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Thread: OC area riding

  1. #1
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    OC area riding

    I'm headed down to Newport Beach with my wife, in-laws and their family in a couple of weeks (June 15th-22nd), and should have some time to get in a ride or two while I'm there. I consider myself an XC/AM rider, but am not afraid of a good steep and techy DH run either. I like to climb, and look forward to doing so at a lower elevation I'm not the fastest, or slowest climber - my average weekday ride is in the 1800'-2200' elevation gain range, and longer weekend rides 2500'-3000'.

    In researching this forum, and other sites I've narrowed it down to a couple of trails I want to try.

    1. San Juan Trail - appears to be a good climb up, and tons of fun coming back down. Thinking of doing the Lollipop Loop shown in this Strava segment (Strava Segment | San Juan Trail Lollipop Loop). Thoughts? Do I need to get all the way to Blue Jay camp for it to be a successful ride, or will this give me my fill?

    2. Santiago Oaks - looks similar to a Salt Lake County trail system called "Corner Canyon" that I ride all the time. I love the variation, many options, short steep climbs followed by quick steep descents. A 10-12 mile loop I have in mind based on others posts - Irvine Park - Chutes B up / Cactus Canyon down / Bumblebee & 3rd "B" up / Yucca Ridge down / Coach Whip up / Deer Counter clockwise / Barham Ridge to Chutes/Waterfall down. What do you think? Will that give me a good taste of what the area has to offer?

    Any other suggestions for a must ride within an hour of Newport?

    I would be looking to ride early (at sunrise) on weekday mornings most likely. Do either of these trail systems have any restrictions on when they can be ridden? I saw that there is a fee for San Juan Trail, where do I pay that?

    And lastly, I'd welcome the company and local knowledge if the times and places I've described appeal to anyone.

    Thanks - Jared

  2. #2
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    San Juan is a blast but can be like a freeway on weekends, I consider cocktail rock to be the minimum distance to caal a good up and back from the bottom but the more the merrier.
    Santiago Oaks is a great little place but it is only in the 6 mile +- loop with options to do varied sets of trails with some repeats.
    El Morro, Laguna wilderness share a fence line and Aliso and woods canyon is directly accross Laguna canyon rd (and up a very steep hill, you can do substantiol miles there.

  3. #3
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    This time of year San Juan can kill you unless you start your ride when the sun is still rising as it can get very very hot that far inland in the summer.
    Stick to the coastal places slowrider mentioned above El Moro, Laguna Coast, Aliso. Also check out the Whiting Ranch and the Cleveland national forest areas like, STT/Luge, Trabucco Canyon, Holy Jim. All the ones I listed have parking lots that you can pay or there is plenty of other local parking.
    Check out SoCalTrailRiders - Southern California Mountain Bike Community if you want people to ride with. Plenty or groups rides and locals looking for others to join them all the time.
    I am out of town that week or would show you around in the early morning myself.

  4. #4
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    Yup, San Juan Trail if an early start on weekday (need an adventure park pass available at local sports stores). You can do the lollipop loop and if you want more go up to blue jay campground for a few more miles out and back. Also can add Viejo Tie off the loop for more techy stuff.

    El Moro/Crystal Cove/Laguna Coast Wilderness will be the closest to Newport and cooler. Study the maps though, trails are confusing. Aliso Woods park as mentioned is adjacent across Laguna Canyon road and you can loop into that for a longer ride. All kinds of trails from flowy to knar.

    One of my faves, a bit inland near Rancho S.Margarita, is Holy Jim to Trabuco Trail loop in the NF. Lots of everything on that, most all singletrack, but can get hot too. Check geoladders.

    As grendalfly mentioned check the local OC STR website for people posting rides, or post one up yourself, you'll likely get takers. I'd offer to show you around but I'm off for a month with a broke hand. Have fun!

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    El Morro, Laguna wilderness share a fence line and Aliso and woods canyon is directly accross Laguna canyon rd (and up a very steep hill, you can do substantiol miles there.
    El Moro, Laguna Coast, Aliso.
    El Moro/Crystal Cove/Laguna Coast Wilderness will be the closest to Newport and cooler. Study the maps though, trails are confusing. Aliso Woods park as mentioned is adjacent across Laguna Canyon road and you can loop into that for a longer ride. All kinds of trails from flowy to knar.
    Sounds like I need to check this area out too

    Thanks for all the feedback. If I do San Juan I will go really early... like be on the trail pre-dawn before the sun even breaks the horizon kind of early. I figure I'll be okay heatwise doing this, right?

    I'll be sure and post something to OC STR the day before I ride, thanks for that suggestion as well.

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    Joplin is fun too.

