpdateGood Conditions-on the road. The first quarter mile of San Fernando rd climb has been cleaned up and fixed. The rest of the climb all the way to camp 9 is in great condition.

      Dirtshark99 a 45 year old Cross-Country Rider from Santa Clarita


    • Trail UpdateI guess noone looks too far back in the thread, I didn't. Good to hear some people ride the real viper. Don't waste gravity descending FIREROADS!

      Josh Harker a 36 year old Weekend Warrior from TJ


    • Trail UpdateNoone rides the sick steep trail back to the oil fields anymore? Rode it years ago...OTB at least twice.
      Josh Harker a 36 year old Weekend Warrior from TJ


    • Trail UpdateThis is a good fire road climb and that's about it. It's fun goin' down though. Ain't worth it cause there ain't no singletrack around nowhere 'cept Nature Trail. You're better off just drivin' to Backbone Trail in the Samo Mtns.



    • Trail UpdateEZ fireroad my azzzzzz. boy, whatta u talkin bout? just what kinda drugz is you been takin? pull your head outta dat azzzzzz.
      a 29 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Iron Horse 6 Point from Lynwood, CA


    • Trail UpdateIt's an easy fire road climb and decent. No question about it. Better left to the beginning mountain bike warrior.
      a 30 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Santa Cruz Heckler from Hollywood Hills


    • Trail UpdateTypical English-What do you mean speak English? That was the typical kind of English I would expect from the nimrods that ride this overhyped, steep, but easy ride down hills that Coors Light drinkin rednecks love to ride while calling themselves mountain bikers.


    • Trail UpdateSpeak English you fucking commie pinko
      a 26 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Unicyle


    • Trail UpdateOMG!!!!-Dis is a Twu Strawrie! Me and tow budezz wrode up the Santa Calrita Truck twail and got to the tops and did Lost Penistoes about have way down. After a humangous dump (the water in Cancoon will do that to you, even with Kaopectate), we headed back two da pine tree to do Wiper.
      It was awezume! Fast and flowy. Big Head Ed flew down it on his downhill rig. I got a little sideways on the last steep section, got eaten up and spit out in a rut on da right hand side, butt I'z ok now.

      Ride it before it gets two hot too climb.
      Big Haired Sally a 63 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Spicialezed Endo from Woodie Ranch


    • Trail UpdateNice And Sandy-Pretty loose and slippery now, saw a nice sized 4 foot rattler on Viper, he was NOT happy to see me. Smoked my buddy from Eagle Rock up there.
      Big Willy a Downhiller riding a Knollifoeitusucruz from San Rafael, CA


    • Trail UpdateYou guys are a riot. You remind me of the assclowns who fought like little girls over who was the best rider/ who has the best trails on the el prieto site. stop acting like real housewives of the OC and ride like men dammit.
      the best rider with the best trails me me me a 209 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a better than yours


    • Trail UpdatePalmdale, you da man! This Ventana guy from Roseville, where the hell is that by the way? Anywho, Ventana probably had to stop and change his diaper after seeing that steep firebreak. What do you want to bet he walked it like a pussy?????????
      a 26 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Titus Switchblade from Newhall, CA


    • Trail UpdateVentana Is Clueless-Hey Roseville, pull your head out of your ass! You are a damn liar. If you actually rode Viper you would not spew this kind of crapola. I'll bet dollars to donuts that you shit your pants at the mere thought of riding the Viper firebreak. Go back to No cal where you belong, and good riddance you kook!!!!!!
      a Cross-Country Rider riding a Gary Fisher HiFi Pro from Palmdale, CA


    • Trail UpdateViper Is Over Rated-I was down in LA visiting a friend that lives in the San Fernando Valley last week. I read some reviews of this trail here and decided to give it a go. First off, the trailhead is hard to find. You climb a fire road to a saddle where a restroom is. If you make it up there, you have gone too far. Turn around and back up about 1/2 mile to the trailhead on your right. The trail itself is nothing spectacular. You go up and down on a ridgeline. There are no trees and it is not technical at all. Once was enough. This would be good for a beginner.
      a 33 year old riding a Ventana El Terremoto 6.0 from Roseville, CA


    • Trail UpdateEpic Viper-Well, I've seen Viper in a new light, and I need to eat some crow... Steve and Hans were correct, the ruts are starting to fill in. With sand and mud and rain. But it does need to be sampled more frequently!

      It was Epic. I will never be as fast as those two animals, but it sure felt right riding down everything tonight and not walking any of it.

      Steve is such a nice guy, he doesn't deserve being bit by the electronic Gremlins again. He lost his camera on Viper! I know he had it, he was taking pictures of Hans on the ride. I hope he finds it on his second lap tonight.

