- Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • Mendenhall Ridge - #MendenhallRidge

    Socal - Los Angeles County - Lake View Terrace NickNames: #MendenhallRidge

    210 Fwy to Osborne St. in Lake View Terrace (west of Sunland). Go north, turn left at the signal and follow Little Tujunga up into the hills. About a mile or so past the Wildlife Waystation after a water tower on the right side of the road is the trailhead, where 3N32 crosses Little Tujunga. Take the trail on the north side of the road. Thomas Guide page 4643

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    • General ReviewMendenhall Ridge-Hard to believe we hadnt been here in over a year. Great conditions both weather and road. We went up 7.6 miles and back down.

      old gringo a 63 old Cross-Country Rider riding a Specialized Epic Comp 29er Posted:12/06/2015

    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Ridge-Rode here about a year ago and thinking about hitting it again. A friend and I rode from Little T about 12 miles to the saddle. It was a beautiful day and we contemplated dropping down into "Buck Canyon" but it was starting to get late. Anyone know how the trail looks down there? Looked ok at the top, but a bit rugged. We also passed a trail about 6 miles in, off the left side of the trail heading away from Little T and could not find it on the way back. Looked good. Is there one? Would be a solid loop if so. If anyone knows the area and is planning a ride there, I would love to join. Thanks
      Piper1 a 44 year old Cross-Country Rider from Burbank


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-Six of us rode here on November 8. That is probably more riders than have been up there all year. And there were two guys on horses, two hikers, and a couple of tents pitched up above.
      Old Gringo a 62 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Specialized Epic Comp 29'er from Northridge


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-We rode here December 23. Seven miles up then back down. I have never seen so many rocks on the fire road, but it was a good ride.
      old gringo a 61 year old Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Roads Forever-Thanks, OG.

      Yes, they do pretty much 'go on forever' - I found that out the hard way. Once started at the Indian Canyon TH on Soledad, rode up Indian Canyon to Santa Clara Divide, then over to North Fork Station, down into Pacoima Canyon, up to Mendenhall Rd, then up up up to Gleason, where I took a nap under the moonlight, then down Santa Clara Divide and Indian Canyon. Got to the TH at 2:30 AM, found thick ice on top of the car. Jumped in, grabbed my emergency blanket and sacked out for 5 hours before heading to work.

      Louis Wu a Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateSame Here-Hey OG,
      I did the same last week. Where did you ride? I did (from Twin Lakes) Uptown, Mountain view and downtown:a real leg burner.Also in Tahoe City did Page Meadows and that was superb.
      Michael L a 62 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Yeti ASR from Pasadena, Ca.


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Info-I didn't see the questions until today. Been in Mammoth and Tahoe. We went only five miles up Mendenhall on the last ride. The last time we did 14 miles up, it seemed like the system of fire roads went on forever.
      old gringo a 60 year old Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateAnother question for OG:

      Is Mendenhall open all the way to Gleason? I'm thinking of doing the Metrolink Shuttle soon...would be 'disappointed' if I got to Mill Creek Summit and found Gleason still closed! :)



      Louis Wu


    • Trail UpdateCondor Peak?-Hi OG. I was wondering if you knew anything about the conditions of Condor Peak. Is it rideable?


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-Hi, OG. How are you doing? I am fine, OG. How are you doing? Since I am the only person that rates this trail, I thought I would carry on a conversation with myself. Okay. We rode here today, July 2, 2012. We went up 5 miles and back down. There seem to be many more rocky sections than before.
      old gringo a 59 year old Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-The closure sign was gone so we decided to go for it. We rode up about 4 miles and started to hit large patches of snow. The mountain goats tried to go a little farther but we had to turn around. There were trucks dumping loads of dirt at the trailhead.
      old gringo a 58 year old


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Closed?-We went to Mendenhall Ridge on October 2. Since the last time we rode here (9-9-10), a big sign has been posted on 3N32 just east of LIttle Tujunga Canyon Road. It say something to the effect of the forest is closed due to fire damage, bla, bla, bla. We would have ridden about 9 miles but didn't want to risk the penalties.
      old gringo a 58 year old Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Ridge-We rode here on September 8. Except for a couple of rock garden patches, the road was in great shape. 9.6 miles out then back making 19.2 total (for those that aren't mathematicians).
      old gringo a 58 year old Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Ridge-First time here in over a year. I went out 5.2 miles and the mountain goats kept on riding up. There are lots of rocks on the road but it is rideable.
      old gringo a 57 year old