    The Joplin Trail

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    Alright, so after looking at maps for El Moro / Laguna Coast / Aliso there are a lot of options there. I've looked at Mt Bike Bills website, but he does reports on each of them separately.

    New question, what are your favorite loop options for a 10-15 mile loop as well as a 15-25 mile loop that incorporates the best of all three areas?

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    Re: OC area riding

    My personal favourite out of those 3 is Aliso. Park at canyon vistas. Go down the main trail to coyote, then turn back and up cholla, continue to the top of the world through Laguna beach to Meadows trail. Down Meadows and back to main fire road towards the canyon vistas park.
    Now up again Mathis trail this time and down Lynx or Rocket. Back to the car.

    Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2

  9. #9
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    My favorite 10-15 + miler would be to park at the end of Ridge Park rd, ride down bomber ridge and turn right down red tail (fireroad), fork left at rattlesnake (fun rocky part towards the end) climb out to Mauch 1 turn left and ride sttp down to Morro canyon and turn right for 50 yards and then turn left up "I think I can" for a mile climb to Morro Ridge and turn left. Morro Ridge climbs gently for a while and then rolls for a mile or 2 and then I turn right on New emerald canyon singletrack (fun windy not too technical singletrack). At the bottom of New Emerald you can turn left up Emerald canyon fireroad (very steep, short climb which mellos and ends back at Morro Ridge after 1.5-2 miles) or as I prefer turn right at the bottom of New emeral for 100 yards+- and turn left up Old Emerald singletrack (fairly steep and somewhat rutted for a while then melloing to me easier than the fireroad and more fun). At the top of Old Emerald turn left on Bomber ridge past 2 fire roads on each side (maybey 3 on the left) and turn Right onto Lizards singletrack (you cross over a 2" pipe at the top onto a fun rollercoaster singletrack for a mile+- with one portage to a fireroad and turn right. Steep .5-1 mile climb back to bomber ridge, turn right and head back up to where you parked. If any of that makes sense

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallopius View Post
    Alright, so after looking at maps for El Moro / Laguna Coast / Aliso there are a lot of options there. I've looked at Mt Bike Bills website, but he does reports on each of them separately.

    New question, what are your favorite loop options for a 10-15 mile loop as well as a 15-25 mile loop that incorporates the best of all three areas?
    If you're in Newport your closest start point is Ridge Park as Slowrider suggested.
    Slowrider's route is a good one, you can lengthen some, at the bottom of Lizards take a left climb up under the toll road, at a saddle of the fire road take a right onto Camarillo, at the bottom taken a right on Stagecoach, then climb Willow back to the ridge. Hit Missing Link/Fenceline s/t on the way back to the car.

    For a longer one - Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Aliso - LCWP near Aliso Viejo | Times and Records | Strava You can still start at Ridge Park and loop this. A bit more on the AM side.. I wear pads on the dh's. The climb up Stairsteps is a bit HAB for me.

  11. #11
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    if only you had a road bike.... when I go out to Huntington Beach area.... it's riding up and down the PCH

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlmuncie View Post
    Joplin is fun too.

    The Joplin Trail
    Not right now it isn't. It is way overgrown to the point where you cannot see the trail in some places and the majority of the growth is Poison oak. I know a couple people that rode it last weekend.
    Last edited by grendalfly; 05-31-2013 at 09:33 AM.

  13. #13
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    Re: OC area riding

    Thanks for the info, you just saved my Saturday ride

    Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by grendalfly View Post
    Not right now it isn't. It is way overgrown to the point where you cannot see the trail in some places and the majority of the growth is Poison oak. I know a couple people that rode it last weekend.
    Yep, saw a couple guys who rode Joplin while I was at Old Camp last weekend and they said the poison oak was ridiculous.

  15. #15
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    San Juan is a great ride if it's not too hot. In the same area, you can shuttle Blue Jay-Viejo Tie-Chiquito for a more technical ride.

    Laguna Coast/El Moro has some really fun trails, although many of them are...not on the maps. You could post up here--or on socaltrailriders.org--for a guide. Happy trails!
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    Crystal Cove / Laguna Coast 17 mile loop

    Alright, so during a rather slow day at work, using most of the recommendations from Slowrider, and a combination of many Strava segments I put together the following loop with mileages. It differs from Slowriders loop in that I turn right at the top of Old Emerald onto Bommer Ridge to add the Laguna Ridge DH (looked fun), and Big Bend climbs. Other than that it's pretty much the same. But since I put in all the time to make a detailed step by step, I figured I'd post it here for others to use and/or critique!

