Mountain Mecca

Crisscross 1,000-year-old trails carved out by the Chumash tribe

Photograph by Dustin Snipes

Cheeseboro Canyon
9.2 miles – Easy

Beginners thrive on these wide, well-groomed fire roads

Map by Peter Hoey

Stretching along the western edge of the San Fernando Valley, Cheeseboro Canyon Trail attracts all levels of cyclists with its network that incorporates mellow, rolling fire roads and ambitious single track through boulder-strewn terrain. In the spring the hills explode with wildflowers, and yearround the area bustles with wildlife, from red-tailed hawks and deer to coyotes, snakes, and the occasional mountain lion. Follow the trail over seasonal streams and under the shade of California oaks. The first half mildly undulates, but once you pass Sulphur Springs—you’ll know it when you smell it—a few short, steep sections will keep you focused. At Shepherds Flat the trail reaches a T intersection. For a shorter ride turn around here—you’re about five miles from the parking lot—and head back. For an additional 2.5 miles that offer fun downhill jaunts and sweeping Valley panoramas, go east on Sheep Corral Trail until you hit Cheeseboro Ridge Trail, and turn right. This route parallels the one you just took and puts you back on the Cheeseboro Canyon Trail about a mile from your car.

The Basics: Exit the 101 at Cheseboro Road in Agoura Hills. (Yes, the road and the canyon have different spellings.) Approximately a mile north you’ll reach the entrance to Cheeseboro Canyon. There’s a staffed information trailer that’s open most weekend mornings, restrooms, and ample parking at the trailhead. From July through September daytime temperatures reach the upper 90s, so bring plenty of water.