VIPER - TRAIL

VIPER - Trail, Newhall, California

DAMM TECHNICAL 3 STEEP CHUTES experienced rider's only. FULL SUSPENSION rec.

User Reviews (19)

Showing 1-10 of 19  
mr_spin   Cross Country Rider [Oct 21, 2013]

I live in the area, so I had to do this trail at least once. Some parts of this trail are pretty sweet, a few parts are above my comfort level, and there is at least one part that is simply unridable in its current condition (at the junction of the Manzanita trail).

I can't say I really enjoyed my time on this trail. The ratio of walking to riding was too high for me. Not knowing the trail, I ended up walking some sections I probably could have ridden. There are some sections where you have to fully commit without knowing what you are getting into, so better safe than sorry!

This trail is spectacular in terms of views, and the singletrack is definitely sweet. Be warned: you will be climbing on the way down. And bring a map or a smart phone to find your way out of the oil field at the bottom. There are no signs, and it's very easy to miss the right turn and end up on Sierra Hwy.

With all the advanced level elements, I wouldn't recommend this trail to anyone who doesn't have advanced level skills. Or, to anyone with lesser skills who doesn't mind walking.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
ryan1584   Cross Country Rider [Apr 03, 2013]

Steep fire road climb to SWEET single track descent. 2100 foot climb in four miles pretty intense, I was in my granny gear the whole time but only had to walk briefly. when I got to the clearing with the trees where the single track starts to the left, I sat down, ate a sandwich and enjoyed the view. Ride down was epic. Not to be missed. I have to admit, I walked about half way down couple of the hairier sections (super steep, no brake situations). I went back and forth on whether I should have brought my full face helmet and pads. I didn't fall, so I didn't need them but the speed you get on this downhill is pretty intense. Would have been much happier if I had a partner up there in case things went south. It was windy enough in some spots that the wind blew me around a little bit. If it had been any harder it might have blown me down or off the trail. Otherwise, this is a must do if you're in LA looking for good rides. I was on a Santa Cruz Superlight (4 inches of rear suspension).

Customer Service

Park in park-and-ride, take fire road up up up, then singletrack down.

Similar Products Used: Tapia Canyon - Much more chill - half the elevation change, half the steepness, a fun alternative for someone who doesn't want fear injected into their ride.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
HillClimber823   Weekend Warrior [Mar 17, 2013]

Fast, steep but very fun. Definitely an advanced trail. Protection a must. A few VERY steep sections with dismounts for beginner riders.

Bring plenty of water and sunscreen.

Customer Service

Park at the "park n ride". Ride or in my case walk/ride 6 miles to the plateau where the 2 trees are. You can see them from a mile from the top.

Take a break and them bomb down the fast trail.

Similar Products Used: Local: Towsley Canyon
Out: Mt. Pinos
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Alex Bonelli   Downhiller [Aug 06, 2012]

I really don't know why people keep saying ''Viper is crazy, or downhill bikes with body armor is a must.'' Don't listen, just go ride it for yourself. I neglected to ride this trail for the past 3 months because I thought it would be too tough. any decent hard tail and a intermediate rider will do fine on this trail. Good brakes are a must though, as the trail is very steep. a few sections have ruts but they are totally avoidable and you can blow through em on a full suspension. Since you also have to hike/climb quite a bit I would recommend a hydration pack with lots of water. Gets pretty hot here in Newhall especially during the summer. all in all a buttery smooth (for the most part) fast and steep downhill single track. Go out, ride this trail!

Customer Service

park at the park and ride and push your bike or ride up the fire road. when you reach a plateau with a couple trees you have reached the top!

Similar Products Used: None, really. this is by far the best near Newhall
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
bcriner   Cross Country Rider [Aug 13, 2011]

Trail starts just off the 14 freeway. Steep jeep road takes you up about 4 miles. If you want, you can top out at the fire station near the peak. The road is a constant climb and is rutted in spots. I'm from Colorado, so the climb wasn't too bad, just a constant grind. When you get to the flat spot near the top, the road will cut right. To your left is a lonely tree. Viper single track starts there. From that spot, you can see most of the downhill. It cuts right along the ridge line of hills. As a matter of fact, you can see the trail from the southbound 5 freeway! It looks a lot easier than it is from that start. Steep, loose, rutted....oh, and fun! I took a nice digger over the bars once. This is a down-hillers dream. Once you get the bottom you will see some oil derricks and the trail disappears. Head straight though the "oil" area on the dirt road (north). That road will take you to the fire station and back to the park and ride.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
enduromonster   Weekend Warrior [Jul 17, 2011]

Trail head was easy to find with some local help. The whole trail needs some work. lots of ruts and even more bushes crowding the single track. It would be sweet if the bushes were gone.

