E-MTBs Prohibited from Malibu Creek, Point Mugu and Will Rogers State Parks

On September 13, 2017, California State Parks Angeles District Superintendent Craig Sap issued order 915-17-02, closing all trails in the Angeles District to electric bicycles. This includes multi-use trails in Malibu Creek State Park, Topanga State Park, Will Rogers State Park, and Point Mugu State Park.

E-MTB’s such as this Specialized Turbo Levo are prohibited from Santa Monica Mountains trails

Electric mountain bikes are already prohibited from Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and National Park Service trails.

Some trails and many popular bike routes in the Santa Monicas cross more than one of these jurisdictions. This had led to confusion as to where e-MTBs were allowed. Sap’s order states that consistency with neighboring jurisdictions is part of the justification used.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation current policy regarding e-MTBs leaves the decision at the District level, until such time as a formal state-wide policy is adopted. The order goes into effect on October 1st, 2017.

Enforcement is expected to begin then too, but we do not yet have information on how it will be enforced. As one can see in photo above, it can be extremely difficult to distinguish some e-MTbs from their non-electric brethren.

Sap’s order does appear to allow for exemptions. Law enforcement and emergency personnel may still use e-MTBs in the performance of their official duties without a prior written exemption.

Currently, Conejo Open Space trails are generally open to e-MTBs, as well as roads and trails appearing on the Angeles National Forest MVUM (Motor Vehicle Use Map).  Check the People for Bikes e-MTB Map for more information on where to legally ride electric mountain bikes.

2017-09-15 – Angeles District State Parks E-Bike Order


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11 Responses to “E-MTBs Prohibited from Malibu Creek, Point Mugu and Will Rogers State Parks”

  1. Linda says:

    Why? I’m old and slow and can’t keep up with my friends even when I’m on an ebike? What is the reason.?

    • Douglas Thompson says:

      And what about people with physical disabilities? I know a person that is an avid mountain biker that had knee replacement surgery that did not have good results. Now, he can only ride a mountain bike on a level surface. He has always gone on rides with different groups or friends. He needs assistance climbing hills. Those pedal assist e-bikes seem to be a good choice. And I really do not know anything about the e-bikes.
      What is the concern? Are they going too fast? Are they tearing up the trails? Are they loud?

    • Michael Bach says:

      It really is unfortunately. A rider in our group is 71 years old and have recently discovered a new love for cycling through the advancement of these pedal assists bicycles. It has allowed him to marginally keep up with me and his son up the hills (doesn’t provide any power on the down) but now won’t be able to join us any longer. I believe the issue is education and manufacturers need to step in let the law makers take it for a spin.

      I also believe there is much infighting within our group itself with individuals who are actively lobbying for the ban. Change is hard. Reminds of of hikers vs bikers all over again except this time from the inside.

  2. Steve Clark says:

    The new order banning ebikes from State Parks in the Santa Monica Mountains also applies to Topanga State Park.

    • Walter Grand says:

      I am a 64 year old man with health issues that recently bought a eMTB. It has given me chance to get out into the mountains and enjoy riding again. The argument that eMTBs are dangerous is false. Most eMTBs are ridden by old folks that go slow and steady.

      You have ever been out on the trails and you see that the young strong riders on non eMTBs fly down the hills and do jumps and really dangerous stunts. You- COBRA do not mention this and that all of trails now have jumps added by riders ( check out Chesboro).

      Here are two great articles that explain this. Your arguments are the same as the hiker and horse riders used to limit MTBs in the 80s



      COBRA should take a look in the mirror about this. MTB riding is for everyone.

      It comes down to responsible riding and irresponsible riding. Your patrol folks should look for out of control riders and ask them to control themselves and the park ranger should also and ticket the bad riders… regular or eMTB.

      So let’s work together. eMTBs allow older riders to enjoy the trails again. Do not close it off to us.

      Walter Grand

      Agoura Hills CA

  3. Pat says:

    I feel like this is based on a fear of change and the unknown. Please help me and others change this by taking two minutes to write an email to the author of this order.



  4. Harlan says:

    I still ride both bikes, although I use my E bike more, both bikes can do the same destruction on a trail in the wrong hands. I think they need to penalize those destructive individuals, and not put all of us, into the same classification. For them to try and take the assistance of an E bike motor away from those of us that have gotten older, and still love to ride, is an injustice to the mountain bike community, and manufactures of mountain bike’s.

  5. Tom Horan says:

    Why are ebikes being banned on the fire roads I ride when there are cars and trucks out on the very same trails? All summer there were vehicles up and down those fire roads yet I can’t ride a class 1 ebike?

  6. Michael Bach says:

    This is a big blow to the future of pedal assist cycling advancements that opens the sport to many more to enjoy and experience the outdoors. One of the reasons I came to California was because of it’s openness. It’s unfortunate that policies are being made based on the experience of past generation electric bicycles. With regards to the new generation of pedal assist bicycles, once ridden, one realizes that it poses no more harm then the current situation. This is an issue of education and I hope we all can reach a mindset of inclusion in the future and not repeat the conflicts between user groups of the past. In the words of mountain bike action magazine. Just try it out before deciding. I hope policy makers and us in the cycling community reevaluate in the future.

  7. Clark john says:

    Just look at strava, people with regular bikes rides this mountain at 20mph plus on the downhill and yet they talk about safety!!!

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