      1080p a Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateViper Is The Shit!-I can sum up the current conditions on Viper in one word. "SICK!!!!!"
      I saw the Over the Bars Mountain Bike Club riders on Viper and Los Pinetos yesterday. It looked like one of their riders who was on a green bike with white forks was doing laps. He was a smaller guy about 35 and he looked to be in amazingly good shape. He was hauling ass down the steep firebreak. That guy is a total stud. He has got to be a pro rider?

      a 29 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Intense 6.6 from Glendale, CA


    • Trail UpdateRode the San Fernando Canyon fireroad yesterday. Rode it on my SS with a 32:16 ratio, very difficult ascent. The fireroad is in great shape. Just wishing I had a different gear ratio. Rode to Los Pinetos went down to the nature center and back up to the fire road. Then proceed to the Viper trail and bombed down that. A little step for my SS set-up, wish I had my trail bike. Started getting late and was hard to see trail because sun was right in my line of vision. Viper trail was a little soft and sandy probably from the rains not rutted all that bad though. To help with confusion the Viper trailhead is about 4 miles up the fireroad from the park and ride. The trail is off to the left, right next to a big oak tree, just before the fireroad starts to descend down to the saddle about a 1/2 mile down the road. Starts out with a little rolling and then you descend down a chute with a pretty steep climb back out. Rest of the trail continues all the way down like this until you get back down to the 14 freeway. Go enjoy!
      SS Barby a 26 year old Racer riding a GT singlespeed/ Marin Wolf Ridge from Edwards, Ca


    • Trail UpdateRode up to the towers and then down Viper. The ride to the towers is super clean and a dream up hill run. Viper was steeper than I thought with more walking than I would like to admit. A little blood was spilled.
      Viper would be more makeable after a rain which would settle down some of the loose stuff on the downhill steeps.
      ww a 47 year old Weekend Warrior riding a tomac 88 special from beverlt hills, ca


    • Trail UpdateRode up to the towers on Sunday. The road is now finished being repaired. They did a great job on the big washout. Most of the other ruts in the corners have been fixed or filled in also. I for one am happy they did this. I ride this fire road a lot and it makes the climb faster but still just as hard.
      Dirtshark a 42 year old Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateJust finished this ride (late afternoon) I rode to the saddle, just below the towers, then back down. This is the only area/trail around Santa Clarita that I know of that is ridable. I did not dare go down Viper or nature center ride. God knows what the conditions are there.
      Burg a 43 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Turner 5 Spot from Valencia


    • Trail UpdateSan Fernando-Did this ride Tues. Dec 21/04. The road is in good condition except for one place...looks like the road got washed out due to the rians after the fire! It is like a 60 foot drop!!!! SO BE CAREFULL, although they might be done with the repairs in a few weeks! A tractor (parked) was up there & it really is a trip on how much of the road is carved out & the drop that awaits the unaware!...I have never seen trail/road work done like this trippy!...Go check it out!
      Matt W a 45 whew! year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Enduro-Spynergy Disks from Santa Clarita


    • Trail UpdateSan Fernando-This trial is closed. About 1/3 of the way up at the gate are signs that say that the trail is closed due to extreme fire danger. Hmmm, everything is already burnt to a crisp up there. It would have been nice to have the signs at a lower point into the trail, like the parking lot!!!
      StumpjumperMx a 37 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Stumpjumper M2 from Palmdale


    • Trail UpdateSite Down!!-What's up with this site?? No post-y today.

      DroughtMan a Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateFire...-These trails (Whitney Canyon and Viper) are burning in the recent fires also. Placerita Canyon and Bear Divide areas are in a streak of wildfires now. The fires were believed to have began near this trailhead. Closed till further notice.
      Steve K a 17 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mongoose XR-100 from Canyon Country (Santa Clarita), CA


    • Trail Updateride up the paved road on the east side of the hospital. It comes to a parking lot behind the hosp. take the trail on the right. follow it between the fences around to the left. follow the main trail, climb a small hill, decend, another very small up will take you a T intersection. go right and follow to the next T intersection. right again and you will be on the fire road that will take you to the top. overall climbing time is anywhere from 45 min to a hour and a half depending on how many ninjas you need to fight off.
      Ride distance: 5 miles Elevation change:


    • Trail UpdateFrom Olive View Medical Center, how do you get up to the Wilson Canyon Saddle on the fire road? Where is the fire road, name, etc?
      Endo, when you said you got your Norths and South mixed up, do you mean the trail going on a South-West direction from the Wilson Canyon saddle, is not going to Olive View? Thanks guys.


    • Trail UpdateOops....-...got my Norths and Souths mixed up. :-/
      Endo Verendo


    • Trail UpdateJoe- The trail is the Wilson Canyon Trailhead which takes you down to Sylmar near the back of Olive Medical Center. a pretty fast trail last time i rode it.
      Steve K. a 16 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mongoose XR-100 from Canyon Country (Santa Clarita), CA


    • Trail UpdateJoe - The trail ends behind Olive View Medical Center - Watch for horses on the way down


    • Trail UpdateHere you go Joe:
      Endo Verendo URL: Los Pinetos


    • Trail UpdateInfo Needed-At the saddle where Los Pinetos trail (bathroom)is, there is a trail that goes down in a southwest direction, where does it leads to? It has a sign that reads "gate closed 5 miles ahead". It looks like it ends up somewhere in Sylmar. Can anyone help?
      Joe a 29 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GT from San Fernando Valley


    • Trail UpdateViper-Thanks Steve!


