When looking for the best mountain bike trails in California, one of the most important things to take into consideration is the element of terrifying fear. These trails offer more than exhilarating slopes and difficult terrain to test your mettle. Try running or riding for your life when you come across the evil that lurks at these locations.
Whether it be strange creatures, creepy spirits or ghastly witches – the paranormal activity going on is extreme. Not many have come face to face with these horrifying entities and anomalies without seriously questioning their own sanity. Think you’ve got what it takes to conquer these terrifying trails?
10 Most Terrifying Haunted Mountain Bike Trails in California
Table of Contents
- 10) Viper Trail, Whitney Canyon Park – Santa Clarita
- 9) Tamarancho Trail, Camp Tamarancho – Marin
- 8) Tahoe Rim Trail, Brockway Summit Trailhead - Tahoe Vista
- 7) Hummingbird Trail, Simi Hills – Simi Valley
- 6) Suicide Rock Trail, Idyllwild County Park – Idyllwild
- 5) Pine Knot Trail, Pine Knot - Big Bear Lake
- 4) Sunset Ridge Trail, Millard Canyon – Altadena
- 3) Sunrise Trail, Downieville Bike Trails – Downieville
- 2) Manly Gulch Trail, Mendocino Woodlands State Park – Mendocino
- 1) Arnold Rim Trail, Stanislaus National Forest – Arnold
10) Viper Trail, Whitney Canyon Park – Santa Clarita
Even though it’s thought of as one of the most fun mountain biking trails, a few locals say that it’s better to steer clear of the Viper trail – which has nothing to do with snakes. It’s believed to be haunted by Native American skinwalkers who are still angry over their land being taken over by the pilgrims.
One ultralight backpacker reports that he was riding along having a wonderful time until he felt an excruciating pain across the top of his head. His friends thought he was crazy because he told them that he could hear chanting and drums, but it took a long time for the pain to go away. He believed that he was "spiritually" scalped at the time.
9) Tamarancho Trail, Camp Tamarancho – Marin
If you enjoy mountain biking in the SF bay area, you've likely heard of this looped series of trails. It's considered a difficult ride - beware of the switchbacks, where huge boulders can come rolling down at certain times – specifically late afternoon. But here's a danger you might not know about: As recently as October 2015, witnesses reported seeing what they call “shadow people” pushing the rocks and boulders deliberately.
One rider advised that it was twilight when he came around the bend and heard bizarre whistling, unlike anything he’d heard before. He said that he felt the hairs prickle on the back of his neck before seeing a creepy shadow flying behind a large rock. A second later, it came rolling down – nearly crushing him in the process.
8) Tahoe Rim Trail, Brockway Summit Trailhead - Tahoe Vista
One of the best trails for mountain bikes in California, where a dark spirit haunts the forest service road at the end of this trail, according to locals. They reported several sightings of a strange, hunchbacked creature apparently digging for something. Lying low to the ground, it’s reported that it will pounce on anyone who dares to approach it.
Especially prevalent in the warmer months, witnesses say that there’s something sinister about the way it moves, although others say it’s just an animal. One rider was annoyed with that description, as she came across it herself and swears that it’s a terrifying creature not of this world – digging for old bones.
7) Hummingbird Trail, Simi Hills – Simi Valley
About 1 mile into this trail are small caves that some believe are homes to a coven of evil witches. One local advises not to go near the caves as they will scramble out and drag you in. He reported that he had to fetch his dog from the clutches of a toothless hag wearing a hessian sack for a dress.
When he came back with friends later on, she was nowhere to be seen but they all heard several loud cackles coming from the caves. He advised that one of his friends was brave enough to go into one of them, but soon came out wide-eyed and yelling for them all to get out of there fast - that the witches were coming.
6) Suicide Rock Trail, Idyllwild County Park – Idyllwild
Considered to be a beacon for darkness, there are sections on this trail where riders have reported a feeling of overwhelming dread and hopelessness. Many advised the sensation of something looking over their shoulders. One unfortunate rider explained how he had a near-fatal crash when he saw black eyes looking back at him.
He said that he glanced backwards and saw straight into the large, dark eyes and heard it whisper in a guttural voice “Time to die!” He wasn’t afraid to admit that he had been feeling down but he’d never contemplated suicide. When he hit a rock and tumbled down the track he heard the evil, mocking laughter which chilled him to the bone.
5) Pine Knot Trail, Pine Knot - Big Bear Lake
One of the most haunted of trails in the socal mountains, locals advise to never travel alone on this trail, due to strange winds that whip up suddenly and create confusion in those affected. Some say that whispers can be heard on the wind as well as maniacal laughter coming from nowhere.
For some odd reason, this only occurs for riders who find themselves alone at any stretch of the track – even if only for a minute. One seasoned rider said that she saw her boyfriend ahead of her suddenly fall off his bike for no apparent reason – holding his ears, screaming at nothing and begging for the laughter to stop.
4) Sunset Ridge Trail, Millard Canyon – Altadena
Considered one of the more beautiful California trails, there are some sections believed to be portals to other dimensions. Locals dismiss the stories as nonsense, but several people have reported the feeling of nausea and fear when riding or walking on this trail. One young man swears that he saw a portal himself.
He advises that it was early one morning in 2014, when he saw a glimmer of light. Thinking that there was something reflecting, he stopped and walked towards it. Soon he was rearing back in horror when he felt a chilling blast that was so cold he got frostbite on parts of his face. No one knows what happened but many avoid the area if they can.
3) Sunrise Trail, Downieville Bike Trails – Downieville
Even though the trails here are rated top notch, an evil spirit is said to be lurking around – who prefers women for its victims. Many report a feeling of creepiness and one woman tells the story of how her fourteen year old daughter started crying and screaming on this trail.
When she asked her daughter what was wrong, she advised that something grabbed her from behind. Everyone was shocked when there appeared to be long, deep scratches on her back and private parts. Some say it’s the ghost of a pedophile who once used the spot to bury his victims.
2) Manly Gulch Trail, Mendocino Woodlands State Park – Mendocino
The eyes are watching you from behind the trees in this California mountain region, where riders swear that there are feral people living in the woods. One rider complained that she hates being watched and wants to know why no one does anything about it. One local explains there’s nothing that can be done - because "the watchers" are dead.
The older resident says that they’ve tried everything – including a ritual cleansing. He advised they are the spirits of wandering alcoholics who were killed by gang members conducting initiations. Now these ghosts want revenge and it’s reported that they sometimes follow people home where the real haunting begins.
1) Arnold Rim Trail, Stanislaus National Forest – Arnold
Locals advise to stay away from the streams, due to strange paranormal events that have baffled witnesses. Some say that a siren lives there – hell bent on drowning anyone who dares to cross at any point. One frightened woman says she was minding her own business – having a nice ride on a mild summer day.
Then she inexplicably fell off her bike just as she approached the stream. She said that she felt hands on her ankles dragging her down. If it wasn’t for her husband she would’ve drowned. Other have also reported seeing ghoulish faces looking up from under the water – with scaly skin and gnashing jagged teeth.