Strawberry Peak -> Gabrielino Trail

An epic point-to-point route combination with a net elevation loss.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
40 km
Ascent
1.1 km
Descent
1.8 km
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
347 m
High Point
1.6 km
Gradient
Strawberry Peak -> Gabrielino Trail Map

This 25-mile route combining the Strawberry Peak Loop and the Gabrielino Trail is not for the faint of heart! This epic point-to-point route boasts a gross elevation loss of almost 6,000 vertical feet, but to descend all that way, you’ll still have to climb a whopping 3,500 feet.

Description

Essentially, this ride combines two popular So Cal trails into one massive outing. The loop around Strawberry Peak, on the upper end of this ride, is probably the most popular portion of the ride. If you prefer to simply complete the upper loop and return to your original trailhead, that loop is a fantastic ride in and of itself.

Strawberry Peak is the tallest peak in the front range of the San Gabriels, measuring 6,165 feet tall. This loop wraps around the peak on narrow bench cut singletrack high in the mountains. In places, the trail bench is very narrow and exposed, with significant fall danger down the steep mountainside. However, that exposed bench provides stunning views of the massive San Gabriel mountains spreading out in all directions! This may be one of the most visually-stunning trails in the Los Angeles area. In keeping with So Cal mountain biking, some sections of the trail are fast and buff, and others are chunky and rocky.

The second portion of the ride as mapped here follows about half of the Gabrielino Trail down to the outskirts of Los Angeles. Depending on the year, this section of trail is sometimes overgrown or in disrepair. While it’s common for hikers to use either end of this trail, connecting all the way through can sometimes be hit or miss depending on the conditions. It’s advisable to check with local bike shops or advocacy organizations before attempting this section of trail. However, according to a recent report by Ben Goyette in January, 2019, “the Gabrielino Trail was recently reopened in its entirety thanks to the efforts of some 100 trail building volunteers.” Hopefully the trail stays open and rideable for many years to come!

The Gabrielino Trail also boasts some seriously exposed benches with a long, harsh fall to the downhill side. Some of the exposure is so severe that it could even be death-defying. Thankfully, most of the exposed benches are relatively smooth, and most of the ultra-technical rock sections are reserved for the areas lower in the canyon.

While the Gabrielino Trail does boast some fast, flowy one-track, certain spots feature burly rock gardens that are guaranteed to challenge most any rider!

Sources: https://www.singletracks.com/mtb-trails/10-best-mountain-bike-trails-angeles-national-forest/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aE7Yor0QJc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2rXpR9D1dE

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.

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Technical
  • Shuttle-run
  • Singletrack
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area