    • Trail UpdateVIPER Is....-To get to Viper, you must climb 4 miles up the fireroad at the end of San Fernando Rd. the fire road begins at the park and ride (at the end of the road) and climbs to a peak with communication towers a top. 4 miles up from the bottom of the fire road headed towards the towers will get you to the viper trailhead. Viper is in SANTA CLARITA!
      Steve K a 16 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mongoose XR-100 from Canyon Country (Santa Clarita), CA


    • Trail UpdateViper?-
      Look at the top of this page where the directions
      are posted. Should clear things up.

      Viper is actually on the left at a turnout.
      Posted on 02-18-04

      Yeah I see the directions, but that's my confusion. Look on other sights and talk to people and you'll hear and see that there's a Viper trail in numerous cities?


    • Trail UpdateSorry For Duplicate Viper Posts-Every time I tried to post I received an error message so I didn't think it was going though.
      fpgrind a 36 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a specialized epic/foes mono/bump urban from Holywood


    • Trail Updatefpgrind:

      Look at the top of this page where the directions
      are posted. Should clear things up.

      Viper is actually on the left at a turnout.


    • Trail UpdateWhere Is The Real Viper?-Hi everyone,

      Maybe you guys can clear this up for me. Where is the actual Viper trail located? I just rode a very steep (and hidden) trail in Montrose that I was told was the Viper, but I've seen people talk about the Viper being in Van Nuys, Newhall, Santa Clarita, etc. Does anyone know where the real Viper is?
      Ride rating: Expert
      fpgrind a 36 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized Epic/Foes Mono/Bump Urban from Hollywood


    • Trail UpdateWhere Is The Real Viper?-Hi everyone,

      Maybe you guys can clear this up for me. Where is the actual Viper trail located? I just rode a very steep (and hidden) trail in Montrose that I was told was the Viper, but I've seen people talk about the Viper being in Van Nuys, Newhall, Santa Clarita, etc. Does anyone know where the real Viper is?
      Ride rating: Expert
      fpgrind a 36 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized Epic/Foes Mono/Bump Urban from Hollywood


    • Trail UpdateWhere Is The Real Viper?-Hi everyone,

      Maybe you guys can clear this up for me. Where is the actual Viper trail located? I just rode a very steep (and hidden) trail in Montrose that I was told was the Viper, but I've seen people talk about the Viper being in Van Nuys, Newhall, Santa Clarita, etc. Does anyone know where the real Viper is?
      Ride rating: Expert
      fpgrind a 36 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized Epic/Foes Mono/Bump Urban from Hollywood


    • Trail UpdateWhere Is The Real Viper?-Hi everyone,

      Maybe you guys can clear this up for me. Where is the actual Viper trail located? I just rode a very steep (and hidden) trail in Montrose that I was told was the Viper, but I've seen people talk about the Viper being in Van Nuys, Newhall, Santa Clarita, etc. Does anyone know where the real Viper is?
      Ride rating: Expert
      fpgrind a 36 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized Epic/Foes Mono/Bump Urban from Hollywood


    • Trail UpdateWhere Is The Real Viper?-Hi everyone,

      Maybe you guys can clear this up for me. Where is the actual Viper trail located? I just rode a very steep (and hidden) trail in Montrose that I was told was the Viper, but I've seen people talk about the Viper being in Van Nuys, Newhall, Santa Clarita, etc. Does anyone know where the real Viper is?
      Ride rating: Expert
      fpgrind a 36 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized Epic/Foes Mono/Bump Urban from Hollywood


    • Trail UpdateViper-Rode this a couple weekends ago. 1st time on it and was fairly dissapointed as the trail is hammered with ruts. Anybody know anything about maintaining this thing? It would be sweet if a some work was done and waterbars put in. Hell, I'd be more than happy to volunteer time and muscle.
      CS a 27 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Bullit from Simi


    • Trail UpdateThe Tower Climb-what are your thoughts on the fire road climb to the communication towers? a decent workout heh?
      Steve K a 16 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mongoose XR-100 from Canyon Country (Santa Clarita), CA


    • Trail UpdateViper Trail-The first trail you saw was Viper. The second one near the bathrooms/horse corral is Los Piņetos trail, which ends up in Placerita Cyn.
      mike420 a 40 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized from Van Nuys


    • Trail UpdateViper-Can someone please clarify this trailhead? I rode this trail the other day but am unsure which single track I took on the way down. I rode up the 4 mile San Fernando fire road to where it levels out near the towers. I found 1 trailhead with about 4 plastic poles used as a marker. I went about another 100 yards or so on the fireroad as it descended to where the info-hut and bathrooms where located and found another singletrack trail located on the left side marked with a "multi-purpose" sign but no trail name. Since there appeared to be more tire tracks at the first trail I turned around and took it all the way down.....and it spits u out right near where the fireroad starts. So which one is the Viper trail...and where does that 2nd singletrack lead to?


