Dead Cow Trail Closed by NPS

Dead Cow Trail, 2017

Dead Cow Trail (pre-Woolsey Fire)

The National Park Service has closed Dead Cow trail in the Cheseboro area of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The trail runs between Paolo Comado and Sheep’s Corral. They also closed an illegally constructed trail in the vicinity, which had its own safety concerns and negative impacts to the area.

Dead Cow has been gradually degrading over the years, making it one of the more technical trails on National Park Service land. It is also in dire need of maintenance and safety improvements. When an uptick in injuries and accidents was seen over the last year, NPS rangers attention was drawn to the area. They inspected Dead Cow trail and discovered the unauthorized trail in the vicinity.

This closure is the direct result of a few rogue mountain bikers, who, without concern for the impact of their actions or its repercussions for the mountain biking community, illegally constructed a trail in the vicinity of Dead Cow. This took place as nearby neighborhoods were still in recovery from the Woolsey fire, and the area’s chaparral was especially vulnerable post-fire.

We condemn this action, and cannot condone any rogue or illegal trail construction on public land. It affects our ability to ask for new trails, and hurts both our image and our relationship with land managers.

CORBA has reached out to the National Park Service, with offers to help inform the public of the closure, and to help do needed maintenance on Dead Cow trail. The areas impacted by the illegal trail will also need rehabilitation and restoration.

The closure stands until further notice, and people who ignore the closure are subject to citation. For mountain bikers who desire jumps, berms and other park-like features, join our Dirt Church maintenance at Sapwi Bike Park every Sunday morning, and help us get to stage 3, with expert jump lines and other features.

Please stay off Dead Cow trail, and spread the word.  Watch for upcoming volunteer work days in the area.

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3 Responses to “Dead Cow Trail Closed by NPS”

  1. Eric says:

    The link provided is to Dead Cow Road, which has not been closed. The trails that were closed are Backdoor and Bones, which connect Palo Comado and Sheep’s Corral.

    • Steve Messer says:

      Thanks for the correction. The official NPS name for Bones is Dead Cow trail, thus the confusion with the road.

  2. Kevin says:

    Unfortunate, but in regards to jumps, why can’t the community have legal jump lines like Washington. Why does the community need to be relegated to suburban skate/bike parks?

Leave a Reply for Kevin