- Sunday, July 21, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • Sisar Road - #SisarRoad

    Socal - Ventura County - Santa Paula NickNames: #SisarRoad

    From highway 126 exit 10th street (Hwy 150)Take Hwy 150 towards Ojai about twelve miles until you reach fire station, Just past the fire station on the right is Sisar Road. Park in the dirt lot at the bottom of Sisar Road as there is extremely limited parking at the Forest Service gate. The trailhead is approx. 1 mile up the rural Sisar Road. Thomas Guide page 366

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    • Trail UpdateSisar Canyon Road / Red Reef Trl-Road & trail in good condition. Rode both the loop (up Sisar to top & across ridge & down Red Reef Trail) and the up & back (up Sisar, up Red Reef and back down) a couple times over the last month. There has been active maintenance on Red Reef Trail in January/February 2010. It's all good and ridable (though very top of Red Reef still needs some work). Enjoy!
      Scott a Cross-Country Rider riding a S-Works Epic Carbon Disc from CA


    • Trail UpdateSisar Road - Still Steep!-It's been a few years since I've been on this ride and I guess I had forgotten how steep it is. None the less, it is a very good training ride and a bunch of fun if you make a loop out of it by going down Gridley Trail. The road is in good shape, a fair amount of water in the creek crossings and a challenging climb. The views from the ridge were awsome - the Channel Islands to the left and Rose Valley / Piedra Blanca to the right. I can't wait to do it again!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 24miles Elevation change: 3100
      Singletrack=15% Dirt Road=85%
      a 48 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz SuperLite from Ventura


    • Trail UpdateSisar Rd.-Fireroad is really dry and loose. The first water crossing is completely dry and minimal water in second water crossing. The ride is nine miles from off the highway parking at the bottom of Sisar Rd. to the saddle according to my odometer. 3350 ft. elevation gain over 9 miles averages just over a 7 percent grade with a couple steep pitches of maybe 12 percent. No need for granny gear for intermediate to advanced riders and it usually takes an hour and 15 minutes to reach saddle if you climb good. I came back down instead of taking other ride options.

      Interesting note: I was overtaken by a four wheel drive tow truck on it's way to rescue a stupid mini-van driver who tried coming down from the saddle and had it's radiator or oil pan cracked open by high-centering on a rock less than a mile south of the saddle. I thought the Forest Service did a better job of keeping these idiots and their cars out of this area. It's rare to see 4-wheel vehicles back here and they're supposed to have permits.


    • Trail UpdateJust rode the Sisar / Gridley loop as a shuttle. It's
      wonderful. The flowers toward the top are still
      blooming and vibrant. I saw two large vultures on
      a rock looking over the valley from just 7ft. away.
      The ride up Sisar to the higest point on the saddle
      is 7.3 mi and the elevation at the top is 4922ft. If
      you still feel like climbing, you can park your bike
      and hike the 100-150 ft to the summit of Chief
      Peak. After the initial climb to the top, there are a
      few ups and downs along the ridge to gridley trail.
      There was a tanker plane fighting a fire near LA
      that was going back and forth all day. While I was
      riding the ridge the plane was only 1000 ft over me.
      I waved at the pilot and he wagged the wings back.
      Very cool. Going down Gridley is a great and
      technical single track with loose ground at points
      and sheer drop offs to remind you of mortality. If
      you don't have suspension--I'm sorry. This ride is
      best done as a shuttle to the first gate at the Sisar
      trailhead. You'll come out at top of Gridley Rd., so if
      you have a friend w/ a car, you could park one car
      at the Shelf Rd. trailhead on Gridley adn take your
      other car to Sisar.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 25 miles Elevation change: 3388ft
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      Sean P. Keenan a 32 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Enduro from Ojai, CA


    • Trail UpdateSisar Road-This is a fantastic ride for anyone looking to train
      on a long climb. The grade is very steady and the
      road surface is good. There were 2 stream
      crossings near the bottom, then it was dry all the
      way up. We didn't see anyone for the entire ride
      (weekday). It took me just under 2 hours to reach
      the saddle, riding steady in a 28X32 and 28X28
      most of the way. The top half seemed less steep. A
      strong rider going hard could knock a half hour off
      that pretty easily. The ride down took me 40
      minutes playing it safe on my rigid machine. I will
      be doing this again for sure.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 8 miles up? Elevation change: 3000?
      Dirt Road=100%
      Dave a 40 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Wicked Fat Chance Rigid! from Massachusetts


