Sullivan Canyon, filmed and reviewed by Mike Treiber
Review Date: 3/1/2015
If you live in the greater Los Angeles area and do a lot of mountain biking you are aware of all the great trails that you have just a few miles from home. Sure the traffic might make it take longer for you to get to the trailhead but its most likely going to be worth it. Pacific Palisades is a district in the Westside of Los Angeles near Santa Monica and Malibu and there is an area there called Sullivan Canyon which is a popular spot for mountain bikers as well as hikers. The Sullivan Canyon area is an approximate 8 mile loop if you ride it as a loop.
There are a few different ways you can do the loop depending on what type of trail you are looking for. There is the straightforward fire road route or you can take some of the offshoots like the Sullivan Ridge trail. Some of the more challenging trails are called Monkey Spanker and J-Drop but you may want to look into these before trying them. If you have it in you then you can do the loop twice to make sure you get to do a lot of the different trails to see if it's a place you want to come back to or not.
Sullivan Canyon Video
Sullivan Canyon Review
Sullivan Canyon is not a super exciting place to ride but if you live close by or are in the area you should check it out at least once to see how you like it. The excitement level will vary depending on what trails you decide to take. The main fire road up to the top will most likely bore you and you will be avoiding hikers left and right if you ride it on a weekend. Once you get to the top you can take a break while checking out the view at the San Vicente Mountain Park area and decide how you are going to ride back down to finish the loop.
If you are into fire road riding you can go back down the other side on the main fire road or you can take the actual Sullivan Canyon Trail which is in the middle of the fire road loop. This is a more shaded trail with some singletrack that will offer a little more excitement than taking the fire road back down to finish the loop. Or if you decide to take Sullivan Ridge there are a variety of trails that go along that route.
One of the best ways down is to take the Jedi trail which offers some fun singletrack riding along with a variety of jumps the whole way down. None of the jumps are too big and if you did the run multiple times it would be more fun each time. The terrain is a little on the loose side depending on when you go but you can still get some pretty good speed if you are into that. After Jedi you can connect into the short but technical Squirrel Cage which can be a little steep and loose at some areas and also has some sharp turns to deal with.
Sullivan Canyon Pictures
Directions to Sullivan Canyon
To get to the Sullivan Canyon trailhead get yourself on the 405 Freeway and exit on Sunset Blvd. and head northwest toward the water and then take a right on Mandeville Canyon Rd. Then take your first left on Westridge Rd. The trailhead starts at the top of Westridge Rd. but parking may be a little difficult since it's a residential area and trailhead parking is limited. If you do park at the trailhead and come out the other end be prepared to do some uphill street riding back to the car. The other end comes out on Queensferry Rd and then you can make a right on Bayliss and connect back up to Westridge Rd.