About the Author
Charles Patterson was introduced to the sport of mountain biking by his mother and older brother, both former professional cyclists. He is living the dream—blazing the local trails and writing about it.
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Clean ocean air, pleasant views of the Pacific Ocean, and unmolested chaparral make the Overlook Trail one of the sweetest ascents to be found anywhere in Socal. The climbing is tough, but not relentless because a few flat spots will alleviate the pain in your lungs and legs along the way. Sandstone Peak dominates the skyline to the East, rising to 3,117 feet, making it the highest mountain in the Santa Monica Mountain range.
If you’ve had enough after 4.5 miles of the Overlook Trail, you have two bail-out options. You can either descend the Backbone Trail, which will be clearly marked with a sign on your right side, or go down Hell Hill, which is a fire road, also on the right about 300 feet beyond Backbone. Hell Hill is a steep B-line back to Big Sycamore, and much easier than the twisty, bumpy singletrack that is Backbone. If you have the grit, avoid bailing out here and continue up Overlook for another 1.25 miles so you can be rewarded with the Guadalasca singletrack descent. The views become more and more interesting near the summit of Overlook, at the top of which you can overlook the vast agricultural plains of Oxnard.