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-We rode here on April 12. The weather was perfect but I had never seen so many rocks on the road. I went out 8.3 miles, then back.
      old gringo a 56 year old Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-We lost our exclusive rights on this trail. There were at least ten other riders there on January 17. The road (2N32) is in good shape with the exception of a few rock slides. We went up 7.5 miles and back down.
      old gringo a 56 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Ellsworth Truth from Chatsworth


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-The elements have improved the fire road dramatically. We picked a rainy day to ride here. 6.3 miles out and then back.
      Old Gringo a 56 year old


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Mess-The Forest Service has plowed 2N32 from the Little Tujunga trailhead up about 5.5 miles as of today. There are too many soft sections now. It will take a good hard rain to pack it down. Tons of gnats today, too.
      Old Gringo a 55 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Ellsworth Truth


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-We rode here on April 19. It was very foggy from the trailhead up to around 4,500 feet then magnificently clear. There are still some rocks and sandy spots but the road is mostly clean. 20.7 miles out and back in three hours twenty minutes.
      old gringo a 55 year old


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-We rode here on March 22. There were more rocks on the road than we had ever seen before. Other than that (and a little wind) the conditions were great. 15 miles total, out and back.
      old gringo a 55 year old


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-We rode here on October 13, right after the rain. It was cloudy on the south side of the mountains but clear on the north side. The road was almost perfect. Just a few rocks in a couple of places. The gravel/rocky sections were rideable. 15 miles, out and back.
      old gringo a 55 year old


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-We rode here on July 28. The weather wasn't too bad for July. The road is in good shape. 19.4 miles total, out and back.
      old gringo a 54 year old


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-We rode this trail on March 31. Our exclusivity is intact. The road is in great shape with just a few rockslides (rideable). We went out 10 miles and back.
      old gringo a 54 year old


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-Looks like my buds and I are the only ones who ride Mendenhall. We did this on New Year's Day. The wind was howling and there were a bunch of dirt bikes out ahead of us (not too much damage to the fire road). It was a grand total of 10.6 miles but that was admirable considering the wind.
      old gringo a 54 year old Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-Did a 13 miler on Mendenhall this morning. There was actually another biker on the trail. Lots of rocks and a couple of gravel spots made it a slow downhill.
      old gringo a 53 year old


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall-We rode Mendenhall today, June 19. We made it up the road about 7.5 miles. There are only a couple of slides that require a short hike-a-bike and lots of rocks to dodge.
      Gringo a 52 year old


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Rock Ridge-We only made it 3.5 miles up the fire road when HMB blew out a spoke. There are more than a few rocks in that short section so ride with care until it is cleared.
      Gringo a 52 year old


    • Trail UpdateNo One To Be Seen-T.K. Riders ripped mendi.- Little iron mt. Sat.
      climb not so tough, didnt take any of the other trails that dropped towards the creek. Very fast coming down. some good size rocks in the way but nothing you cant swerve around, hop over. Not a bad ride for being all F/R and the traction was great.
      T.K. rich shot some great camera footage, all around a nice ride.
      Ride distance: 12-13 mi. Elevation change: ?
      Dirt Road=100%
      T.K. Mike a 94 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Liquid 30 from Big Chino


    • Trail UpdateNo Longer A Trail.-
      Did this ride for the first time yesterday.

      The ridge climb is fine. The drop into the canyon on 3N31 is rocky and rutted, but rideable.

      The canyon (4N35?) is no longer a trail/fireroad. I repeat, THERE IS NO TRAIL. I hiked 6 miles of river wash, boulders, sand, downed trees...At times I was just walking down the river. Never once really knowing I was even in the right place, and all the while brushing tics off my legs at regular 5-10 second intervals.

      The amount of water that must've flowed through that canyon is massive...And the destruction is worse.

      Ride rating: Expert
      Ride distance: 28 miles Elevation change:
      FoeJay a 29 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Foes FXR from LA


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Ridge/Pacoima Canyon-We started this strenuous ride at 9:00am. From where 3N32 meets Little Tujunga Canyon. We rode this fire road all the way to Indian ben Saddle. No problems with this part of the trail. Just plan on hard trip to the top of the mountain. We then took 3N31 all the way back to 4N35. This is where it got hard. The trail is just hard to navigate. I sure glad I had a map and compass, and lots of water. We had to carry our bikes over multiple fallen trees. 12 Hours to finish this loop. 28 miles.
      Ride rating: Expert
      Ride distance: 28miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=25% Dirt Road=75%
      Luis a 36 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized S-Works from Los Angeles


    • Trail UpdateCanyon Trail?-So I found myself at Indian Ben Saddle (oops, I mean Native American Ben Saddle). An unmarked trail led off across the side of the ridge, across from the beginning of 3n31 (Pacoima Cyn Rd), and I took it. I regretted my decision in about a minute and a half, after the second switchback led to a left curve and a steeeeep section. The rutted trail was about 8" wide and deep as it cut down and across the slope, just wide enough to collect tumbling rocks and debris, and it was so steep that there were dislodged rocks rolling along ahead of my tires! A downed tree about 16" thick and an HOUR of futile struggling stopped my progress, so I turned around and headed back up to 3n32. I didn't have time to take 3n31 down into Pacoima Cyn, and I can't tell from the posts below what the condition is like from the Saddle to the intersection of 4n35 leading up to North Fork. Everyone says the canyon bottom is next to impossible to navigate; is that the lower section by Dagger Flat Trail, or the whole length? A few weeks ago I went down 4n35 from the 3n32/3n37 intersection. The cliff at the end stopped me from going further, so I turned around and retraced my tracks, but I could see a section of trail from the end there and it looked smooth and flat. My map shows the fire road continuing up for another mile +/- beyond this point. What's the deal?
      Big Ben a 35 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Raleigh MT20 and an '02 Honda XR250R from Hollywood


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Ridge-We went out about ten miles and then back this
      morning. The fire road has been graded recently
      and most of the rock gardens are gone. There are
      still a few soft spots but generally it's a fast ride. I
      recommend a real early start on this one as it can
      get hot.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 20 miles Elevation change: + 2400'
      Truck Trail=100%
      Gringo a 52 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Ellsworth Isis from Chatsworth


    • Trail UpdateOn 7-5-04 I rode 3N32 from the start at Dillon Divide on Little Tujunga to Messenger Flat, about 16 mi. one way and 4000' of elevation gain. Usually this road has a number of annoying loose sections but this time they were well packed - no dismounts. This is a decent warm-day ride if you start early because it climbs to over 6000' and the wind on the ridge keeps the bugs down.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 32 rt Elevation change: 4500 accum
      Dirt Road=99% Paved Path=1%
      Philly a 54 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz SuperLite from Glendale


    • Trail UpdateTrail Sense-We tried going up 2N37 instead of 2N32 last
      Sunday. Big mistake. About two dozen rock
      slides, all but a couple are long and all are not
      rideable. The 2.4 miles from Little Tujunga Rd.
      until 2N32 took us an hour and a half. Only a few
      minor slides on 2N32.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 12 miles Elevation change: +2,700
      Paved Path=100%
      Gringo a 51 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Ellsworth Isis from Chatsworth


    • Trail UpdateDid this (loop) yearly winter, so no water in the spring.
      Not the type of trail to do w/o reading the reviews here, but my riding bud had done it a few years ago, first time for me...
      The 12 mile fireroad climb to Pacoima Canyon singletrack is not difficult, plus there's some nice views. The first 4 miles down are fantastic, then things start getting rough & loose, soon we were dismounting often, carrying the bike and remounting again. You can see some trailwork has been done fairly reciently but much can be done in the canyon to help ride more and dismount less, but I guess because of the remote location and limited resources this trail will stay as it is (not that that's a bad thing, I like that "remote" feeling). Also the fireroad climb out the canyon is a bummer...
      All-in-All it's a great trail, took us about 6 hours; 28 miles, and lots of climbing
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 28 Elevation change: 2500
      Singletrack=30% Dirt Road=70%
      ET riding a Switchblade from Simi


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Ridge-As promised, we did this one at the right time of
      year. It was breezy yesterday as we started, but the
      wind died down, it was a little overcast; perfect
      conditions. The trail was nice and packed except
      for a few rock slide spots. Spectacular views and
      no other riders for 2 1/2 hours and 18 miles.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 18 miles Elevation change: + 2.5K
      Dirt Road=100%
      Gringo a 51 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Ellsworth Isis from Chatsworth


