Week 243: Lower Canyonback Trail Brentwood

July 18, 2021

 AllTrails Kenter Fire Road Whoop-De-Doos Trail, 3.9 mile loop.

If you're a mountain biker you know that a "whoop" trail is a single-track trail of mounds (whoops) and ditches on a downward grade built for daredevil mountain bike descents. If you're not, like Barbara and me, you might think that AllTrails' titled this hike with excitement because it was that damn good. It was that good, AND today we learned about berms, ridges, and jumps, too. The view of the basin, utterly magnificent even in the early morning haze, extends from DTLA to the Santa Monica shoreline and out to Catalina. Tucked in the Santa Monica Mountains west of the 405 and north of Sunset, we entered Westridge-Canyonback Park at the black-iron gated trailhead 2.5 miles up Kenter Avenue off Sunset. The hike offers several alternatives up the mountain and we opted to start on the left, a half-mile or so in (look for the yellow fire hydrant), on the whoop-de-doo trail going up, to see and avoid bikers barreling down. The whoops are constant and grow higher and tighter as they edge the canyon below on the left and walls of shale on the right. No problem avoiding the bikers, all very polite but none daring to take the jumps. The higher Barbara and I climbed, the more spectacular the view got, including some impressive mountaintop and canyon-belly estates. About a half-mile in, the whoops end and we picked up the Canyonback Trail, hiking up to the jaw-dropping view from the Station for Early Wildfire Confirmation at the top, about 2 miles in. (This section of the Santa Monica Mountains is in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone so hike in a draught at your own risk.) From the top, we followed the eastern trail back to find respite—a bench and swing under an oak tree—and spend a little time at the only shaded portion of the trail. It's a popular trail for bikers, and for hikers alone, in groups, or with very happy dogs. The hike is simple to follow, moderate in difficulty (always climbing up), and, whoopee, one of the best views we've found on the westside. 




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