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Mt. Wilson Darkside Shuttle

Consistently the best riding on the mountain!

Important Details

Clock Departure Times: Friday – Sunday every 2 hours starting at 7:30 a.m.

Bus Shuttle Pickup/Drop-off: Arcadia Foothill Blvd and Santa Anita Ave. (see details below)

Map Marker Shuttle Drop Location: Mt. Wilson Observatory Parking lot

Info Trail Length: About 8 -13 miles

Star Outline Rider Ability: Beginner – Advanced

Season Pass Holder

Consistently the best riding on the mountain!

Don’t let the name fool you; the Darkside is some of the best riding in the Mt. Wilson mountain biking complex. It is shorter and steeper than the Eaton Saddle drop and, for the most part, it is in the shade of a thick dark forest.

The trails are loamy-er and less loose than everywhere else on the mountain. Riders can get the full 5,000′ drop too. (Honestly, we at the Shuttles don’t understand why everyone focuses on Mt. Lowe and the Eatons. Darkside is the best terrain on the mountain.) Don’t take our word for it – book a shuttle and experience it for yourself!

The drop off is the Mt. Wilson Observatory Parking lot. There are bathrooms and check out the Cosmic Cafe for snacks and drinks. It is a working observatory so keep your voices down as the astronomers are sleeping.

Shuttle Pickup/Drop-off

Arcadia Foothill Blvd and Santa Anita Ave (Tindalo Rd at W Floral Ave Arcadia). Yes, this is a residential setting. Please be mindful of the neighbors. Park under the trees near the gas station.

Extend the day – Two shuttles during the day!

Double up. On your first run, drop in and do an Eaton Saddle Drop Off then take the next Single-Run Shuttle to a Mt. Wilson Observatory. It is a quick way to get in 9500′ feet of descending.
If you want some cardio, take the Eaton Saddle Drop Off and ride the Valley Forge Trail to the Gabrielino. The “Gab” will bring you over to Chantry.

What to bring

Your bike and the equipment required to keep it running. Standard mountain biking clothing and safety equipment. You will not be allowed on the shuttle without a helmet and a bear bell.

What’s included

Transportation to Red Box, Eaton Saddle, or the Mt Wilson Observatory

Riding Distance

8 – 13 miles, it depends on riding level


Starts at 5,710 feet and ends at 900 feet. Plan on some climbing depending on the specific route.

Rider Level

Beginner to advanced.

Terrain & Trails

Smooth and fast or chunky and technical single-track for riders with experience. Beginners or first-timers take fire roads.

Trail Options

Choose one: