Technical Trail Difficulty Rating System

These ratings consider only the technical challenge of the trail, not it's length nor the amount of climbing! They are a simplification of the IMBA technical rating system.

There are a number of characteristics that go into a trail to add to its technical difficult:

Because of the number of factors involved, there's a certain amount of subjectivity to rating trails!

T-Rating

Brief Definition

Surface

Typical Width

Obstacles

Examples

T0
Technical Rating T0

 Paved or equivalent

Paved or similarly hard, smooth

At least 4 feet

 

 

T1
Technical Rating T1

Mostly smooth & wide

Firm dirt with occasional unevenness from rocks, roots, ruts

At least 4 feet

Extend the surface up or down generally 4 or less

Cheeseboro Canyon Fire Road

T2
Technical Rating T2

Mostly smooth but variable width

Firm dirt with occasional unevenness from rocks, roots, ruts

1.5 feet or wider

Extend the surface up or down generally 4 or less

Two Foxes Trail

May also have loose rocks

At least 4 feet

Extend the surface up or down generally 6 or less

Zuma Ridge Mtwy or upper Bulldog

T3
Technical Rating T3

Predominately uneven surfaces & somewhat rocky

Dirt and rock with frequent unevenness from rocks, roots, ruts

1.5 feet or wider

Extend the surface up or down generally 4 or less

Guadalasca or Space Mountain

T4
Technical Rating T4

Long segments with rocky and uneven surfaces

Dirt and rock with nearly continual unevenness from rocks, roots, ruts

1.5 feet or wider

Extend the surface up or down generally 6 or less

Caballero Canyon, Santa Rosa Trail, Sage Trail

T5
Technical Rating T5

Extensive segments with rocky & uneven surfaces with possible drops & exposure

Dirt and loose rock with nearly continual unevenness from rocks, roots, ruts

1 foot or wider

Extend the surface up or down possibly more than 6. There may be significant exposure

Little Pine single track, some parts of Bell Canyon

No Bikes
No Bikes Allowed

The trail is for hikers and equestrians only; bikes are not allowed

Hiking Only
Only Hikers Allowed

The trail is for hikers only; bikes and equestrians are not allowed

As well as the whole-number ratings listed above, there are intermediate ratings for trails that fall between two ratings. These trails are more technical than the easier rating, but not as difficult as the higher rating:

T0

Technical Rating T0

T0.5

Technical Rating T0.5

T1

Technical Rating T1

T1.5

Technical Rating T1.5

T2

Technical Rating T2

T2.5

Technical Rating T2.5

T3

Technical Rating T3

T3.5

Technical Rating T3.5

T4

Technical Rating T4

T4.5

Technical Rating T4.5

T5

Technical Rating T5

 

 

 

Thanks for looking at Steve's guide to mountain biking trails in Ventura County, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) and other locations frequented by the North Ranch Mountain Bikers.