- Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • Sulfur Mountain - #SulfurMountain

    Socal - Santa Barbara County - Ojai NickNames: #SulfurMountain

    ventura fwy (101) to hwy 33 ( towards Ojai). Continue to Sulfur Mountain Road - just a few miles before the town of Ojai. Drive less than .5 miles to end of road where trail head begins.

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    • Trail UpdateSulfur Mtn. Road-Just rode this the other week, right after the rains. Did not do the loop, just did the 11 mile climb and back down from the Hwy. 33 side. This ride used to be fairly easy. Easy, smooth but long. The rains have changed all that. Expect parts of the ride to be washed out. I mean REALLY washed out. Like actually, parts of the road are literally gone. And other parts of the trail are covered w/ hardened cow tracks which makes for a bumpy climb/decent. Oh, and then there are the ruts. Quite a few of them.

      I used to bomb this trail coming dh, but that has changed due to the terrain. It is NOT the once smooth fire road that it was known to be. There is one cool jump about 1.5 from the top. You can hit this pretty fast,(it is downhill) just make sure it is safe. If you choose to jump this stunt, make sure you have experience. Because if you hit this at speed, you WILL definetely be launched. For those who do not do stunts, you can casually roll over this stunt at a medium speed without losing control.

      Overall, it was once an easy & smooth ride. But not anymore. Parts of the trail is literally GONE. And I've a feeling it's gonna take a long time for this trail to be smoothed out again.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 22 mi. total Elevation change: for sure.
      delcruncho a 40 year old Downhiller riding a Specialized Big Hit from Oxnard, CA


    • Trail UpdateSulfur Mountain Loop-It was forty years since the last time I rode Sulfur Mountain, and that was on a motorcycle while JFK was president. It's been closed to non-resident vehicles ever since. The closed land surrounding the road is probably owned by an oil company, or by Rancho Arnaz, which was established in the 1840's from former Mission San Buenaventura lands seized by the Mexican government during the secularization period. You can look out over 9 miles of meadows and ridgelines toward the Pacific Ocean to the south, down Canada Largo, Wheeler, and Aliso Canyons to the southwest and southeast, over toward Lake Casitas and White Ledge peak in the Santa Ynez mountains to the west, across the avocado and orange orchards toward Nordhoff Ridge and Topa Topa Bluffs. There is a stream of crude oil running alongside the well-graded road ascending from the locked gate near Casitas Springs. The oil companies never got much oil out of Sulfur Mountain, which has a rotten egg smell in many places. From the Casitas gate to the first house is 9 miles of graded dirt road, cattle crossings, water tanks, pastures, and range cattle. Then there are two miles of blacktop in varying condition of repair---watch out for speeding local residents in their cars---to the locked eastern gate at the 11 mile point. It took me four hours to pedal to that gate in 90 degree heat. I stopped to refill my water bottle from a garden hose, thinking that it would be all downhill from there. But there was still some more uphill for about two miles. Then the descent to the Upper Ojai Valley is really steep. I faded my brakes going downhill. I can't find any elevation information about the high point, but the altitude gain must be at least 1500 feet from the 280 foot level at the beginning. I refilled my water bottle again at Dennison Park, and coasted down to Ojai where I turned left onto Montgomery St., and left again on Creek Road, which runs along San Antonio Creek. Creek Road is well-paved and is a shortcut for Ojai motorists who speed through the oak tree-shaded road. I stopped again for water at Camp Comfort, and then reached Hwy 33, where I cautiously crossed the highway to pedal back to my vehicle at the trailhead. The whole ride took me 6 hours, and I calculated that it's 26 miles.
      Ride rating: Novice
      Ride distance: 26 Elevation change: 1500
      Dirt Road=9% Paved Path=15%
      Harry Sprague a 61 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Parkpre Factory racing from Hollywood, CA


    • Trail UpdateSulfur Mtn-This is a great, beautiful ride. 9 miles up and 9 miles down. Fairly well graded fire road - all dirt. Pretty quiet - not a lot of people know about it. Uncommonly bucolic - fields of green; oak trees, wildflowers, etc. Views of Ojai valley, ocean, etc. The 9 miles up aren't so bad - steep alternates with reasonable grades. No skill required unless like me you ride too fast down ( why else go up a 9 mile mountain, anyways!?!. Can return same way - 18 mile total - or continue down mtn on other side; which will take you into the town of Ojai; from which point you'd take 33N back to sulfur mtn rd and your vehicle - about a 23 mile loop. For those who've done Bulldog, it's very similar but a LOT prettier.
      Ride rating: Novice
      Ride distance: 18 - 23miles Elevation change: scads
      Dirt Road=100%
      Carole a 32 year old Weekend Warrior riding a grandmas buick from Westlake .net


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