This site does not support embedded trip maps. View the trip here instead.

Customer Service

Up then down.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
fitzmotor   Downhiller [Jan 23, 2011]

I rode Viper today, it was incredible, yea, it had ruts from the rain and was a bit overgrown towards the bottom, but holy cow what fun...and yea, I bailed twice over the bars, it was one of those oops, picked the wrong line down one of the steeper sections, got right back on and bailed again, the best part was the hikers below got off the trail to let me go by, I said "nothing like crashing with a audience watching" they laughed and said "at least you got right back on it" but really this is a a$$ kicker trail, it combines a serious workout pedaling up to the trail head with a crazy downhill run back to the bottom, I will be riding this one a whole bunch, and you end up right where you started at the park and ride.
I used to ride these mountains 27 years ago, now the cholesterol is high and belly is flabby so i gotta get out and do something about it, this trail is the bomb, when you are done you feel like you really rode hard (at least at my age) so to anybody who wants more than a moderate safe ride, try this one, you will feel very amped and alive. And for those who shred this thing and think "yea it was ok" I bow down to you.
Posted by Fitzmotor a 49 year old Downhiller riding a Jamis Dakar

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
JDHarris   Weekend Warrior [Feb 25, 2010]

Rode viper for the first time in a year. It's recovered pretty well from the fire in 2008. It's totally rideable again. The bottom section is in good shape and the tops single track line is pretty well formed again. Lots of ruts from the recent rains, but it is completely rideable from top to bottom... The more of us who ride it the better it will become... So get to it :) Don't forget to ride the single track just before the oil fields near the bottom. It goes up left from the road following a barbed wire fence.

BTW I rode also rode Los Pinetos today and its in fantastic shape. Very tacky and smooth.

Customer Service

Up San Fernando, down los pinetos and back up, then down viper!

Similar Products Used: Towsley, Boquet motorcycle drop in, Olive View (steep single track back towards hospital)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Creektown   Cross Country Rider [Jan 02, 2010]

First, let me say that the Newhall and SCV locals are nursing VIPER back to health. The results of the recent fires did pretty much completely alter the trail, but I have to say - it's like a new beginning.

My 2.0 tired, Cannondale f3000 (with a rebuilt fox 100RL front fork along with the monkey bar) surely bucked my off every time it could struggling down Viper. But I've done it a few dozen times.

Now - I have a hungry 2010 FOES XCT-5 that I can drink tea on while ridding down VIPER (compared to my dainty hardtail).

Customer Service

The best way up is from the park and ride dirt area at the end of Newhall Ave (formerly San Fernando). Take the Santa Clara Truck route (fire road) all the way up.

Helicopter still seems to be the best way to get up though ;)

VIPER is just as hard on the way down as the climb is on the way up... which is pretty brutal.

Similar Products Used: Los Pinetos. What a great, woodsy switchback ridden, steep, rocky, technical, beautiful fun ride down to Placerita Nature Center. Instead of vearing left to hit VIPER, just keep going up and over the saddle. When you get to the bathrooms, look to your left. The fire road continues going, but there's a small trailhead that drops off into the Oak Trees to the left of that.

When you get to the bottom (you'll know when you do), just hang a left and have a great time on the rolling Canyon Trail back to Placerita Canyon.

I love both rides. Pinetos is much much easier (which isn't saying much compared to VIPER), and offers an extremely beautiful, completely different ecosystem then VIPER.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rodeomonkey   Downhiller [Nov 25, 2008]

R.I.P. Viper 3.5 Billion B.C. to 11-17-08
It brought tears to my eyes when I saw what they had done to you. They took a grader and ripped off your backbone. The great Viper trail is now a 8 lane fire road. Sad!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 19  

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