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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning a trip to visit family and friends in Santa Barbara, Burbank and San Marcos. I used to live in Santa Barbara so have a good feel for what I'd like to do - SUP, trails for biking and hiking and other good spots.

I'm also considering a hiking / kayaking / camping adventure out on the Channel Islands.

Any recommendations further South? Any epic must rides - ideally I'd like great flow, views, some small tech.
Also, the people who I'm visiting don't ride so anything else I could do with them that would a be a fun adventure?
 

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How far are you willing to drive? How much are you willing to climb?

In San Diego, BLT/Noble Canyon is awesome, but you could (should) burn a whole day from San Marcos.

Near Burbank, Mt Wilson area offers a lot of good trails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great thanks. I'll have more time in Burbank, only a day or so in San Marcos. So around Burbank seems like the better option to ride. I don't mind a long climb but would like a long descent too. I wouldn't want to drive a ways for a 2 hour climb and 20 minute descent.
 

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Great thanks. I'll have more time in Burbank, only a day or so in San Marcos. So around Burbank seems like the better option to ride. I don't mind a long climb but would like a long descent too. I wouldn't want to drive a ways for a 2 hour climb and 20 minute descent.
Do the Brown Mtn/El Prieto ride.

Climb lower Brown mtn fire road for a few miles, turn left at the junction and keep climbing up to Ken Burton trail head. Turn around there and enjoy some fast, flowy fun. When you get back down to the junction, turn left again and have a few more minutes of fast, flowy fun before you reach El Prieto ST. Then, enjoy some tech. You will come out near the bottom of lower Brown mtn fire road.
 

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Consider spending a day with your friends in Lake Arrowhead. Santa's Village will check all your mtnb boxes and your friends can hang out at the lake or take out a boat. You can also kayak and SUP there. If you come in summer Big Bear has lift-supported riding and is getting better every year. Plenty of hiking and lake activities up there as well. Nothing really epic at Santas or Big Bear, but lots of riding in a few hours.
 

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Screw MTBing, let's talk paddling the Channel Islands.

Here's my suggestion...
Day 1 - Paddle from Oxnard to Anacapa and camp
Day 2 - Paddle over to Santa Cruz, cruise the sea caves and camp
Day 3 - Paddle back to Oxnard.

Let me know if you have any questions about the islands or kayaking.
 

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Channel Islands NP is super locked down. Most areas are not accessible unless a ranger is holding your hand. Exceptions are East Anacapa and the Eastern most part of Santa Cruz Island (Scorpion). Santa Cruz is a huge island but most of it is controlled by the Nature Conservancy and they don’t want any visitors. Don’t even think about bringing a bike there.
 

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Channel Islands NP is super locked down. Most areas are not accessible unless a ranger is holding your hand. Exceptions are East Anacapa and the Eastern most part of Santa Cruz Island (Scorpion). Santa Cruz is a huge island but most of it is controlled by the Nature Conservancy and they don't want any visitors. Don't even think about bringing a bike there.
Damn that freakin sucks, Thanks for the heads up. Writing that one off my list.
 

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Channel Islands NP is super locked down. Most areas are not accessible unless a ranger is holding your hand. Exceptions are East Anacapa and the Eastern most part of Santa Cruz Island (Scorpion). Santa Cruz is a huge island but most of it is controlled by the Nature Conservancy and they don't want any visitors. Don't even think about bringing a bike there.
Isn't Catalina accessible, you just have to pay the fee?

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Anyone done this? Definitely on my list to take my gravel bike to either Catalina or Channel Islands national park. Just unsure of the tolerance of being allowed to ride on the hiking trails.
I've not done it, but from several articles I just looked at, you'll be mostly on dirt roads. The Trans-Catalina Trail is ~38 miles long but bikes are only allowed on about 8 miles of it (East end).

https://www.catalinaconservancy.org/index.php?s=visit&p=hike_the_trans_catalina_trail
https://www.catalinaconservancy.org/index.php?s=visit&p=biking

According to the legend -- not sure if there's any single track open to bikes:

https://www.catalinaconservancy.org/userfiles/files/maps/TCT.pdf
 

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Isn't Catalina accessible, you just have to pay the fee?

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I don't know anything about Catalina. My info was specifically about Channel Islands National Park (NP) which consists of Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands.

Technically, Catalina is a Channel Island, but it's not a part of the NP.

Sorry for my negativity about access in the National Park, but it has always irked me that it's all so locked-down. It really is a very cool and magical place. Most of the interesting stuff is around the shoreline anyway, which makes it an awesome area for kayak exploration. There are lot's of sea caves. The water is super clear, great for free-diving from the kayak... or just put on your mask and roll upside down in your kayak.
 

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I've not done it, but from several articles I just looked at, you'll be mostly on dirt roads. The Trans-Catalina Trail is ~38 miles long but bikes are only allowed on about 8 miles of it (East end).

According to the legend -- not sure if there's any single track open to bikes:
I've done some backpacking and hiking on Catalina. Bikes are definitely only allowed on the fire roads but the trip and scenery are well worth it--especially for a gravel bike. All of the campsites are great and you should be able to see some bison! It's a neat experience but there are also a lot of worthwhile trails in the San Gabriels and San Bernardino mountains without the hassle of a ferry etc. If you are already doing the channel islands you might want a little more diversity and stay on the mainland.
 

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I don't know anything about Catalina. My info was specifically about Channel Islands National Park (NP) which consists of Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands.

Technically, Catalina is a Channel Island, but it's not a part of the NP.

Sorry for my negativity about access in the National Park, but it has always irked me that it's all so locked-down. It really is a very cool and magical place. Most of the interesting stuff is around the shoreline anyway, which makes it an awesome area for kayak exploration. There are lot's of sea caves. The water is super clear, great for free-diving from the kayak... or just put on your mask and roll upside down in your kayak.
Ahhh, got it. Didn't know what the NP was.

Yes, I spearfish and dive so know what you mean!

For anyone looking to ride Catalina you have to get a pass from (I think) Catalina island conservancy. It's a lot of fire roads, but searching around for info on the Catalina Grand Fondo may help guide your route and gear choices.

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