Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sullivan Canyon


An 8.2 mile out-and-back run with 900 ft of elevation gain. There is sometimes parking on Queensferry Rd. If not park on Bayliss Rd.

Most runs in the Santa Monicas are too hot in the summer. But Sullivan Canyon is runnable year round if you get an early start. The suns rays don't reach the floor of the canyon till 9 am.

It's hard to get lost on this one. The turn-around point at a concrete culvert is arbitrary—one could keep going to the left to connect with Sullivan Fire Road. From there one could go right to connect with Dirt Mulholland. Most people start the run at the gate, but the Strava segment starts further in at the bottom of the paved road.


The canyon is owned by the SoCalGas and the gravel road follows two buried natural gas pipelines. I'm not sure I like running on the the articulated concrete block mats used to protect the pipes.

The creek, which is dry in the summer, crosses the road in several places. After a wet winter it carves out deep slots. It changes the nature of the run—in a good way if you like leaping. If you don't the gas company will smooth out the road sooner or later. The area is sometimes closed for road or pipe maintenance and the closures have lasted as long as six weeks. The local mountain bikers are perhaps the best source of information about the current status.