    I'll be doing this sometime next week early in the am on Mon-Tue or Thu-Fri (Wed is Disneyland day) depending on our schedule. I will also be trying to do San Juan one of those mornings. Again, if anyone is interested in riding with me I'd welcome the company. I'll post to the "Who wants to ride" thread, as well as socaltrailriders.org once I know days and times. But if one if these is something you want to do and one day works better than another just let me know, we'll mostly be relaxing at the beach, so I'm flexible.

    • Park at end of Ridge Park Rd
    • Boomer Ridge 0.7 m, turn R on Redtail (fire road)
    • Redtail down for 1.1 m, up steep 0.1 m to Rattle Snake down
    • Rattle Snake down 0.4 m, sharp right down approx 0.3 m
    • Left around curve and climb 0.4-0.5 m to left on Mach One
    • Mach One 0.4 m down, to R on El Moro Canyon
    • El Moro Canyon down 0.1 m to L up on I Think I Can
    • I Think I Can up for 1.2 m to L up on Moro Ridge Rd
    • Moro Ridge Rd up for 1.6 m to R down on Old/”New” Emerald Falls
    • Old/”New” Emerald Falls down for 0.9 m to R down on Emerald Canyon
    • Emerald Canyon down for 0.1 m to L up on Old Emerald
    • Old Emerald up for 0.7 m to R down on Bommer Ridge
    • Bommer Ridge down for 0.7 m to L down on Laguna Ridge
    • Laguna Ridge (stay left at all forks) for 1.2 m to L up on Big Bend Trail
    • Big Bend Trail up for 1.25 m to R up on Bommer Ridge
    • Bommer Ridge up/down for 0.7 m to L at fork up on Bommer Ridge
    • Bommer Ridge for approx. 1.2 m, keep R at 0.1m (Emerald Canyon Rd), keep L at 0.2 m (Bommer Ridge Trail), keep R at 0.4 m (Moro Ridge Rd), Straight on to R down on Lizards at 1.2 m
    • Lizards down for 1.1 m to S up on Upper Laurel
    • Upper Laurel up for 0.5 m to R on Willow Canyon Trail
    • Willow Canyon trail for 0.1 m to R on Bommer Ridge Trail (been here before)
    • Bommer Ridge Trail up for 0.4 m to L up on Moro Ridge Rd
    • Moro Ridge Rd for 0.1 m to R up on Fenceline
    • Straight on Fenceline for 1.0 m to R on Redtail (been here before at very beginning)
    • Redtail for 0.05 m to L up on Bommer Ridge Trail
    • Bommer Ridge Trail for 0.7m back to car

  17. #17
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    This one Tour of Aliso PLUS by xtrcrazy at Garmin Connect - Details always kicks my butt and newbs to OC can see a great park!
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallopius View Post
    Alright, so during a rather slow day at work, using most of the recommendations from Slowrider, and a combination of many Strava segments I put together the following loop with mileages. It differs from Slowriders loop in that I turn right at the top of Old Emerald onto Bommer Ridge to add the Laguna Ridge DH (looked fun), and Big Bend climbs. Other than that it's pretty much the same. But since I put in all the time to make a detailed step by step, I figured I'd post it here for others to use and/or critique!

    I'll be doing this sometime next week early in the am on Mon-Tue or Thu-Fri (Wed is Disneyland day) depending on our schedule. I will also be trying to do San Juan one of those mornings. Again, if anyone is interested in riding with me I'd welcome the company. I'll post to the "Who wants to ride" thread, as well as socaltrailriders.org once I know days and times. But if one if these is something you want to do and one day works better than another just let me know, we'll mostly be relaxing at the beach, so I'm flexible.