    • Trail UpdateGnats 1, Gringo 0-Probably the wrong time of year to try this one. I
      started at 8 AM but it was already too hot. Plus
      there were tons of gnats. Total ride was 12.6
      miles out and back on 3N32. It is beautiful, most
      of the fire road was in good shape, although there
      are some rocky and sandy segments. I will try it
      again in October or November.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 12.6miles Elevation change: 2K +
      Dirt Road=100%
      Gringo a 50 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Ellsworth Isis from Chatsworth


    • Trail UpdateNice Day On The Ridge-Gotta love this place - 22 miles on a Saturday and not another soul... Last time I did this fifteen years ago I took Burma road, along the powerlines, up by mistake. Not a bad option as it's a pretty dramatic route, though it would add a few hundred feet of climb. Anyway, while everywhere else was cold and socked in, the ridge was sunny and fairly warm. Bring plenty of water - I used all 100 and could have drank more. The road's in good shape, but some sections, mostly in the middle miles, are quite rocky. Excellent vistas. Enjoy.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 22 miles Elevation change: 2800
      Dirt Road=100%
      gray a 43 year old Weekend Warrior from LB


    • Trail UpdateMemories Of Pacoima, Mendenhall?-All this talk about the lower canyon reminds me of my last trip there about 15 years ago. It was still a shooting area back then - kind of a cross between Mad Max and Deliverance... Innumerable banger types with lots of weapons, and you'd pass the hulks of about a dozen dead cars on the way down to the streambed.

      Anyway, do all the 'road gone' warnings below apply to the upper streches of the canyon 'road' as well - east the point where it intersects with Mendenhall Ridge Road? Also, has anyone ridden Mendenhall Ridge Road since the winter rains, i.e. in the last couple of weeks? Thinking about heading up it towards Iron Mountain later in the week.

      David McBride
      David a 43 year old


    • Trail UpdateUpper Trail Cyn AKA Deer Springs-A nice addition to this ride is the Upper Trail Canyon trail, which isn't really in Trail Canyon, but starts near the beginning of Mendenhall Ridge, just below Lightning Point CG. When riding down Mendenhall from the Lightning Point Saddle (paved to CG), start down the dirt Mendenhall road, then look for a lesser, gated dirt road going right (west). Ride down this road for about 1/4 mile, watching for a hard-to-spot trail going left (southwest). This trail is seldom used, and can be loose in sections. The middle section has some outstanding switchbacks and some hairy exposure. Continue through the canyon bottom, then climb very steeply back to Indian Ben Saddle, where you pick up the Pacoima Canyon Trail.
      Tom Kenney a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Klein Attitude from Reseda, CA


    • Trail UpdateA Few Things Have Changed...-man...i guess NOBODY rides here. the changes since i last rode here in march are as follows: first of all, the climb seemed easier (98% of it i did in the middle ring) maybe because i have a better bike, i'm a better rider, tubeless tires...etc. speaking of tubeless, do yourself a favor and buy the best regular tires you can afford and then get the $60.00 stan's no tubes kit and have your LBS set it up. awesome, awesome, awesome. maybe it's all just psychological but who cares. the ride just plain FEELS better. screw this $850.00 rim crap. anyway, the 12 mile, 2 1/2 hr climb was actually easier and the first five miles or so were WAY smoother probably due to a recent bulldoze. it does get hairier as you get up there though. the singletrack was cool but with more hike-a-bike this time. probably because of the recent wind and rain. there were numerous toppled-over trees definitely unrideable by me in this lifetime and i doubt it will be anytime soon when someone gets back here with a chainsaw to do trailwork. the other major change is that the fireroad exit out of the canyon is MUCH easier to find now although the singletrack overall will still challenge your route finding abilities. (lots of overgrown shrubbery stuff and grass and leaves and sticks and rocks and sand) in other words fun, just take your time. the climb outta there is a backbreaker though but you'll live. i don't say this often but the car is a sweet, sweet sight...a delightful 5 hr EPIC ride...

