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Southern California Trails

  • North Ranch Open Space - #NorthRanchOpenSpace

    Socal - Ventura County - Thousand Oaks NickNames: #NorthRanchOpenSpace the forbidden zone

    From the 101 freeway, exit at Lindero Canyon and go north to Kanan Road. Hang a left on Kanan and than a right on Falling Star. The trailhead is at the end of Falling Star on the right hand side. This trail can also be accessed from Lang Ranch Parkway in Thousand Oaks. Thomas Guide page: O

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    • Trail UpdateNorth Ranch Loop-Been a while since I did this ride which is only about 11 miles but has 2 very strenous climbs, namely up the switchbacks from the Lang Ranch side near the Chumash center and up Dead Cow. Conditions on the first climb were good though the first long pitch to the left (after you get up top)has quite a bit more rutting than normal due to the heavy rains in October. Definitely made for a good challenge and my buddy had to dab in one spot. On the other hand, the 2nd long steep pitch was in excellent shape. As for the Cow, pretty much standard techno grind though one of the first semi technical areas you encounter on the way up was a bit tougher now. Great weather on Sunday and very clear making it easy to see the islands off the coast from up top of the Cow.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 11 miles Elevation change:
      Old Bones


    • Trail Update14th Annual Conejo Open Space

      Saturday, October 9, 2004
      (Rain Date: October 16)

      Trail Users & Open Space Enthusiasts!

      Meet at: Conejo Community Center, Thousand Oaks
      (Botanical Garden Entrance off Gainsborough Road)

      7:30 AM - 8:00 AM Registration & Board Buses
      8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Trail Work
      12:00 PM - 2:00 PM FREE Barbecue & Bike Giveaway
      Sponsored by Carlson Building Materials & Giant Bicycle

      This is our biggest event of the year, bringing together hundreds of Open Space enthusiasts!


      For more info, call the Ranger office: 805-381-2741



    • Trail UpdateYes You Can.-Peeler, you can ride up Deadcow, aka China Flats Trail, from King James and connect to Cheseboro. When you reach the top of the climb, ride/walk around the two environmental barriers and continue down the main trail. Do not turn off the main. You'll descend into China Flats proper on a narrow ST.

      Stay on this trail, no turnoffs, until it reaches a fireroad, Palo Camado. Take a right on Palo Camado and climb less than 100 yds. Descend on this for about a mile and a half until you see a singletrack climb on your left. Keep your eyes peeled, Peeler, or you'll fly right by it.

      Climb the short trail to the Lookout. Go left and STAY left as you continue climbing for less than 100 yds. This trail is locally known as the Connector to Shepherd's Flat. You should know your way around by then. Good Luck.

      Upchuck riding a TurnIFreeMondONAdynaGT1x1


    • Trail UpdateInfo Help....-Starting from King James Court and riding up the trail could I reach Palo Camado and the trails in Cheese-bro?

      Any information is appreciated....
      peeler a 39 year old riding a GP from Chatsworth


    • Trail UpdateDeadcow-It's the doubletrack/singletrack that runs from the top of China Flats to King James Court located off of Lindero Cyn Rd.

      It's also called China Flats Trail.

      Upchuck riding a TurnIFreeMondONAdynaGT1x1


    • Trail UpdateWhat Is Dead Cow?-I know the trails that Heidi is talking about with 4 switchbacks and know about albertson. Where is Dead Cow? Where does it start and finish?

      Andrew a 23 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a pair of his running shoes from Oak Park, CA


    • Trail UpdateWhat Is Dead Cow?-I know the trails that Heidi is talking about with 4 switchbacks and know about albertson. Where is Dead Cow? Where does it start and finish?

      Andrew a 23 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a pair of his running shoes from Oak Park, CA


    • Trail UpdateThanks Matt-Thank you for your reply and directions. We're going to try this loop sometime this week. :)
      Heidi a Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateNo Loop To Be Had-Sorry Heidi, but I have yet to find a way to loop back up to Albertson from the trail you are talking about. You also can not link over to Dead Cow from here without going back down into the city and taking some surface streets. The main trail dead ends at a power line tower. A bit before it ends there is a trail that takes off from the main trail that will take you down into North Ranch. It is a short trail and not a lot of fun but from North Ranch you could make your way over to Dead Cow. This is described very well in the 1-5-04 post on this page. Dead Cow is a lot of fun and takes you up to China Flats. From there you can go up to Albertson and head down that way back to the Chumash Center. I would recommend doing it the other way once you know the route. Just my personal preference since Albertson is kind of a boring ride down and the single tracks are much more fun.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Matt a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider from Newbury Park


    • Trail UpdateNeed Help-Is this the trail that is right by the Chumash Indian Museum? Not the trail that leads to Alberson trail at the end of Lang Ranch Pkwy, but a different trail that starts out single track off of Lang Ranch Pkwy (It starts out with 4 switchbacks and a steep climb).