    • Trail UpdateBe Careful-Even though the Park & Ride at San Fernando Rd. seem ok to park at, just be careful. Like many other trail heads there are break-ins, but many have happened recently. A car stereo was reported missing last week as a crime in the Santa Clarita newspaper. Always lock you car door and carry your wallet with you when riding. Be cautious about parking here if you see broken glass on the ground.
      Steven K. a 16 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mongoose XR-100 from Canyon Country (Santa Clarita), CA


    • Trail UpdateGreat Trail-My dad and i love this trail and escape to it when we can. Sometimes we start up at Bear Divide Ranger Station (off of Little Tujunga Canyon) and ride the Santa Clara Divide Rd. down to San Fernando Rd. In fact, we took a group a 15 boys from my Boy Scout Troop 58 in Canyon Country on the trail and they loved it.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: about 14 Elevation change: +/_1000
      Paved Path=5% Truck Trail=95%
      Steven K. a 15 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mongoose XR100 from Canyon Country


    • Trail UpdateFireroad Graded...-all the way to the fire camp. It's very loose and I had to connect the hardpack sections in between the loose sections. The upper sections of Viper are in great shape. A few more ruts but great traction.


    • Trail UpdateOnly if you start in the park & ride up.
      The trailhead at the top has an "multi-use" sign, so when riding down there's no other trail marker or signs to inform you that it is closed to bikes.
      I'm actually waiting for them to attempt to ticket me, we can go to court, I have pictures proving all this.



    • Trail UpdateThat park, being a LA park, is closed to bikes. I'm
      not sure if the whole trail is closed. Please foward
      info onto the Los Pinetos link. URL: Los Pinetos Trail


    • Trail UpdateLos Pinetos Trail-Los Pinetos is closed to bikes. You can check with the park at (661) 259-7721. How about it ET? What's your excuse?


    • Trail UpdateThe ruts I was referring to were the ruts on Viper. Not the fireroad...which is pretty rutted and loose itself.
      I did see those new Santa Monica Open Space signs, which kind of surprised me...I didn't think that area was still considered part of the Santa Monica's. Didn't see the bathroom though. I think the saddle you mentioned is further up than the Viper trailhead, which is as far as I went.

      I thought Los Pinetos was closed to bikes?


    • Trail UpdateI was there Monday w/ two friends, saw those two "ducks" also. Looked like more of a horse trail from the start, very hoof-hole & loose.
      The fireroad isin't really that bad, I'm sure there's much worse (un-maintained) trails right now.
      Didn't go down Viper (just think how bad that is right now!), did LosPinetos down. Speaking of which, see the new: "Santa Monica Open Space" signs? Also a brand new bathroom at the saddle?

      ET riding a Switchblade from Simi


    • Trail UpdateAs Dangerous As Ever...-The ruts on the trail right now are NASTY. The dirts nice and tacky. Some of those short steep downhills are rutted like I've never seen em. Pickin the right line is a little tricky. Sometimes it seems the best line is actually in a rut. Too many ruts to keep it out of the rut. Fun as hell though. The shortcut at the bottom is one of the best parts of the trail.
      Go left at the fork, instead of right towards the oil fields.
      I noticed about 1.5 - 2 miles up the fireroad there was a single track dropping steeply off to the left down into the valley. It was marked by two pretty good sized man made rock piles. Anybody know what this is and if it's worth going down? I haven't seen anybody mention it yet. I can't imagine it's a hush hush kinda thing...it's pretty well marked and obvious.


    • Trail UpdateViper-We rode this trail on 12-28-02. The trail was rutted bad. The moist dirt after the rains made for good traction and the crazy downhills were doable. We got lost on the way back, but figured it out. I would not recommend this trail for anyone but a downhill nut with no brain. Good luck.
      Ride distance: 8 miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=60% Dirt Road=40%
      a Cross-Country Rider from Saugus


    • Trail UpdateI rode this trail two weeks ago and I didn't see any "closed" signs at all. This was the first time I ever rode the trail, so I don't know what normal conditions are like, but when I rode it a couple of weekends ago it was really rutty, which seems to be pretty normal. A little overgrown in spots. I had thick branches whipping my arms part of the way down. And some of the really steep downhill sections are very very loose, to the point that if you touch your brakes, yer skiddin the whole way down.
      I don't know...a lot of previous posts talk about the technical nature of this trail and not being able to make it down without dabbing and I didn't find that to be true at all. It's definitely an intermediate level trail, but I would say that if you are a pretty solid intermediate level rider, you should be able to make it down without dabbing. It's not half as bad as some of the earlier posts make it sound. Or maybe I just caught it on a good day.
      The only thing is the ending is a little confusing. At one point towards the end, the trail seems to fork. It's hard to tell where exactly each fork leads, but the left fork heads in the general direction of where your car is parked and the right heads away from that direction. Not knowing exactly how to get out of that place, I headed left. Shortly after the fork you are forced to go through a barbed wire fence, which I did. From there you can follow the faint trail that winds it's way down into a valley. Sometimes it's hard to see the trail and sometimes it seems like the trail goes off in every direction, but I think if you just keep it pointed in the general direction of your car, you end up down on a paved/dirt road, where you hang a right, ride past the house/dump area or whatever that is and then a quick left to your car. I did that and had no hassles from anybody. Saw one guy walkin on the rode and we said good morning to each other. He seemed okay with it. The barking dog had me worried for a few minutes though.


