July 20, 2015
This trail is actually divided into 3 separate trail sections, upper, middle, and lower each having its own unique characteristics.
Either of the upper two sections can be circumvented by using/switching to, the fire road (the old railway right of way)before the trailhead for that particular section.
Each section is between 2 and 3 miles long. The upper and middle sections have a high amount of exposure and some very technical sections. They are definitely advanced rider trails (Intermediate riders could ride the smoother/flowyer sections and walk the technical parts...but the exposure can present problems for an intermediate rider even when dismounted) and a full suspension bike is recommended.
The lower section, is smooth and flowy, with heavy exposure and tight switchbacks, however it is not well suited as a riding trail due to the heavy use by hikers, trail runners, and all manner of day walkers and exercisers with children and dogs.
At the bottom of the middle section, the typical MTB route is to traverse across (a 1/2 mile of generally smooth rolling 200 foot climb) to Sunset Trail.
While the lower section can be climbed; neither of the two upper sections can be ridden upwards without extensive dismounts and hike-a-bike...not to mention the trail is generally not wide enough to accommodate you and your bike when encountering a descending rider at speed.
The trailheads can be accessed by climbing the old railway ROW, or via the SCOA (Southern California Outdoor Adventures) shuttle service which departs from the Windsor Ave/Ventura Ave. parking lot on a daily schedule (check the company website for times...and be sure to be there and ready to load on time. It is advisable to make a reservation/book a seat, ahead of time, especially on weekends.)
If you are riding with tubes, it is advisable that you bring two spares, flats, and multiple flats due to rocks and pinches are a common occurrence on this trail.
It is definitely a fun, and challenging trail; one that is well worth doing, and that you will remember afterwards.