Little Pine to Upper Oso - TRAIL

Little Pine to Upper Oso - Trail, Santa Barbara, California

Fire road climb to Happy Hollow campground is 10 gruelling miles. Turn left into Happy Hollow and ride for about 1 mile to trailhead on right. Rest and eat an energy bar, you deserve it after that grind! Rested? Head out on the trail. At first there will seem to be 2 options: stay right. Then descend for a few hundred yards; at first gradual, then a little more technical. Intermediate riders will do fine, beginners might consider walking the last section. At the bottom of the 1 mile initial descent there is a 3-way fork. GO LEFT to "Upper Oso"- 5 miles. This is a fun rolling singletrack with beautiful views of the valley below and the fire road you climbed up on. Take time to get a few snapshots to show your envious friends who missed out! The trail is predominantly narrow singletrack requiring good working brakes. You will be testing your braking endurance since there are very few opportunities to "let it all hang out". (Unless you're an advanced rider.) The penalty for losing your line is anything from a tumble down the hillside to bouncing off of a shale ledge. There are several switchbacks, rocky outcroppings, and sketchy, narrow and loose areas to test your meddle. At end of trail, ride out on the same fire road you rode in on and descend about 1.5 miles back to the start. Now grab a cold one out of the cooler in your vehicle (you did bring one, didn't you?), pull out the lawnchair and relax. GREAT RIDE, Whad'nit?!

User Reviews (24)

Showing 1-10 of 24  
Josh M   Cross Country Rider [Nov 04, 2012]

I have no idea how this trail has been rated so highly. Perhaps there aren't many options in the SB area. Basically, it's a 10 mile exposed climb on a hot dirt road followed by 7 miles of disjointed and uninteresting "singletrack". After 2 hot hours of climbing I was expecting some fun on the downhill. Instead I found myself looking for ways to get back on to the road. The trail had not flow and areas of gravel erosion barriers that ruin any flow. There is total of about half of a mile of good trail out of the 7 miles.

The trail has potential but it doesn't get enought tires to make it worthwhile. The park staff was great and the scenery was nice but not nice enough to come back.

Customer Service

Rode it as described.

Similar Products Used: I'd love to know if there are any.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
5
fee fi foes   Cross Country Rider [Jun 25, 2010]

Drove 2 hours to Santa Barbara after hearing that Little Pine was the best s/t ride in the area. What a disappointment. After a mind-numbing climb on fire road for 11mi and 3200', we were treated with over-grown s/t that was in poor riding shape (beat down by horses when it was wet) that had no real flow to it. I can't remember the last time I was on s/t wishing the ride would end - but this was it. I will say the last 1.5 miles of s/t before reconnecting with the fire road was good - better flow and a few fun tech sections. Scenery was great, but similar to most backcountry mtn rides.

Once was enough - even if they buffed it out, I'll take a pass. The s/t descent was far from payout after the fire road climb.

Customer Service

Don't recommend the trail no matter the option considered.

Similar Products Used: I hope there are others in the area - this place is far too nice to host only this trail ride. However, if this truly is the gem in SB, stick to surfing.....
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
5
Pat from Lompoc   Cross Country Rider [Feb 20, 2010]

Rode the ride in mid Feb. It was in great shape even after the rains. The Zaca fire gutted Happy Hollow and the top of the mountain a few years ago. Still the singletrack off the top is epic.

Customer Service

Same

Similar Products Used: Camesa connector
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
dm_93110   Weekend Warrior [Jun 12, 2004]

NOTICE: Be very careful after leaving Happy Hollow. Some people have turned to the right at the 3 way fork (after the first somewhat steep rocky technical downhill section). You'll want to go to the LEFT and come back across the face of Little Pine Mtn.

Customer Service

Stay left after first steep downhill section.

Similar Products Used: Angostura Road to Mercury Mine Tequepis Trail to Hwy 154
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
UPCHUCK   [Jun 21, 1999]

Try not to attempt this ride in the summer after 10 AM. It is just too hot! Intermediate riders with decent fitness should expect to be in the saddle for about 2-2.5 hours. (I know, some of you can do it in less time. I didn't want to underestimate the duration for the safety of those not familiar with the area).
The trail conditions are great EXCEPT after you turn left at the 3-way fork to head to Upper Oso (see trail description). The first few hundred yards are SEVERELY overgrown with thistle and mustard weed. You will be pulled off your bike, especially those with bar-ends! Tough it out and the rest of the trail is primo!
Be careful in the shale areas. There are at least 2 places where it is not worth trying to ride through the loose stuff; you screw up, you go over the edge...

Customer Service

Same as I explained in the initial review...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Arlan   [Jun 24, 1999]

If you're riding in the summer, try some of the swimming holes in the area to cool off after the ride.
Park on the dirt to avoid the consessionair charge (that's forest service land so no adventure pass needed)

Customer Service

DON'T BUY THE ADVENTURE PASS!!. It is a discretionary program (See "beating around the bush" in Mountain
Bike Action May 99)By purchasing one you are casting a vote in favor of this money wasting government
beurocracy. I have received several tickets, paid none sent back w/nasty letter) and received no repricussions (They have no recourse to punish you)

Similar Products Used: Buckhorn Trail, Knapp's Castle, Matias Portrero, Devil's Canyon, Ninteen Oaks.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Tom   [Aug 11, 1999]

This trail bites my ass. I used to think it was a good trail until I left the state. This trail is long. Thats it. A really boring downhill with few technical sections.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
AB   [Aug 24, 1999]

...if you want to feel like a superhero, do the ride backwards. Climb the singletrack, and then decend either the fireroad (wide open and fast) or the singletrack (just make sure you have something left in your legs.)
PS: If you take the challange, beware of downhill idiots bombing the singletrack completely out of control. Ride early and you shouldn't have any trouble.

Good luck.

Customer Service

Upchuck has already nailed the route, but.....

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
JB   [Feb 05, 2000]

I've ridden all over the U.S. and the trail remains my favorite. The initial climb is a killer, but the great views keep you going. When you get to the top you can see the Channel Islands on a clear day, but the biggest reward is the downhill it's everything you look for in a downhill plus some hairy shit too! I've done this ride both ways(up the trail and up the road). I will say that heading up the rosd first makes for a much better ride.

Customer Service

Chuck,s route is right on!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
IL   [Mar 21, 2000]

thsi trail is fun but sketchy in a lot of places and needs way more mantenance than it gets

Customer Service

this trail should only be ridden down, take the OHV road up to the top of Little Pine

Similar Products Used: none, stay way from Santa Barbara, our trails don't need the likes of you LA people so don't even bother asking around at a bike shop, cause if you ever asked me I'd send you on a miserable trail
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 24  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.