“A fun singletrack descent, tough climb, beautiful view, and high elevation; this is truly a gem!
— Doron Weinstein
Try avoid riding here in the summer - temps. can easily reach high 90's and the trail is exposed to the sun
The terrain varies from loose rocks/gravel in the lower half to soft dirt in the upper half. These trails are fairly narrow and in some spots the "toe" of the bench-cut is too soft to ride and suffers from erosion.
There are several places on the way up you can stop and admire the view. Down below, you can see the town of Ojai, the Pacific Ocean, the Channel Islands and the Topatopa Mountains.
Need to Know
The first 0.5 miles of the trail are mostly hike-a-bike with some steps and big rocks. The minute you get to the avocado fields however, you can hop back on your saddle.
Please don't pick any avocados - they're on private property.
Start at the end of Gridley Road - it dead ends at a gate to a private community. Parking is available along the road.
The first part of the trail is very technical and rocky - parts of it are hike-a-bike.
At mile 0.4 you'll hit a fire road. Turn right and start climbing between the avocado fields.
At mile 0.7 you won't hit the last intersection for a while (until mile 5.8). Turn left and very quickly you'll be up in the mountains, gaining elevation on singletrack trails.
Between miles 3 and 5, the trail becomes much steeper and narrower with a few switchbacks and washed-out sections. You'll want to exercise extra caution in this section.
From mile 5 onwards, the trail levels off and you'll pretty much be cruising to the top of the Gridley Trail (22W05)
for almost another mile.
If you want some extra credit, you can climb to the top of Nordhoff Peak at 4,470 feet. Turn left at the top of Gridley (south-west) and ride for 1.3 miles along the doubletrack road to the Nordhoff tower, Nordhoff Ridge Road
That's a good place to stop, admire the amazing views and just relax.
You have two options for going back down: (1) down the Gridley Trail (22W05)
or (2) down the Pratt Trail which is a mile west of Nordhoff tower if you're following the Nordhoff Ridge Road
. Both are great options!
I chose Gridley this time, but you can see the video for Pratt Trail here
You can watch portions of the Gridley Trail here