Get to where the 101 and the 405 freeways meet in encino. If on the 101, get off the woodman exit, and head south towards ventura. Make a right on Ventura, and go all the way down to Hayvenhurst Ave. Make a left on Hayvenhurst, and keep going up (south). By now you should start goin uphill (by car...). You'll get to a GREEN marker, which forks the road. Go right, and keep goin up for another 5-10 minutes. Once there, you park your car in some weird dirt lot, and there is a very wide and rocky fire road to climb. The climb to the trailhead is very short. It wont take more than 10 minutes. Once there you have several options (several trails to hit...). Turn left into the old Army Base, go into the picnic area, and on your left is the trail. The trail has both a singletrack section, and a fire road section. Your choice. I;ve never done the fire road, singletrack is better. but finding the singltrack is weird...Right when you start the fire road, pass under the big-ass electricity thing, and start looking to your left. The place the singletrack starts is kinda like a step of some sort and barely looks like a trail. Go there, and keep goin. I;ve never finished the singletrack (because i had to go back to my car), but the portion of it is very very very awsome.
Summary: These trails might be good for LA, and the views can be amazing, and it feels great to get out of the crowded city and into the mountains and fresh air, but these definitely aren't good mountain bike trails.....
Do ya like to climb? if so this ride is for you. Paseo Miramar is a steep and relentless fire road with an incredible view of the santa monica bay all the way up this climb (I saw whales migrating south last year) to the parker mesa overlook 1,700ft. from PCH & Sunset. I continue east towards trippet ranch in topanga and Eagle rock on my way to the hub and then grab the backbone trail to will rogers (Gnarly fast makeable single track with views of city and bay) house / polo feild. i take sunset one lite west/right or 300yds and go left down towards the beach cross under PCH and take bike path north back to sunset blvd. This ride takes me 3 hours and two water bottles
Recommended Route: Start at PCH & Sunset Blvd. Ride up sunset past the fire dept. on your left is Paseo Miramar 3/4 mile. Take street to end of road and dirt to the top, you cant miss it.
Other recommended trails in the same area: For climbers Bull dog in malibu and hell hill in Sycamore Canyon. For cruising westridge fire road with either sullivan ridge on a clear day for the view and speed or the canyon for shelter and technical fun(the canyon is crowded on the weekends and during the week there are big horses that spook easily so watch your downhill speed). P.S. I speed early in the morning before 8 and love it.
Summary: It's awesome! So many options. I normally start off by climbing Sullivan fire road, then cut over to westridge ridge. After that I rap back around to sullivan and ride back down sullivan canyon.
Recommended Route: How to I get to Will Roger's if I start at the bottom of Sullivan Fire road?
Other recommended trails in the same area: Kanan Canyon
Summary: A 3.5 out of 5 for the Santa Monica Mountains? Ya gotta be kidding, this has to be one of the best places to ride in L.A. These mountains have such an expansive sytem of trails that may cause some riders to just pick out the lame ones. I recommend if you're new to the area you ride with someone who is familiar with the area so one can get a real appreciation of the place.
Rides can range from a meager 7 mile trek to an epic 30+ miles adventure. I like to vary my rides: I always start from Cordelia Street where I park my car and ride up to the gate. From there I ride uphill to the Nike Missile Tower which is about 3.69 miles. From the Missile Tower, you can either go east and reach the popular Kenter Coaster or go west and hit everything from Sullivan Canyon, Eagle Rock or Will Roger's State Park. If you go west, it's definitely to ride 3+ hours and range from 18-30 miles of pure perfect trails. It depends on your course selection and if you're in the mood to ride various trails for hours or just get in a quick work out. My most common route is to ride down to Sullivan Canyon where you get a wide selection of technical fun downhills ranging from smooth fire roads to rutted and rocky single track and "deadly" switch backs. Man, that is fun. You also get a great work out cause with the fun of downhill, always comes the price of having to ride uphill which also ranges from smooth hard pack, to rocky, steep and rutted inclines. What I'm pretty much saying is, these system of trails will fit whatever riding style you like and deserves much more than an average 3.5 rating.
The beauty of the trails should also be noted. You can't beat the views from these mountains. You look north, you see the entire Valley, you look south, you see the entire city of L.A. Come on, that's pretty sweet. Plus, Sullivan Canyon is like riding in a "Lord of the Rings" novel with shaded single tracks and fallen trees around you and stream crossings after the rain season. It's really nice. Riding to Eagle Rock is another beautiful course to take where if you dismount your bike and climb up to Eagle Rock, you get a great view of the entire mountains and it's so serene and quiet you can't help but hang out for a while and maybe chow down a Cliff Bar and just soak it all in. The wildlife is also very notable and amazing.
Recommended Route: Coming from the city of Westwood: I drive North from Veteran Ave. to Sunset Blvd where I drive West till I reach Mandeville Canyon Road and take this street all the way up the mountain and park on Cordelia.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Sulivan Canyon
The Hub-which leads to Will Roger's State Park
The link to Kenter Coaster
(There are a lot of trails here, I'm sure there are some I haven't found yet, but some day, I hope to).
Review Date August 21, 2003
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Aerobic Difficulty 3 of 5
Technical Difficulty 3 of 5
Ridden Trail: Every few months
Reviewed by: carbnjunkie
Cross Country Rider
, from Los angeles, ca
Summary: I live in westwood, so its close, and its a good workout, then a good way down. its not epic and no "mad drop offs;" but i like it. But please do not try to bike down sunset, it will kill you.
Recommended Route: get off on queensferry like everyone else said. and then ride up and down.
Other recommended trails in the same area: i know there is single track, just dont know any of it.