    • Trail UpdateViper/San Fernando Road-I rode to the trailhead of the Viper the other day and
      was greeted with a sign that said "closed." I was
      with an inexperienced rider who chickened out on
      the ride so we turned back after that first steep

      Anyone ridden this trail in the last few days? What
      are the conditions like?

      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      darren brown a 27 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Schwinn Homegrown from sylmar, ca


    • Trail UpdateViper-The uphill fireroad starts off steep and doesn't let up much. Be prepared for a good hard climb, but enjoyable once you warm up. Some moisture from last weeks rain still evident on the trail. All the downhills on Viper are rideable, even on an XC bike. You might tripod some of them, or dab, but you can stay on the bike, even the very steep hill at the end. The usual deep vertical rain rutted washouts criss-crossing the steep downhills make this a real challenge in survival. Very fun in a hairball kind of way. Not for the meek or timid.
      Ride rating: Expert
      STP a 42 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a K2 Razorback from Palmdale


    • Trail UpdateViper Redux-Rode Viper for the second time this weekend (1-5-02). Great trail conditions and air temp (about 70). The climb is a nice workout in winter temps and the trail nice and tacky. Hadn't remembered how much fun this trail is. Last time went OTB's a couple of times & walked a few things - this time clean from top to bottom! The difference? Having ridden Tunnel, Flying Monkey, Grafton Mesa really showed me what an "Expert" trail is all about! The other difference? Riding a Turner RFX with 8" Hayes - makes it all seem downright easy (but still very fun).

      I found the "new" finish to the trail very fun and much more convenient - although certainly questionable as to right of way. (said "hello" to a couple of Vaqueros on horseback - one armed with a rifle - they just said "buenos tardes" back and said nothing about private property or anything.) It would be good to know what is open to the public around here and what is not - the finish to Viper has always been a mystery (hopping the fence & riding the street back to the car)- would love some clarity but I'm afraid of the answers.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: Elevation change: a lot
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      macrider a 35 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Turner RFX from LA


    • Trail UpdateViper-I too rode this trail for the second time in a while the other day. I rode it way back when i first started mountain biking. I thought that after several years of experience under my belt I would be able to ride the trail all the way down. I guess I forgot how insane it really is. But it is really fun. I attempted most of the super-steep downhills and made it down some but there was one that was imposible for me. To anyone who can ride that, how on earth do you do it? Other than that it was a blast. The short steep uphill sections following the downhills are tricky if you lower your seat for the downhill. I was also directed by the rocks onto a trail that didn't look like it gets much use and I was wondering if it would just drop me at a dead end but i eventually made it out to the ranch near where my car was. I don't know if I was supposed to be riding there, but i made it out. The only thing I don't like about the trail is that I have to walk sections and I know we all hate that.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Chris a 18 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GT Avalanche 2.0 from San Luis Obispo


    • Trail UpdateYou're absolutely right; this is a fun trial, and it's usually empty. I went there one time, and the ranch had some sort of rodeo festivities going on...very interesting.

      If you haven't hit the Towsley Canyon ride, I strongly suggest it...it's near by.
      Jd415203 a 26 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Giant from North Hills


    • Trail UpdateViper Trail-Rode this trail for the second time just before Christmas. Last time was about a year ago and thankfully it seemed I was a bit better this time around. Actually, I'm surprised there aren't more postings about this awesome ride. Overall, I find the downhill quite challenging. I walked down one of the psycho steeps but otherwise I was able to get down the others while still on the bike (trust me, it was quite a different story last year). There was a hiker coming up. I stopped and let him get past me thinking it was the safer way to go even though he yielded to me. "I don't know how you guys do it. You're all nuts," he commented. He smiled, I laughed, and he patted me on the back as he passed wishing me a happy holiday. If only every encounter with fellow trail users could be so happy-go-lucky! Anyway I continued plummeting down into what I thought would be certain doom but somehow I survived and ended up on a fire road. Suddenly everything seemed calm and gentle after the downhill mayhem. Speaking of fire road, I forgot to mention the climb at the beginning of the ride. Trust me, I've climbed many a fire road out here in So Cal and I'd consider this one of the more interesting. It's about 4 miles and you ride through sections of sand, vegetation, rocky outcroppings, awesome scenery, and even some moab-like rocky ground (killer traction) in a few sections, as you make your way up. During the downhill I kept thinking about a Santa Cruz Bullit that I lust for but I'm not sure if I lust enough to part with at least four grand, probably closer to five.
      I remember last year I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get back to my car although I could see it parked way over in the distance. I ended up hurling the bike over a fence and riding on the road to get back to it but this time, someone laid out some rocks diverting me up a short climb that ended at a thin wired fence. I felt a little funny going through here but I guess it was o.k. legally. After a few more sickening steeps (yeah...I walked down a few of theese too, but if I had that Santa Cruz.....) I made it back to the car. Can't wait come back here!

