My vote for one of the top 3 rides in LA. 9 mile moderate pavement climb (or car shuttle), followed by 9 mile singletrack downhill. Summit is at 8300'. All pine forest, and a cool, clean air escape from smoggy LA. Definitely gets lots of winter snow (we 4x4 snow board shuttle here in winter). Smooth, twisty, flowing singletrack, nearly all downhill, and nicely banked from the traffic. Not very technical, but fast and fun. Hardtail to DH bike, it's all good. Body armor not required, and discouraged because it scares hikers. WATCH FOR HIKERS AND HORSES. This trail is very busy on Summer weekends, so watch your speed on the blind corners. Dust can be a problem in summer, as can heat, although it's usually at least 20 degrees cooler here than in LA. Once the sun goes down, it gets cold fast. In winter, it is very cold. Bring plenty of water, there is often none on the ride, due to contamination of the water supply at the campgrounds (might be fixed now). These are located about 3/4 way up the climb. You can climb the ST, but it can be steep, and be prepared to meet bikers coming down. I recommend not doing DH shuttles on the weekends unless it is early or late in the day, due to foot traffic. The campgrounds are great, but you may have to call the rangers in Frazier Park to make a reservation, as this place fills up during on-season. A very cool place to camp and ride for a weekend, with many other great trails and fire roads. Open fires are allowed in campground fire pits during certain times of year. Elevation gain / drop - 3000' at least. Make sure you get your gas and food either by the freeway, or at the town of Frazier Park at the flashing red 4-way stop. There are a couple of stores farther up, but no more gas, and it's a bit of driving on mountain roads. The shuttle drive takes about 20 min. each way. The road climb takes 50min+, the ST up is more like 75min+, and the descent takes at least 30 min.
I-5 approx. 60 miles North of LA, and about 5 miles North of Gorman and the Hwy 138 / I-5 junction. Exit at the Frazier Park exit and head West. Go approx. 5 miles to the flashing red light (4 way stop), and continue straight approx. another 7 miles, staying on the main road. On your right you will see a dirt road with a big 3-panel Forest Service sign board about 200' up (this is about 1 mile after you pass some 4x4 roads on the right, such as Cherry Creek). This is the parking for the drop car if you do a shuttle. You can also go up about 2 miles farther and park in the shade, but you lose some ST. To ride up or drive to the top for a shuttle, continue up the pavement, taking the left fork (old road) to the summit of Pinos. This is really the only left turn that is not down in 'town'. If you want to climb the ST, it is up the hill on your right, about 1.5 miles up from your car, at the next parking spot. If you were to make a right here, the road goes to Ventura, CA. It's complicated - get a road map if you want to take a shortcut here from Ventura, etc.
Summary: Good trail with some jumps, rocks, trees. Once you know where your going, it only takes about an hour or so to hit the 8 miles down to the Y. I made my girl be the driver this time, makes it a lot easier. I love the variation in the trail and the views are killer. Can't wait to hit it again this comming Sunday.
Summary: We rode this trail about a month ago and it was quite nice with a little snowpack in places. When we left the car it was 38 degrees and the wind was blowing 25mph. We were the only bikes on the trail that day.
Today was a different story with all of the downhill car shuttlers. We decided to ride up the paved road instead of the trail figuring it would be too busy with downhillers. Instead we saw the same F350 full of bikes go by us at least 3 times on the climb. That white F350 came screaming down the road at one point at a ridiculous rate of speed trying to beat his buddies down the hill to shuttle them up once again. I hope he can control his bike better than he drives a truck with the amount of hikers and mtn bikers climbing up the McGill trail on this holiday weekend.
All of these downhillers doing multiple car shuttles is tearing up the trail at a rapid rate. The trail was in much better condition one month ago. Are these same riders who are too lazy to climb the mountain willing to put in some volunteer work and fix the trail? I doubt it. I think they are doing a great disservice to the mtn biking community in general and we will be faced with the closing of more trails unless the attitude is changed.
Summary: intermediate riding, but fun. The mid to bottom is like one long luge run, the top you have to work a little bit. There was still snow when we went up last weekend and alot of mud. some really cool views tho.
Summary: Great Mountain, chumash special! Park at the first trailhead, small lot, off to the left as you begin summit road. Head up! Climb for around 8 miles, great views along the way! Check out the lower central valley after a few miles. Mostly shaded, some traffic on weekends. Great coming back down, you've earned it!
Other recommended trails in the same area: Frazier mountain from the ranger station, all fire-road, great work out, great views, feel the shift into alpine meadows! Some single track off-shoots from summit, get a map from rangers.
Riding out to Half Moon campground from lockwood valley, fire road, no single track. Although there are some out there, go find 'em! Just a great 24+ ride out and back, stream crossings, and lovely views.
Summary: I tried to ride this trail a couple of weeks ago, but there was too much snow for me to feel comfortable with finding the trail. The climb up the hill is tough, but it is not death defying. I figuge I have earned one shuttle run. I'm giveing the trail a 5 out of 5 so I don't ruin the rating since I can't review the tail.
Recommended Route: I would not know.
Other recommended trails in the same area: I have not been on any other trails in the area.