Mount Lowe -> Idlehour

A remote, rugged option off of the classic Mount Lowe shuttle run.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
19 km
Ascent
465 m
Descent
1.6 km
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
374 m
High Point
1.7 km
Gradient
Mount Lowe -> Idlehour Map

Mount Lowe is hands-down the Los Angeles-area's premiere legal shuttle run. Along with nearby Mount Wilson, a plethora of singletrack trails and dirt roads descend from the crest of the mountain range all the way down to the outskirts of the megalopolis far, far below. To get to the top, either cajole a friend or family member into driving you up, or book a commercial shuttle from one of several local shuttle companies.

Description

Mount Lowe, in particular, offers a variety of descent options. Want to enjoy an easy, scenic cruise from mountaintop to city limits on an abandoned railroad grade? You can do just that, as the now-defunct railway (complete with a tunnel through the mountainside) is the anchor of all the routes in this region.

Want to drop down narrow, technical singletrack with breathtaking views and death-defying exposure? Mount Lowe offers that type of mountain bike ride as well.

The route mapped here quickly leaves the standard Mount Lowe descent in favor of the Mount Lowe West Trail, but this singletrack diversion quickly re-joins the standard route. You can opt for the West Trail or the standard trail—it doesn’t matter.

The main feature of this route is the lengthy conclusion on the Idlehour trail, which drops off of the classic Mount Lowe descent down and runs across the flanks of the mountain to the Mount Wilson Road. "Idlehour is an absolute screamer of a downhill,” writes John Fisch on Singletracks.com. "There is both super fast, smooth singletrack and some techy, rocky bits. One of the main draws of this trail is it sees fewer hikers than other area trails, allowing riders to rely a little less on their brakes.”

Do note that after that screamer of a descent, you’ll have to grind back up about 750 vertical feet to gain the Mount Wilson Road and reach the final descent to the edge of the city. While that final climb can put a bit of a damper on the ride, the struggle is still well worth it!

Sources: https://www.singletracks.com/mtb-trails/10-best-mountain-bike-trails-angeles-national-forest/

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Shuttle-run
  • Singletrack
  • Drops
  • Jumps
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area