      Ride distance: miles 28 Elevation change:
      andy a 32 still year old Die-hard Enthusiast from los angeles


    • Trail UpdateGood Luck Tryin' To Find Yer Way-O.K. Here's my story on this one... First of all, this is an awesome place to ride. The length is of near EPIC proportion and you will not see another soul even if you're riding on a weekend or holiday. Yes, there are some drawbacks about this ride but not enough to outweigh the good points. My first time here about a year ago I found myself hopelessly lost. Once you commit to the descent into Pacoima Canyon you have only two choices: turn around and retrace your route all the way back which is what I did last time and would not recommend to anyone. Luckily, I had enough food and water but no lights. Made it back to the car in the pitch black after walking TOO MANY miles. The other choice is to gut it out, hack your way through some weeds and shrubbery and you'll find the fire road exit which is what I did this time. What's the deal with these guidebooks anyway? I'm a big fan of Mountain Bike! Southern California and I think every Socal MTB'er should own a copy but you have to wonder when the authors last rode here. I've even got the newly updated Sept 2001 edition and it makes no mention of the now non-existent trail. The good news is
      there's only a small portion (maybe 75 yards or so) where there is ABSOLUTELY no trail, otherwise if you really keep your eyes peeled, you should be able to find it as it winds over rocky, sandy sections through the creekbed. Oh yeah, to add to the confusion the creekbed seems to fork off in many different directions
      as well but if you stay dedicated you should see other biker's tracks which come in very handy. It makes me wonder if there's a core group of locals who are trying to keep this place secret. The guidebook also called the 12 mile climb on the fireroad 'moderate' which I'd have to disagree with. I started off confidently in the middle ring but I shifted into the little one soon enough. The grade isn't too steep but the problem lies in the terrain: loose, gravelly, rocky momentum-killing stuff, and I don't mean the fun imbedded type of rock. It's ALL loose and fist-sized. Overall though it's a fun, challenging climb with plenty of spectacular views to be had. You'll finally reach the well signed singletrack that leads down into Pacoima Canyon. If you value your bike's finish/paint job you may not want to go down here. My frame was pelted repeatedly by many loud smacking sticks and rocks. This trail reminds me of those you would find in the Saugus district like Five Deer or Lake Castaic's trails. It's a fun, fast, and challenging descent over large loose rocks and several other technical sections. You'll probably find yourself hike-a-biking here and there as I did but honestly, most of this stuff is rideable. At the 18 mile point you'll come to a clearing and the wide empty creekbed veers off to the right and becomes a grassy fireroad. Don't go that way! Stay straight more towards the perimiter of the mountain and I believe this is the point where the guidebook calls the fireroad "a welcome change of pace" but it soon morphs and deteriorates back into overgrown singletrack that will challenge your route finding ability (Once again, try to follow the bike tracks). If you start seeing power lines above you, you're on the right track and not too far from the fireroad climb outta there. Soon you'll come to a large oak tree with a blue ribbon tied to a branch. Go straight and keep following the fireroad/singletrack that can never make up its mind. Finally, everything will end and it will appear that your're in the middle of nowhere but you're actually very close to the exit. The creekbed should be to your left. The rocks are all white and this is the beginning of the uncomfortable portage section. C'mon now, what epic ride doesn't require SOME hike-a-bike. Fight your way through water, weeds, and rocks but stay to the left side of the creek and there you'll see a 15-20 foot climb out of there leading to the fireroad exit. All together I would guess the accumualted mileage for hike-a-bike is about 1 mile and not all in a row either. It's not really that bad but the climb out of here is a different story. The first 1/2 mile is STEEEP. It feels especially so after you've already logged in about 21 miles. It reminds me of the Hell Hill climb in Sycamore Canyon that we all know and love so much. If you're a fool like me and think you've still got the energy to climb this without a dab, you'll be screaming for mommy in no time. The grade eases a bit and you'll be out and ready for the 3 mile downhill glide back to the car. Trust me, when you get back to your car you'll feel as though you've accomplished something very, very GOOD. Now get the hell out of there and go eat...
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: miles 28 Elevation change:
      Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=60%
      Andy a 32 year old Die-hard Enthusiast from Hollywood


