Portuguese Bend has fire road climbs and fun singletrack descents with stunning ocean views. The best way to ride here, in my opinion, is to park on Forrestal Drive next to the Ladera Linda Community Center. This is much better than parking at the top of Crenshaw Blvd unless you like finishing with a climb.
There is almost no shade so have sunscreen and water. Only some of the trails are labeled, so have a map with trail names or use the MTB Project mobile app
Park anywhere on Forrestal Drive between the Ladera Linda Community Center and the start of Fossil Trail
. Note the exit of Pirate Trail
across from the community center. This is where you'll come out at the end and ride up the street back to your car.
Starting on Fossil Trail
off of Forrestal Drive, climb up and over the first little mound and make a left at the "T", and veer left at the "Y" to head onto Red Tail Trail
, which only goes for a few yards.
Your first fun, downhill singletrack section begins. Continue straight down Vista Trail
, which becomes Dauntless Trail
, then stay left to go down Cactus Trail
(or stay right to go down the gnarly Dauntless Trail
switchbacks). At the bottom of Cactus Trail
, turn right and continue down Conqueror Trail
. There is a short, steep technical section just before the dry creek crossing with a deep rut you should watch for.
will run into Klondike Canyon Trail
, where you'll make a right and go up. Make a left at the next option continuing up, then left at the next "Y," heading onto the Panorama Trail
singletrack. It will flatten out as you traverse over and pass another intersection with Klondike Canyon Trail
. Stay to the left on Panorama Trail
as you get a fun, downhill traverse section here.
Pass over the Sandbox DH Trail and continue up to Burma Fire Road
, where you'll turn left. Burma Fire Road
is a brutal climb to the top. At the end, ride around the gate onto the pavement and check out Del Cerro Park. You made it - enjoy the view, have a picnic, or just fill up your water. Then get ready for what you worked for, a thrilling singletrack descent.
Head back down Burma Fire Road
a few feet to the singletrack entrance on the right. The entrance goes up a short hill through a very rocky section. Up on that hill is a great photo spot.
Descend the singletrack as it parallels Burma Fire Road
. On a few spots your tires are mere inches from the edge. There are a few rocks and it gets slightly technical but very fun. The first singletrack will run out and force you back onto the fire road. Look for the next singletrack entrance straight ahead, the Ishibashi Trail
. It's just past the water tank in the shade.
Drop down onto this fun singletrack and keep your butt off the seat. The first section is fast, hard-packed, and slightly bumpy. Going around the bend leads you to a flat section that requires some pedaling. Be careful on the next downhill section. There are lots of turns that can be soft and loose.
Eventually, you'll cross over the fire road again, where there is a fun pipe drop to ride off. It's less than a foot down so don't be shy, hit it with some speed and bunny hop off the lip, just watch for hikers. Then take the singletrack on the other side of the fire road, Toyon Trail
The first part of Toyon is a little technical: steep and loose with tight turns. Watch out for hikers and horses when you can't see around the corners. Continue down to Peppertree Trail
, where the trail widens out to fire road and you can really fly if you want to. Stay left as you pass Ishibashi Farm Trail.
Continue up the fire road and you'll see Palos Verdes Dr ahead of you. Make a left to stay on the trail and climb uphill, eventually reconnecting with the "Y" intersection of Klondike Canyon Trail
and Conqueror Trail
. Veer right and go back up Conqueror Trail
, straight onto Purple Sage Trail
and out onto Main Sail Drive.
Take this back to where you started, entering again onto Fossil Trail
(or bail early to the car at this point). This time, make a right at the "T" for the Flying Mane Trail
. Climb up and traverse the ridge above.
At the next option, make a left up Mariposa Trail
, leading to a technical descent down the loose, steep Pirate Trail
. This is probably the most challenging section of the entire ride. You'll probably be locking up your back wheel and sliding a bit. Keep your butt up, off, and behind the seat, and try to slide in a controlled manner! Then you are back on Forrestal where you parked.