- Thursday, July 25, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • Red Rock Canyon - #RedRockCanyon

    Socal - Los Angeles County - Topanga Canyon NickNames: #RedRockCanyon

    From the beach take Topanga Canyon Blvd 5 miles up through town and veer left onto Old Topanga road. Take this a mile or so and turn left onto Red Rock road. Park on the road and start riding, the road will hit dirt within 1/2 mile.

    The beginning of this ride features some amazing red rock formations, and after a mile or so you will come to an intersection with Calabasas Peak motorway. Go right to extend your ride and climb the motorway to the peak for amazing views of the S.M. mountains interior, and more rock formations. You can continue past the peak and descend the other side back onto Old Topanga. From here go right on the road and descend back to Red Rock and your car. Or cross the road and explore the Summit to Summit motorway which extends a couple more miles, and has some motocross built play areas. Thomas Guide page: 589

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    • Trail UpdateCalabasas Pk To Red Rock-Taking advantage of the nice overcast weather this morning (and considering it's mid-August, that was a treat), I rode Calabasas Peak Mtwy south from Old Topanga summit down into Red Rock Canyon. Views and scenary on this trail have to be some of the best in all the Santa Monicas!!! The trail itself was quite steep and sandy in spots. It looks as though they may have widened it recently, making things even looser.

      I made the ride into a nice loop, mixed with fire roads and single track. It makes for a really great ride and it eliminates the hardest climb when you start in Red Rock (don't worry, there's still plenty of climbing, just nothing as brutal as that 3/4 mile stretch from the bench to the peak). Here's what you can do: Start at the Top of Old Topanga and go south where the sign says "Trail" (short single track). Take this south to Red Rock Park (enjoy the views and climbs, and the really fast descent!) Slow down and enjoy the scenary as you get into Red Rock, it's spectacular!

      Eventually you'll end up at Old Topanga Rd - go south (make right). It's a really beautiful short stretch of paved road, all downhill, and when you hit Topagana Canyon Bl, turn left (north). Within a few hundred yards, take a right up Entrada and follow it up until you enter Topanga State Park at Trippet Ranch. Get on the fire road and head north. Climb towards Eagle Rock. After maybe two miles there's a trail that comes in on the left with a marker that says something like "Cheney Fireroad". Take this, a nice technical downhill, for probably 1/2 mile or so. It ends at a fireroad type gate which you go around and just continue downhill. Stay on the paved road and make a right at the white fence (I think it's called "Cheney Drive"). This drops you down to Topanga Cyn again. Head north (right).

      Less than a mile up on the right is Santa Maria Road, which is a short steep paved climb up to a fun little single track which you'll see on your left. (There's also a trail on the right, but I'm not exactly sure where it goes. Anyone?). This single track is not too difficult of a climb at all, and it has a touch of downhill (not much though). You'll cross a bridge and a stream and then make a left at the junction (very sandy area). The trail ends at Viewridge Rd. which will take you to Topanga Cyn, almost at the top.

      Going right takes you to the Summit/Overlook. But if you want more single track, make a left on Topanga Cyn, then after a few hundred yards, on your right you'll see a fireroad gate (someone wrote on it, "Yes Trail, Come See")which takes you down into Edelmen Park where there's lots of fun singletrack to explore. From here you can either go back out the way you came in and take Topanga Cyn back up a short ways to the summit where you make a left at the fireroad gate and get onto Summit to Summit Mtwy Fireroad, or find you're way by exploring and climbing Edelmen Park and head north along one of the ridges and hook up with the Summit to Summit Mtwy (when you do, go left). Heading kind of south-west will take you back up to where you started (Top of Old Topanga Cyn). Park your car at the bottom of Old Topanga Cyn if you want to end your ride with another fun and pretty descent (plus, climbing up Old Topanga from Mulholland Highway isn't that bad (less than 30 min.)).

      The whole loop is about 25 miles, depending upon how long you play on the single track at Edelmen. Look out for hikers and horses (certain areas). Enjoy...

      Jerbae a 35 year old Weekend Warrior from Calabasas


    • Trail UpdateRed Rock Canyon Rocks!!-Rode this trail early this morning under sunny and clear skies, what a scenic trip. The first few miles I had to walk and ride the bike to the top of Calabasas Peak, but the rest of the ride made the pain worth it. Cool views of the Valley and the Santa Monicas. The trail is in excellent shape due to the recent rains, hard packed with little to no dust. A lot of spring flowers. On the other side of the peak the trail has many ruts so be careful going down. Some sections even were muddy. I passed a few hikers so watch it around the corners. The singletrack was the icing on the cake.Hard packed all the way. Never did see any other MBers, only hikers. A few hikers told me that this was their favorite MB trail in the Santa Monicas. I definately will ride this again.