    • Trail UpdatePacoima Canyon (Another Warning)-Well, I am yet another victim of Pacoima Canyon! I was using the map of mountain biking trails in the San Gabriels put out by FineEdge Productions, the same people who published the Mountain Biking Southern California's 100 Best Trails. These sources are very out of date when it comes to the condition of the 'trail' at the bottom of Pacoima Canyon. Hard to believe but there used to be a road that went along the canyon bottom that you could actually drive a car on, but it has been gone for a long time, and it is not even a 'trail' any longer. Mendenhall Ridge Road was an enjoyable ride, starting at Dillon Divide all the way to Indian Ben. But do not make the mistake of descending down 3N31 to the bottom of Pacoima Canyon for the return trip. This trail has been washed away since at least 1998. I started down 3N31 from Indian Ben at about 8 PM. It was almost 12 hours at 8 AM before I made it back to Dillon Divide. I slept in the canyon bottom for four hours, but spent the entire rest of the time navigating down canyon. Once you ride down 3N31 and reach the bottom of the canyon, the trail disappears, and there are very few rideable sections. I spent the majority of the time hiking my bike. The BPL road does not reach the canyon bottom as it has been washed out and does not reach the canyon bottom. Since it was nighttime and dark I was unable to find the trail up to the remains of the BPL road, so I had to go all the way to the end of the canyon to climb back out to Dillon Divide. Fortunately, I was prepared for the unexpected and survived the ordeal just fine. But, there were some very worried people who had expected me back that night. By morning, the helicopter was out looking for me. I did not need to be rescued, as I was appropriately outfitted for such an occurence. The SAR team was waiting for me when I rode back out to Dillon Divide. Be prepared, and don't trust guidebooks!
      Mike a 29 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Gary Fisher Tassajara from Chatsworth, CA


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Road-This is actually a wonderfull area for Mountain Biking. If you study a Topo of the area, it is very easy to get around. One way is to go up Little Tujunga Road and park at the bottom of Mendenhall Road. Then cycle on up the road and you may go for nearly 10 miles to Mt. Gleason Road, and Messenger Flats CG. You may also start at the other end from Gleason Road. The road got wonderful views. The below entries went down to the bottom of BPL road which is a side road from Highline Saddle. Normally BPL road at its bottom meets Pocoima Road-although that road, which follows the Pocoima Creek is washed out in parts. That road goes up to Indian Ben Saddle. This summer, I saw a horny toad lizard out by Indian Ben Saddle. From Indian Ben Saddle, on a clear day, Strawberry and Mt. Wilson are in sight as well as Condor Peak. I also saw a deer while out on the road another time out this summer. It actually is a good ride. You do need to bring a lot of water. If prepared-freeze your camelbak etc.. for ice cold water.. this really is a great area to cycle.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 10 Elevation change: 1500
      Dirt Road=100%
      a 36 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Huffy from Altadena, CA


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Ridge-Listen to the gentleman's comment below. It appears that he followed "Mountain Bike Southern California"'s guide and ended up in hell as I did. The fireroad and much of the canyon floor is unrideable...save your gas and WATER! Sorry it happened to you too man. The 15 foot rock wall to reach the grueling climb sure was a treat wasn't it?

      Ride On
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 28 miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=25% Dirt Road=75%
      MattMB a 28 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a TREK 7000 at the time


    • Trail UpdateJust A Warning...-If you plan to take the left at Indian Ben Saddle to
      return along Pacoima Canyon (as in "Southern
      California's 100 Best Rides"), you will find that the
      initial 3-4 miles single track downhill (all that's
      left of the fire road) is rocky but fun. The next two
      miles down the canyon/streambed is partly rideable, but
      the "fire road" for the following four miles advertised
      as "a welcome change in pace" for the most part no
      longer exists! This makes a total of 6 miles of short
      lengths of rideable singletrack interrrupted by boulder
      hopping and thrashing through the undergrowth looking
      for the trail. The fire road leading up out of the
      valley (under the power lines) is in good shape, but
      starts above a sheer cliff 10 ft above the valley
      floor. Just downstream of this seemingly impassable
      obstacle, there is a path up which it is possible to
      drag a bike. After all this exercise, the initial part
      of the climb out of the valley is very steep, but soon
      becomes typical fire road grades with some downhill
      sections to finally rejoin the Mendenhall Ridge road
      about 2 miles from the trailhead at Dillon Divide.
      Overall, a strenuous 28+ mile round trip, for which a
      full Camelback provides NOT ENOUGH water!
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 28 miles Elevation change: 3000+ ft
      Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=60%
      John H a 50+ year old riding a Stumpjumper from L.A. County


    • Trail UpdateMendenhall Ridge-This is a nice easy incline, but you can go forever before turning back. About 11.5 miles or so you reach Iron Mt., which is a good turning back point. An option is to go another mile or so downhill to the junction of 3N31, turn left and you'll end up bouncing through the valley you rode above on your way upon some single track. Uphill at the end of this one is required, however, to get back to the starting point.
      Dirt Road=100%
      Tim Scoles a 35 year old riding a Trek 850 from La Crescenta, CA


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