Sullivan Ridge Fire Road

Topanga State Park, California

Elevation Gain2,021ft
Trailhead Elevation1,895ft
Elevation Min/Max760/1895ft
Elevation Start/End1895/1895ft

Sullivan Ridge Fire Road

Sullivan Ridge Fire Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Los Angeles, California. It is within Topanga State Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and Rustic Canyon Park. It is 4.5 miles long and begins at 1,895 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,021 feet. This trail connects with the following: Squirrel Cage and Sullivan Canyon Trail.

Sullivan Ridge Fire Road Professional Reviews and Guides

"The drawing of this route may make it look like an out-and- back; however, it is anything but. It involves a very tough fire-road ascent, followed by a bomb down the singletrack that parallels the fire road. This is the bread-and- butter proving ground of Westside XC riders, affording plenty of aerobic and technical challenges. The ride’s centralized location and modest length make it an ideal alternative to visiting a sweaty, crowded gym after work."

"Sullivan Canyon is one of the gems of the eastern portion of the Santa Monica Mountains. Stately oaks and sycamores shade a seasonal creek and a fine trail travels the length of the canyon. The canyon was very attractive to its former owner—the Los Angeles County Sanitation District—and was long near the top of the list as a potential landfill site. Protests by environmentalists derailed the dump and these days Sullivan Canyon is a beautiful place to roam. Sullivan’s high and narrow canyon walls display handsome sandstone outcroppings, as well as a blue-gray bedrock known as Santa Monica slate. During winter and spring, the canyon walls are colored with clusters of ceanothus. Casual hikers will enjoy a nearly flat stroll for a mile or three along the canyon floor. More energetic hikers will make a loop trip by climbing out of the canyon and traveling Sullivan’s west ridge. Views from the ridge are quite good."

"Despite being so close to West Los Angeles, this route provides some of the best scenery and singletrack action that the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has to offer. The technical and aerobic difficulty is moderate, but novice riders may find themselves winded early—a simple out-and-back up Sullivan Canyon or to the Nike Missile Base via the West Mandeville Fire Road (known locally as Westridge) may be more desirable than riding the full length of the described route."

"Starting just off of Sunset Boulevard on Monaco Drive, you'll spin through a celebrity-heavy neighborhood. Turn onto Sullivan Ridge fire road which immediately grants views of aptly named Rustic Canyon on the left and Sullivan Canyon on the right. There's some great singletrack detours on the way up to unpaved Mulholland Drive. Now you'll experience some more ridge views of the San Fernando Valley on the right and the Los Angeles Basin on the right. After some roller-coastering, you'll reach the Hub, the nexus of several different rides in the area. A short spin down a third ridge, Temescal, delivers you to the Backbone Trail. You'll only be sampling six of the 70 rolling miles of the Backbone. This is a beautiful route along three different ridges, topped with an exquisite singletrack."

Sullivan Ridge Fire Road Reviews

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I have been doing this ride for years and it remains one of my favorites. Slightly technical ascent and descent. The trip up gets difficult at the end so pace yourself, but once to Mulholland you open to a variety of terrain. The trip down Sullivan is fast and fun. This is a great ride for beginner to advanced intermediate riders. Watch out for hikers, dog walkers and folks heading up when bombing down!

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Trail Information

Topanga State Park
Nearby City
Topanga State Park
Will Rogers State Historical Park
Local Contacts
USGS Topanga
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018