      My husband and I have tried a few times to make a loop out of this trail and we hit a dead end. We've tried several different directions and can't make a loop out of it. Does this trail connect with Alberson by any chance??? While riding the trail we can see Alberson to our left but can't connect the trails. That is what we were trying to figure out.

      Anyone care to give detailed directions for this loop???
      Heidi a 31 year old


    • Trail UpdateNorth Ranch/Dead Cow Loop-I must say this is an excellent ride with 2 grueling climbs. Starting off of Lang Ranch Street without a warmup and tackling the first climb up the ridge is a beeootch. 4 fairly steep and tight switchbacks on the way up than a couple steep and long pitches to the left as you head East/SE, the 2nd of which has parts sustained at a 20-22% grade--ouch! Once the torture is over and you level off you head down a rocky singletrack than a cruise through a meadow on a double track before a trip through some technical singletrack before you spill out on Falling Star street. A couple miles of street riding gets you to the Dead Cow trail. Though not as steep as the steepest parts of the trail near Lang Ranch, the Cow in it's upper half is definitely more technical and wears you down as you try to surmount all the technical obstacles which includes 2 rocky staircase sections--definitely an anaerobic experience. After hitting the top a cruise through China Flats and run down Alberson takes you home but I took the detour on the other fireroad offshoot and went down the Cattle singletrack back to Alberson. About 2300' of climbing on this short but intense loop.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 11 miles Elevation change: 2300'
      Heavy D


    • Trail Update10/11: COSCA Trail Work Day-

      Saturday, October 11, 2003

      Our biggest event of the year! Fun for the whole family!! Chance to win a mountain bike, donated by Giant Bicycle!!!

      7:30 AM: Meet at Conejo Community Center Park in Thousand Oaks. Exit 101 Freeway on Lynn Rd. north, right on Gainsborough Rd. right at the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden sign (just past the 7th Day Adventist Church). Breakfast snack. "Thank You!" Bar-B-Que and raffle after the work. This is a great event with many volunteers. (Rain Date: 10-18-2003)

      Click here for a map.

      Click here for more information from the Conejo Open Space Foundation web site.

      The Preacher


    • Trail UpdateNorth Ranch/Dead Cow Loop-Did a pre-Super Bowl ride on one of my loops. Trail conditions are excellent. The first part of the climb from Lang Ranch street is in the best shape I have seen with the trail packed down so hard it's almost like riding on pavement, making the first 3 switchbacks a little easier to negotiate than normal. Up top the first steep left pitch has a little deeper rutting making it a bit more challenging than normal. The packed down conditions help on the 2nd steep pitch which maxes out at a 24-25% grade. The Cow is it's normal techy climb.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 11 miles Elevation change: 2000'
      Bag of Bones a Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateCOSCA TWD THIS SATURDAY, 10/12!-

      Come one, come ALL! See the post below, or click here:

      The Preacher URL: http://www.cosf.org/2001/html/cvc-trailwork.html


    • Trail UpdateConejo Open Space TWD 2002-

      12th Annual Conejo Open Space TRAIL WORK DAY, FREE BBQ and BIKE GIVEAWAY!

      The Preacher URL: http://www.cosf.org/2001/html/cvc-trailwork.html


    • Trail UpdateNorth Ranch Open Space-Man, for a 12 mile loop this thing works you. My altimeter showed a 615 foot gain from Lang Ranch to the top of the last steep left pitch. The ascent is an average of 12% with one area about 16-17%. Dead Cow gains 840 feet in 1.3 miles which is over a 12% grade--add in the very technical upper half and no one wonder it's a beeoootch of a climb. Climbing the Cattle trail singletrack is no bargain either. Some brief but very good singletrack between the top of the switchbacks from Lang Ranch and Falling Star which will give even advanced riders a couple goood challenges. Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised with how good a loop this was and I'll definitely be back for more.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 12miles Elevation change: 2000'
      Matt a Die-hard Enthusiast


    • Trail UpdateTake Care-If you are considering Spare tire's suggestion below, please note the the primary direction of travel is in the oposite direction. This is not to say that the trail is a 'one way' trail. Rather, to point out the trail is steep, tight and unsighted. It is one of the few places in the area where one need not worry as much about foot traffic or horses. If you head up the trail, do not be shocked if you meet an oncoming rider with a bit of pace who is not expecting to meet you there.