      I would upgrade the rating on this ride to Advanced/Expert due to the steep inclines the first few miles. The rest of the ride past Calabasas Peak could remain Beginner/Novice.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 8 miles Elevation change: 2500 Ft.
      Singletrack=5% Dirt Road=85% Paved Path=10%
      Double C's a 31 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Trek Mountain Track from Woodland Hills


    • Trail UpdateCalabasas Peak-VICTORY! After several attempts, I finally biked continuously up Calabasas Peak! It's been a nemesis for over a year. The trail conditions are better, thanks to the rain, so most of the trail is packed down and graded. Although, beware. There is still a short, very steep, rocky and slippery hill at the beginning of the climb (the most evil part!), and the next long switchback is very slippery, rocky with ruts. Once you conquer these two obstacles, you're about 10 minutes from the top, and the rest is steep uphill, but easier going. Excellent ride.. although definitely don't count on enjoying the views on the ride up.. you'll be too busy watching the trail and controlling your breathing and heartrate as you fight your way up and up...
      Christy a 26 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Rockhopper from Santa Monica CA


    • Trail UpdateHave You Seen My Left Lung?-Ok, so the first 30 minutes is bearable as you head up Red Rock Rd thru the gorgeous red rock scenery... but make that right turn towards Calabassas Peak and you're in for a climb. Albeit it was 89 degrees when I rode it, the climb after climb made me re-think (just for a minute) the reason why I was out here (is that a buzzard circling? Is that YOU, momma?) Bring your 1st gears, or lower if ya got 'em, go on a cool day, and bring plenty of water.

      Huffin' and Puffin'

      p.s. the beginner/novice rating needs to be updated to Inter/advanced, and in some stretches Expert for the lung you may leave behind climbing one of those nasty inclines near the top.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      AB a 33 year old Die-hard Enthusiast from Woodland Hills, CA


    • Trail UpdateCalabasas Peak Climb-This was my third bike ride to date in the Santa Monicas.. what a workout!! I'm a novice rider, so I stopped numerous times on the steep section from the bench to Calabasas Peak. Although I'm proud to say, both my friend and I rode the entire hill, albeit in segments. This ride still looms in my mind as a challenge to be tackled, and we're determined to come back, ride the whole hill continuously, rocks, ruts, slippery dirt and all!! The view from the peak is a perfect reward!!

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 8 miles Elevation change: 2,500
      Singletrack=2% Dirt Road=95% Paved Path=3%
      Christy a 25 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized Rockhopper from Woodland Hills CA


    • Trail UpdateRedrock/Calabasas Peak-Hadn't ridden this area for about a year and felt up for a cardio challenge which this 13 mile out and back will provide you with. Starting from the parking lot at the Top of Topanga parking lot and riding the ridge to the Summit Motorway than across Old Topanga to the top of Calabasas Peak and than down through Redrock canyon before reversing and heading back. There are several steep pitches as you cross Old Topanga and head to Calabasas Peak but none compare with the killer climb from the bench (at the I/S of Redrock canyon and the trail to Stunt Road)to the top of Calabasas Peak. The last 7/10ths of a mile up to the peak rank with any comparable 7/10 mile stretch of fireroad you can find in the Santa Monicas. Some say Bulldog is the hardest or Paseo Miramar. However take the toughest part of them for 7/10's of a mile and I'd say this climb is harder. When you combine the very loose conditions with the extreme pitches you have yourself a classic lungbuster. Despite nearly spinning out 3 times I made it up without a dab and had a heartrate of 190 at the top. Some great views from up top. Try it if you're up for a challenge cardio wise.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 13 miles Elevation change: 2500'
      Singletrack=2% Dirt Road=95% Paved Path=3%
      Dan from T.O.


    • Trail UpdateRED ROCK-Nice to see this trail finally mentioned. Excellent scenary all around as you ride up Red rock canyon. Once you reach the Calabasas motorway we're talking some serious climbing as the pitches are quite steep and often lose and rutted. Definitely a lung buster up to Calabasas Peak but the views are worth it. If you park at the Top of Topanga lot and ride in past the water tank there actually is a little bit of singletrack before you hit the dirt motorway--nothing exceptional though.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 10 miles Elevation change: 2500'
      Singletrack=10% Dirt Road=85% Paved Path=5%
      THE BIG SHIP a OLD year old Weekend Warrior


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