      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: miles 10 Elevation change: much uphill
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      Drew a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GT i-drive from Los Angeles


    • Trail UpdateBit By Viper-rode Viper 8-11-01 - what a great ride - 50 minute climb in 85 degree temps - ahhhh sweat. Some hiker spent 10 minutes telling us how dangerous this was going to be - how HE was good on a mtn bike and HE wouldn't ride this...(then again his girlfriend was hiking in a HOOTERS uniform so what does that tell you?). - The ride? Great singletrack descent along the ridge, a little to much speed on a few of the loose downhills and BAM! - chaparral brush will break your fall after all! Would have thought this was a more advanced ride if the VERY talented rider who took me on this hadn't also taken me on Tunnel 6 weeks ago - still didn't clean everything so I'll be back - this trail is fast, fun, and not terribly dangerous. highly recommended!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: Elevation change:
      mac a 34 year old Weekend Warrior riding a M4 from LA


    • Trail UpdateShould'nt That Read 'left'?-Pardon me, but I think Viper is on your LEFT climbing up from San Fernando Rd.


    • Trail UpdateSan Fernando Road - Rain, Etc.-Could be any of the reasons you've cited. I do know (from experience) that the lower half of this section (between San Fernando Rd. and the gate) turns to absolute goo when it rains. Definitely not a good place to be on a bike in weather like this.

      As for 'litigation' and such...this is the Santa Clara Truck Track, and is a legal easement. If the rancher near the bottom is causing trouble, a good alternative is to park over by Placerita Canyon Park and ride over to Sand Canyon, then up Bear Divide to the Fire Camp, then down the dirt road descent to the top of Viper. For what it's worth, this is also the more scenic route, with many options for descending either side of the ridge (SFV or Santa Calrita sides).

      Tom Kenney a 33 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Klein Attitude from Reseda, CA


    • Trail UpdateSan Fernando Road-QUESTION ?????

      I am a frequent rider of the fire road off San Fernando and Viper.Recently, about a week or so ago, the gate about 2 miles up the trail was closed (First time in the 3 years that I have ridden his trail) and they have built a fence guarding the trail to the right of the gate (going up the hill). Is this in reaction to the rain ?, A lawsuit ? The cows going to far up the hill ? Do they not want us up there anymore ? Does anyone have any information on why the gate has been closed after 3 plus years of being wide open ? I realize all we have to do is climb over the gate to ride, but this could just be the first step in closing one of the best hill climbs in SCV.

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 4-5 miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      Derek a 33 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Cannondale SV-2000 from Newhall


    • Trail UpdateGrand Slam (part 2)-Satuday afternoon, second ride. I had heard a lot about this place but never had pulled off the freeway on my way to Mammoth to check it out. Now I know, it's worth it.

      Started up the fire road climb in high spirits from all the stories of Viper and how dangerous it was. The 4 mile climb went by fast in anticipation of what lied ahead, and the numerous types of rock and sand you traverse should keep all you geologists busy.

      Once at the top of Viper which is marked by about 6 brown plastic poles, we ran into a few riders, none of who were actually taking this impossible trail down. "No way, it's too crazy!", "I'm taking the road back down, I like having all my limbs." One guy started down it just before us in a motorcycle helmet, we watched him for about a 1/2 mile and the locals decided he was gonna have a rough go of things. We dropped in next having no idea of what to expect.

      Controlling speed throughout we cruised along this sweet track keeping an eye for trouble. Then it came, a sweet rutted steep pitch that took some careful brake control to negotiate. Into some more speed chutes, up a steep rock face, and then another steep rutted descent. Up and down, bending turns, this trail is incredible. We caught up to our moto-helmeted friend and boy was he thrashed. Cuts and scrapes on every limb, cramping in both legs, he assured us that he would be o.k. so we continued. Made it to the oil fields successfully with my only dab coming on one of the steep rock climbs.

      Once at the oil fields just follow the main road and make your way towards the freeway, go under it and climb the fence and hit the sidewalk going left. There very well could be a way around that fence but I couldn't find one.

      Viper could be extremely dangerous if you go flying through the fast spots not knowing exactly where the rutted faces are. Just give yourself a visual of the terrain and you should be fine. I will be certainly be back and would probably continue the fire road climb a couple more miles and hit the fire breaks above the road that you can see from the Viper trailhead. Those breaks make Viper look flat. Great stuff.

      Good luck to you.
      Dusty Bottoms


    • Trail UpdateThanks STP, I though it was a little harry in a few places also, it was that way a few months ago, and I spooked out & walllked on three of those steep D/H's... But that top part sure is fun!
      a 42 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Y-bike from Simi


    • Trail UpdateViper-It be radical. The recent rains have dug deep ruts that make the downhills hairy on a big frame bike. Despite trying to hang over that back tire, I still ended up endoing, either over da bars or sideways, as the bike slid down the hill. On one good endo, the bike ended up landing on me. It was still a great time! My friend with the smaller frame F/S Intense,
      had the lower CG advantage over my hardtail DB. We did walk a couple of the real rad ones. If you can ride down the one, that's about halfway down, without dabbing, then you be the man. It's a hundred feet long, with a easy half dozen 18 inch deep ruts running lengthwise and criss-crossing. It was still a blast,
      being super technical, and I enjoyed it immensely. Not for the faint of heart. We all have different skill levels, but if you can clean this trail, in the condition it's in, then your pretty good, and if your that good, then you don't need to boost your ego, by
      cutting down those with less than what you have.
      Ride on!
      Ride rating: Expert
      STP (Single Track Psycho a 41 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Diamond Back Zetec