    • Trail UpdateSisar Road/Red Reef Trail-About 3.5 miles up Sisar Road from the first gate there is a singletrack marked by a shot-up sign. This is the trailhead for Red Reef Trail. 1.5 miles up the trail is White Ledge Camp, and another mile or so out of camp you're on Nordhoff Ridge. It's certainly the most direct route to the ridge, where there is access to Rose Valley, Topa Topa, Sisar Road or Gridley (Red Reef meets the roadway on the ridge about 2 miles or so closer to Topa Topa from the saddle where Sisar Road ends).

      The trail is currently in excellent condition. Some volunteers (mountain bikers) have been doing trail work along the lower 2 miles or so. It's very steep in places, but all ridable. Above camp is steeper than below, quite a bit steeper. There are plenty of things on the trail to keep it interesting (nice poppers for the downhill, semi-technical rock piles to negotiate), and basically you can bite off as much (or as little) as you want. If you like fast, groomed singletrack this is the stuff you dream about (IMHO).

      You can ride up Sisar Road to the saddle, make a right and find the upper end of Red Reef a couple miles along the way (about 1/2 mile past Lion Trail, as I recall) and make a loop out of it (about 16 miles from the first gate). Or you can climb the trail and ride back down. If you really want a ride, come up Lion Trail or Cheif Peak Road from Rose Valley and drop into Red Reef, or do the reverse. But that's something for another post.

      While I am rating it as an intermediate ride, it's got some more advanced sections. Be careful in the switchbacks, you're going way too fast. I've taken beginners there (as far as camp) and all involved had a good time, just walked through the more difficult sections. And you can turn it into an expert ride, if you got big ones.

      The dirt road has been graded a couple times in the past 6 months or so, and it's pretty smooth and fast right now, all the way to the saddle. In the Summer it will be dusty and loose. Watch for hikers (dogs!), horses, and even cars on the dirt road (there are a couple residences inside the first gate - almost crashed into a Volvo last time I was there!). It's real easy to go very fast here. The water crossings are probably 8-10" deep (unless you pick the wrong line), maybe 4" later in the Summer, but always running.

      Enough said, just ride it. Have fun.

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 6 miles Elevation change: 3000'
      Singletrack=45% Dirt Road=55%
      Catfish a 41 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a heavy, old bike from Ventura


    • Trail UpdateSisar Road-Rode from parking area (next to highway, where you should park to respect residents) to saddle, 9 miles then came back down. It's getting cold, especially on descent (even in the middle of the day), wear long sleeves, layers and even a windbreaker. Some snow lingers at the top from a few days ago, more to come. Road is in great shape and water crossings are still easy to ride. Gridley has been cleared of excessive brush by volunteers so now's a good time to do Sisar Gridley loop.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Dirt Road=100%


    • Trail UpdateTopa Topa-A wide fire road consisting of a grueling 17 mile climb to the top of Topa Topa. The trail begins with two stream crossings. If you plan on climbing to the peak, I recommend you sacrifice the shoes and save your bottom brackets. A great ride if you want to work on your climbing skills or just enjoy the views of Lake Casitas and the Channel Islands. The downhill is very, very fast and wide open. When you reach the saddle (about 8 mi.) a hard right takes you to the peak of Topa. If you keep going straight, the trail leads you to Nordhoff Ridge and eventually into Rose Valley. If you're looking for single track, this ride isn't for you.
      Dirt Road=100%
      Shredbo a 36 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Cannondale SuperV2000 from Ventura, Ca


    • Trail UpdateSisar/Gridley Loop-We rode UP Sisar and DOWN Gridley. Intermediate?!?!? Yeow...If Gridley is intermeidate, I must be a big time whimp. Gridley offers plenty for the advanced rider: soft, hard, loose, rocks, exposure, tight, fast. The trail is in very good shape -- a bit loose here and there, but 99.72% rideable. Going up Sisar is a loooooong grind. It rewards you with huge vistas. Weather was great! A bit cool the first hour or so, after that it was niiiice. Please be aware and cautious -- hikers and dogs.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 30 miles Elevation change: 1000?
      Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=60%
      Jimm a 46 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a '99 GT-XCR1000/LE from SGV


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