One of the best link-ups around Castaic area / Tapia Canyon Rd. This ride leverages the moderate climb on Tapia Canyon Rd and combines the best singletrack out there.
(1) SideWinder trail: Very flowy and fast section.
(2) G-Out trail
: More technical, but good fun. A few natural wall-rides, canyon narrows at some sections.
(3) Dogtag trail (incl. Top-Dog)
(4) Kona Singletrack
: Easiest and fastest section. Endless flow and steady smile guaranteed.
Tapia canyon is almost entirely on private property. Tapia Canyon Road is closed to any travel except residents from the beginning of the dirt road to about 5/16 of a mile to the east. Wayside Canyon Rd.
is the only way you should access to upper trails.
Tapia Canyon can get hot and dusty, esp. with the ongoing drought. Plan accordingly and bring water. Tapia has much to offer for any skill level. This ride provides a nice introduction to the area and weill leave you sweaty, smiling and wanting more.
Start from Castaic Regional Sports complex. The flat pavement ride from there to the trail passes a Los Angeles County jail facility, so don't stray from the road. Take Wayside Canyon Rd.
and Wayside Canyon Connector
to the major intersection. This is the central point for trailheads to Kona Singletrack
& Dogtag trail (incl. Top-Dog)
, which are both located on the southern end of Tapia Canyon.
But let's go for SideWinder trail and G-Out trail
first, so follow the fire road northbound (San Francisquito Motorway), ignore the shortcut to G-Out trail
and stay on the fire road. There's an optional alternative singletrack parallel to the fire road - continue uphill. Stay right at the next junction until you reach another fire road crossing. Make a left here and leave the fire road after ~100ft, start from the top of the small hill and take the westbound trail (ignore the straight one facing southbound, even if it will look very tempting). Follow the flowy and fast sections of the SideWinder trail, cross one more fireroad and continue straight ahead. Where the canyon narrows, SideWinder will merge with trails from the right and left and continue as G-Out for a great combination of both singletracks.
Entering G-Out trail
, you'll face some more technical, but still good fun sections, a few natural wall rides, ups and downs where the canyon narrows at some sections. At the end of the trail, keep left and start the fire road climb back to Tapia Canyon Rd.
When reaching the top and close before the Edison towers, make a sharp right turn for the trailhead to Dogtag trail (incl. Top-Dog)
. The upper part (Top-Dog) is slightly steeper, but still enjoyable to ride and offers plenty of variants. The lower part of Dogtag is very smooth and full of flow, not too hazardous! At the trail end, keep right to merge onto Kona singetrack and continue up to Tapia Canyon Rd.
If you're still hungry for more, keep right on the fire road (the left would be the way back to the car parking), climb one more time up to the towers and pass them on the right. Follow the fire road southbound for a few yards. Get ready to bear left quickly onto Kona singetrack at the trailhead. This trail is the easiest and fastest section of this great featured ride. Expect endless flow on this trail with a steady smile guaranteed! A few smaller jumps, but nothing hazardous. After merging with Dogtag trail (incl. Top-Dog)
, keep straight until you reach the Tapia Canyon Rd again. Right before you reach the fire-road, keep left this time and stay on the singletrack, which will continue in parallel to the fire road for another mile or so, before they eventually merge when reaching the first ranch houses again.