    • Trail UpdateViper-ok, for all you little wussies that say you cant ride certain parts of the trail, why dont you crawl up with your dolls in the corner. i ride this trail about 3 times a week and every part of this trail is ridable. i have riden this trail at night with no lights. so i dont want to hear anyone else complain.and for all of you that complain about ruts, thats what makes a trail. if you have problems with ruts go hop on your road bike with your tight little shorts. if anyone else decides to ride this trail and complain, stick to the fire roads you little girls.


    • Trail UpdateRode Viper today. The trail is in pretty good condition aside from a few ruts and it's a little overgrown in one area. Watch out for sunbathing rattlesnakes. Came across a four footer stretched across the trail on the way up. He paid no attention to me though. Have fun. Oh yeah. It took me 36 minutes to get to the top!?
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      Shred a 34 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Raleigh M-600 from Saugus


    • Trail UpdateDepressed Rider-I miss this trail!! Can anyone beat my time of 39 minutes from bottom of trail (at start of climb) to Viper trailhead? I have moved from Santa Clarita and this used to be my favorite local ride, along with Towsley Canyon. It's best to ride at 6 a.m. in the summer. If you ride in the afternoon in the summer your head will explode from the heat!! Keep ripping it and don't mind the cows. I once started a little stamped with those monstrous bulls coming down one time. It's good for them.
      Former Santa Claritan a Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateSan Fernando Road/ VIPER-I rode Viper with my bro 3-21-99 (see next update), had a blast. The top section is very fast with some spots to launch a little air. The steeps were no problem due to the good dirt and my solid experience on my old hard tail. I would like to know how a roofing tack got on the trail. I HATE FLATS!!!!
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      Doug a 28 year old Weekend Warrior riding a OLD mongoose team w/amp fork from burbank


    • Trail UpdateSan Fernando Road / VIPER-Rode "Viper" 3-21-99 after the rain storm and the ruts are not that bad right now. In fact the softer dirt made the three steep sections somewhat manageable. The start of "Viper" is very fast and fun, the epitomy of a good single track, there are some uphill parts, but nothing that even resembles the workout you get while climbing to "Viper". (About 4.2 miles up the fire road) Brought the dogs on the ride and they loved every minute of it. I was concerned about ending up on the Placerita Canyon side of the mountain so my brother(Sabotaged with a flat from a TACK)and I found a way to get back to San Fernando Road through the oil fields, down a wash, and through the dairy farm. FUN RIDE, but I don't know if I would do it alone, in case of an "Over the Bars" incident.
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      Derek a 31 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Cannondale SV-2000 from Santa Clarita


    • Trail UpdateSanta Clara TruckTrail/Viper-I rode this trail today with a friend. It was my first time. This trail is great. It starts as a tough climb for about 4 miles. On the way up you will meet some cows. Don't worry. There harmless. Just ride by slowly. After the 4 mile climb you will be almost to the radio towers on the top of the hill. On the left is the Viper. It is marked. This is what I would call an advanced to expert trail. There are alot of really step drop and the trail is rutted beyond belife. It is still ridable. Some parts I couldn't ride down because they are to steep. I crashed a few times. I'm not sure if it is possible to ride it without biting the dust. At the bottom of the viper you will find yourself in a oil drilling yard. We got very lost in here and had to ride around for a while before finding our way out. Eventually we found our way out onto Seirra Hwy. I would only suggest doing this trail if you are somewhat experianced. (someone in a previous update said that you had to walk 25% of the trail. It is mostly ridable. I only had to walk on one really steep part, you will know when you get to it.) Well good luck if you try this trail! (another side note: We did this trail with no shoxs what so ever! I am sure it would be easier with shoxs!)

      Singletrack=60% Dirt Road=40%
      Chris a 15 year old Cross-Country Rider from Santa Clarita, CA


    • Trail UpdateSanta Clara Truck Trail-Santa Clara Truck Trail.
      Regarding: "As the road turns towards the left, you will see a little foot trail that is marked on the left. This is the trail you want. This is a true rock-hoppin, stump-jumpin trail and will leave you with a full-on woody. After about 3/4 a mile you will come to a fork and you want to go left. Keep going down for a few miles until you end up in a park." Stopped at the park information/ranger station and was told that mountian biking in the park IS NOT ALLOWED. So we told them that we read about it here at www.SoCalMtb.com They asked us to post that they can ticket you for riding any of the trails in the park. (Seems some bonehead on a MTB caused injury to a person and a horse, which had to be put to sleep, due to less than worthy MTB riding Courtesy.)
      We also rode up from San fernando rode to the Viper and down the Viper. This is not a trail as of 4-18-98. You have walk down about 25% of this "trail", way to steep and rutted to ride. Not a trek I'd take again. famous1 a 41 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized FSR from Azusa, CA