      A good choice may be to make a small loop and enjoy the single track in a downward direction: skip the left onto the single track and continue on the fire road to the top of the ridge, take in the view of simi valley and long canyon, descend on the back side of the ridge on the same fire road. As you approach a 5 way junction, take the immeadiate left (very sharp) and climb that fire road to the top of the hill (1/4 mile). Look for the other end of the same single track on your left. Enjoy the ride. turn right when you rejoin the same fire road. Look for a very short connector to rejoin albertson motorway. In a little bit you can enjoy the cool "public path" detour.
      VernVernVernVern a 39 year old Weekend Warrior riding a cdale from Simi


    • Trail UpdateA Little Addition-When doing this loop on your way down Alberson make sure to hang a right at the "Y" and head up the fireroad to the north. Part ways up on your left you'll be at the start of a sweet little singletrack that will head up to the ridge top. It mixes in some rocky rutted stretches plus a steep climb at the end. After topping out head left and you'll eventually come back to Alberson and back to your car. With this little extra the whole ride is about 12 miles.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 12 miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=25% Paved Path=25%


    • Trail UpdateNorth Ranch/Dead Cow Loop-On Saturday did the ride described by Dan below and it definitely is a very physically demanding ride. The climb up the switchbacks from Lang Ranch Street plus the 2 steep pitches you have to negotiate after that will please any cardio monsters out there. After topping out there is a rocky singletrack which turns into doubletrack for a while. A couple short but steep climbs and you hit the most technical stretch of singletrack which includes a seriously steep dive in and out of a dry creek--major endo potential here so keep your arse back. After that, some nice singletrack to Falling Star with one major techno climb which will not be makeable by 99% of us save the expert climber. A couple miles of street riding brings you to Dead Cow, another punishing climb with lots of rocky places to stop your momentum including a large staircase area. Finally up top than a cruise through China Flat and a enjoyable bombing run down Alberson back to your car.I'm surprised more people especially out this way in Ventura County don't give this loop a run. Really an excellent loop that will certainly challenge your lung power and technical skills.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 11miles Elevation change: 2000'
      Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=40% Paved Path=20%
      Scarred up a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a GT from Agoura Hills


    • Trail UpdateNorth Ranch Open Space-Old Bones sums this ride up well though I measure the distance at about 2.5 miles. From the start at Lang Ranch to where the trail levels out is a little over a mile but it's fairly grueling especially without a warmup with temperatures near 90. We did the loop up Dead Cow with the addition of Simi Peak making for some serious technical climbing. I'll say one thing for this loop it does beat you up. The climbing is difficult especially up the Cow but The North Ranch Open Space has these damn prickly plants that slice you up if you're bombing through certain areas--time for the Neosporin! As for the Cow not another soul on it today--no surprise given the heat. My buddy who is a particularly strong climber "enjoyed" his first climb up the Cow and was chuckling when reading other posts where riders claim to clean it with no dabs routinely--he thought it was complete BS though conceeded on a cool day one would have a better chance if they are good at hopping. One reward of climbing the Cow on this loop is the high speed bombing down the Alberson fireroad where you can hit 40mph in sections.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 12 miles Elevation change: plenty
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=35% Paved Path=15%
      Dan from TO a Die-hard Enthusiast


    • Trail UpdateNorthranch Open Space-This is an area that has been covered by posts concerning Lang Ranch, Dead Cow,etc. It is about 2 miles between the trailheads at Falling Star and Lang Ranch. Despite the short distance first timers can easily get lost as there are many small routes diverting off the main one, many of which lead to Kanan Road and Westlake Blvd. Within this area is some nice and technical singletrack, namely the climb from Lang Ranch which has several tight switchbacks as you gain altitude rapidly, as well as an area closer to the Falling Star side. There are several creek (usually dry)crossings as you proceed towards the Falling Star side including one great drop and up which is very technical and will challenge the best riders. There is another steep drop (or climb depending on which way you're going) closer still to the Falling Star side. This area makes a great loop when combined with a loop including Dead Cow, China Flats and Alberson motorway. For a great cardio workout I would suggest doing the loop starting at Lang Ranch--this will require going up Dead Cow later in the ride which is an anaerobic experience to say the least.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 2miles Elevation change: 750-1000'
      Singletrack=60% Dirt Road=40%
      Old Bones a Die-hard Enthusiast from Thousand Oaks


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