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I'm just getting into mountain biking and was wondering if you guys can recommend some beginner trails. I've tried looking in books but most of them are way too advanced for me. I live in the San Fernando Valley but am willing to travel a bit for some nice scenery and trails that aren't too technical. Thanks!!
 

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ybonics said:
I'm just getting into mountain biking and was wondering if you guys can recommend some beginner trails. I've tried looking in books but most of them are way too advanced for me. I live in the San Fernando Valley but am willing to travel a bit for some nice scenery and trails that aren't too technical. Thanks!!
Dirt Mulholland is a good beginner trail. Not very scenic, but you do see the Valley below and all it's splendor. Super easy fireroad riding. No major climbs, just gentle rolling ridge top riding. There are some loose gravel sections because the rangers pave some section with gravel for emergency vehicles.

The Betty Dearing trail in Studio City is easy if you stay on the main fireroads. More climbing on this trail, but the fireroads are easy to negotiate. Stay on the designated trails, many bikers have created their own single track here and it rubs the locals the wrong way.

Del Cerro in Palos Verdes is very scenic next to the ocean. Stick to the fireroads and it's an easy non technical ride. The entry from the trail head can be steep for some beginners, so just walk your bike down til you get the water tank. It's all easy on the way in because it's mostly descending. The way out is more exercise as it's a climb back to the trailhead.

A side note, many of these easy trails are also popular with dog walkers and hikers. A bell helps on these popular trails and keeps everyone happy.
 

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ybonics said:
I'm just getting into mountain biking and was wondering if you guys can recommend some beginner trails. I've tried looking in books but most of them are way too advanced for me. I live in the San Fernando Valley but am willing to travel a bit for some nice scenery and trails that aren't too technical. Thanks!!
Chino Hills State Park has a plethora of beginner level trails, just wait till it cools off a bit, maybe later next month.

Blue Ridge is a nice trail near Wrightwood. A couple of short, moderately technical sections that can be easily walked through if you're not comfortable with them yet, but the scenery is some of the nicest in SoCal. Beautiful singletrack section through the forest.

Marshall Canyon in San Dimas/Claremont is nice also. Relatively shady singletrack about 3 miles long.
 

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The “valley” trail at Sycamore Canyon (Pt. Mugu State Park) a little north of Malibu, is great for beginners, especially if done from the ocean side. However plenty of beginners do it from the Newbury Park side, which is closer to drive to. The big turnoff to going in from that side (for beginners that don’t want to climb much) is the three quarter mile paved grind to get out after you’ve been riding. A good thing about the main trails there is that there are several water spigots along the way to refill as you ride. No matter where you go, be prepared and bring plenty of water.

Keep in mind though, that most mountain bike trails in this area do not offer much in the way of flat or rolling trails. You’re either climbing or descending. That’s why trails are relatively uncrowded compared to somewhere like the boardwalk in Santa Monica. Because it’s hard work and many people are not willing to do it just to see the view after you get there. The good news is that if you ride often enough, you will get faster on a given trail.

Castaic Lake also has trails that, while they do have plenty of climbing, they are not especially technical. Even the downhill course is not technically difficult.

If it's technical difficulty that has you hesitating, then there are quite a few places that you can still have fun at, but if it's climbing you wish to avoid, maybe mountain biking in SoCal is not for you, although it sounds like to me like it's the former rather than the latter.
 

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Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks

Wildwood Park has a lot of interconnected fireroad-size trails. There is some climbing/descending, but nothing too technical. From the Valley, take 101 North to the Lynn Road exit, bear right on Lynn about 3 miles to Avenida de los Arboles. Turn left, take Arboles until it dead ends. The trailhead parking is on your left.

Jim
 

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Mulholland

dirtpaws said:
Dirt Mulholland is a good beginner trail. Not very scenic, but you do see the Valley below and all it's splendor. Super easy fireroad riding. No major climbs, just gentle rolling ridge top riding. There are some loose gravel sections because the rangers pave some section with gravel for emergency vehicles.
agreed, for a beginner start out on dirt Mulholland. Access it from either Encino Hills Rd. (top of Havenhurst) or take Reseda Blvd. all the way south and up the mountain. Park at the top and head to the dirt road up the hill, you'll intersect with dirt Mulholland. Turn right and take the first left you come to, through a gate. That's more fireroad and will take you up to "The Hub" intersection.

HW

PS - where in SFV are you?
 

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I'd second the recommendation for Sycamore. An even closer trail to the SF Valley is Chesebro canyon, in Agoura. The trail starts off as a fire road, then becomes single track after a few miles and gets progressively more challenging. The main fireroad is all up hill (gradually) on the way out, so you can ride until you get tired, then turn around and coast back.
 

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ybonics said:
I'm just getting into mountain biking and was wondering if you guys can recommend some beginner trails.
Malibu State Creek is a GREAT place for a beginner... take the 101 west or is it north? LOL anyways take it to the Las Virgines (SP?) exit...go south till ya see it on the right hand side....great riding in the area! Check it out!

This place is really close to you if you are in the Valley...just hop on the 101 towards Santa Barbara....
 

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Here is a GREAT resource and list of hiking, biking and equestrian trails in the LA area mountains, complete with photos, maps and descriptions. There are a lot of trails and riding in here not on the "map" for the regular MTB scene, ie stuff that's not really right for big groups of fast riders, but rides that give you a chance to get great trail and see a lot of "hidden L.A."

Click to go see the L.A. Area Trails Page
 
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