    • Trail UpdateSanta Clara Divide Road-Did the Placerita/Santa Clara Divide loop on Saturday. From the May Canyon Road down to the midway point (near radio towers), the road has been recently graded and is in almost excellent shape. From there to somewhere below the ranch gate, the ruts are everywhere! From there down, more grading and excellent road. The middle section probably won't be graded because it is mostly sandstone and granite slabs. Be careful...
      Tom Kenney a 30 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Klein Pinnacle from Reseda, CA URL: Tom's Page


    • Trail UpdatePlacerita Cyn/Santa Clara Divide-This ride is mostly a road ride, but has 10+ miles of excellent fire road descent, which also leads past The Viper and the other singletrack mentioned here.
      From San Fernando Road near Carl's Jr., make a right on Sierra Hwy and ride over a hill to Placerita Canyon Road. Ride Placerita Canyon to its end at Sand Canyon Road, passing the Movie Ranch and Placerita Canyon Park along the way. Make a right on Sand Canyon and ride through ranches and farmhouses. The Curtlo bicycle 'factory' is hidden among these houses, just off Sand Canyon Road. Pass the Live Oak Picnic/Camping Area (a good rest stop with water) and continue climbing up Sand Canyon. The road climbs to the southeast for a ways, then bends west and climbs to the top of the Santa Clara Divide. At the top, the road intersects with the Little Tajunga Canyon Road (going south) and the Santa Clara Divide Road (going east and west). Make a right on the Santa Clara road and pass a small picnic area and a ranger station. Here, the climbing begins in earnest.
      The road narrows and climbs moderately above the ranger station and a Forest Service plantation of pines. As the road rounds the ridge, the Pacoima Reservoir may be seen far, far below. There are usually hang-gliders which launch off the mountain opposite the reservoir. Keep climbing, rounding 3 more major ridges before topping out near a spur road which leads to some radio and microwave installations. Climb gently, then pass a level stretch below a large microwave tower. Climb 2 short steep hills and enter a county fire station. Ride right through the fire station, waving to the folks as you pass! Just past the fire station, the road forks, the left branch climbing steeply to a radio installation. Take the right branch. Descend over poor pavement (potholes and sand) for a ways, then pass a water tower at a saddle and begin climbing again. Top out and descend a short ways to a saddle with a dirt road leaving to the right. The paved road turns left and descends to Veterans' Park in Sylmar. This is the May Canyon Truck Track. From the saddle, take the dirt road and descend for a long ways to another saddle, then climb a short stretch through a beautiful oak forest. Descend a short ways and reach another saddle. This saddle is the intersection with the higher of the 2 singletracks described below (not the Viper). Climb a ways past some more radio installations and reach another intersection. The left branch here climbs for a ways to the radio installation and a long ridge route which leads back to Sylmar. Take the right branch and begin descending again. Pass a flat on the right where the Viper trail leaves the road. Continue descending. Soon a large 'roudnhouse' turn is reached. Past this turn, go left on a marked Forest Service Road (3N something). Descend over sand and decomposing granite slabs. The road becomes increasingly rough and exciting. Pass a gate (usually open) and continue descending.
      There are several minor roads which leave the main road through this last section. Keep to the main road, generally following the bike tracks. Soon the Carl's Jr. sign can be seen at the bottom of the ridge. Just before the bottom of the ridge, go right where the road has recently been gravelled. The road ends where your car should still be parked.
      Dirt Road=30% Paved Path=70%
      Tom Kenney a 30 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Klein Pinnacle from Reseda, CA URL:Tom's Page


    • Trail UpdateSanta Clara TruckTrail/The Viper-I'm not sure how far this fire road actually goes but you will climb it for approximately 4 miles. This is a rigorous climb that does not let up. You will see a few turn offs but stay on the main trail until you see an actual marked trail on the left. This trail is called the Viper (see below) and is rideable but extremely hairy. However, stay on the fire road and just past the Viper the road descends for about 1/4 mile. As the road turns towards the left, you will see a little foot trail that is marked on the left. This is the trail you want. This is a true rock-hoppin, stump-jumpin trail and will leave you with a full-on woody. After about 3/4 a mile you will come to a fork and you want to go left. Keep going down for a few miles until you end up in a park. Watch out for hikers. Go through the park and you will end up on Placerita Canyon. Ride this street a few miles and go left on Sierra Hwy just past the freeway. Go left again at San Fernando Road (Carls Jr.) and you will see your car within 100 yds. I'm not sure if the Viper got its name because it is as mean as the snake or because it is actually like the Viper roller coaster at Magic Mountain. Although it drops quite rapidly, it shoots you up and down over ridges just like a roller coaster. There are huge sections where the rain just ate the hell out of the trail and it is all rutted! I don't know anyone who has ridden this trail top-to-bottom without crashing. I know of many bones which were broken there too. This ride also drops into a park off Placerita Canyon and you can easily find your car. GOOD LUCK!
      SingleTrack=40%, DirtRoad=45%, PavedPath=15%
      Mark a 28 year old cross-country rider from Huntington Beach {maross@apc.net}


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