    • Park at end of Ridge Park Rd
    • Boomer Ridge 0.7 m, turn R on Redtail (fire road)
    • Redtail down for 1.1 m, up steep 0.1 m to Rattle Snake down
    • Rattle Snake down 0.4 m, sharp right down approx 0.3 m
    • Left around curve and climb 0.4-0.5 m to left on Mach One
    • Mach One 0.4 m down, to R on El Moro Canyon
    • El Moro Canyon down 0.1 m to L up on I Think I Can
    • I Think I Can up for 1.2 m to L up on Moro Ridge Rd
    • Moro Ridge Rd up for 1.6 m to R down on Old/”New” Emerald Falls
    • Old/”New” Emerald Falls down for 0.9 m to R down on Emerald Canyon
    • Emerald Canyon down for 0.1 m to L up on Old Emerald
    • Old Emerald up for 0.7 m to R down on Bommer Ridge
    • Bommer Ridge down for 0.7 m to L down on Laguna Ridge
    • Laguna Ridge (stay left at all forks) for 1.2 m to L up on Big Bend Trail
    • Big Bend Trail up for 1.25 m to R up on Bommer Ridge
    • Bommer Ridge up/down for 0.7 m to L at fork up on Bommer Ridge
    • Bommer Ridge for approx. 1.2 m, keep R at 0.1m (Emerald Canyon Rd), keep L at 0.2 m (Bommer Ridge Trail), keep R at 0.4 m (Moro Ridge Rd), Straight on to R down on Lizards at 1.2 m
    • Lizards down for 1.1 m to S up on Upper Laurel
    • Upper Laurel up for 0.5 m to R on Willow Canyon Trail
    • Willow Canyon trail for 0.1 m to R on Bommer Ridge Trail (been here before)
    • Bommer Ridge Trail up for 0.4 m to L up on Moro Ridge Rd
    • Moro Ridge Rd for 0.1 m to R up on Fenceline
    • Straight on Fenceline for 1.0 m to R on Redtail (been here before at very beginning)
    • Redtail for 0.05 m to L up on Bommer Ridge Trail
    • Bommer Ridge Trail for 0.7m back to car
    That ought to work...a couple comments. They've been grading fireroads for the fire season so could run into some /loose sandy stuff. I heard Bommer was graded already.
    Big Bend is a hella steep climb (some HAB for me). After dropping Laguna Ridge (aka T&A trail.. which is steep and knarly) we usually take the s/t next to Laguna Canyon rd. up to Willow to climb back to the ridge. Willow is all rideable (unless they've graded, then maybe).
    Lizards is an unsigned trail (wink wink). I always like to find a way to hit Camarillo and Stagecoach s/t cause they are so fun, if you can swing it. Looks like a good ride, have fun! (I'm still 3 weeks away with broken hand recovery or I'd join)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2xTurner View Post
    That ought to work...a couple comments. They've been grading fireroads for the fire season so could run into some /loose sandy stuff. I heard Bommer was graded already.
    Big Bend is a hella steep climb (some HAB for me). After dropping Laguna Ridge (aka T&A trail.. which is steep and knarly) we usually take the s/t next to Laguna Canyon rd. up to Willow to climb back to the ridge. Willow is all rideable (unless they've graded, then maybe).
    Lizards is an unsigned trail (wink wink). I always like to find a way to hit Camarillo and Stagecoach s/t cause they are so fun, if you can swing it. Looks like a good ride, have fun! (I'm still 3 weeks away with broken hand recovery or I'd join)
    Another variation to heading over to Willow after T&A is to go right and up Canyon acres to link up with the trails on the Aliso side to turn it into a bigger loop. Over there you can drop into the canyon via Car Wreck or Meadows and back up Choya and then down Stair Step back to Willow. Did that last Friday having started at Ridge Park. That turned the ride into 20 miles and 3300' of vert. One thing to note though is the bulldozer was on Canyon Acres grading as we rode and it was real soft. Not sure how quickly it will harden back up or at all until the next rain some months from now.
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  20. #20
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    Fallopius- A couple thoughts: There is some fun s/t on that route--but lots of fireroad (not many people climb Big Bend on purpose and T&A can be a rutted loose mess this time of year). Another loop would start with Lizard (1st left on Bommer after Redtail Ridge), then work your way over to Camarillo and Stagecoach over to Willow (check the Laguna Coast map), climb Willow back to Bommer, take a left for about a mile, drop Old Emerald, climb back up to Bommer, then drop Missing Link/Fenceline on the way out. Have fun!
    Last edited by dirtvert; 06-17-2013 at 11:25 AM.
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  21. #21
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    Ride Report

    I had a great trip, and even managed to get in a couple of fun rides. I really enjoyed that your trails aren't as well "maintained" as many in Utah. We mostly see buff, flowey singletrack, which is a lot of fun, but it was nice (once you manage to get off of the never ending fire roads) to have some more natural trails to ride.

    My bro-in-law and father-in-law (total noobs on bikes) wanted to ride with me, and I was happy to oblige them, but that meant less miles per ride for fear of killing them on their less than ideal bikes. Here's what we did -
    Monday - Ridge Park Rd parking - Bommer / Lizards (lots of fun!) / Camarillo / Stagecoach / Willow / Fenceline / Bommer to car.
    Made for almost exactly 10 miles.
    Lizards is quite overgrown, and I took a spectacular spill when I caught my new longer bar on an agressive overhanging branch. But I can't complain, it was fun stuff. The techy switchbacks coming down Camarillo / Stagecoach were another highlight. We didn't start riding until about 10 am, and learned our lesson as it was HOT, and much more humid than we're used to.
    Friday - Started riding around 7:30 am this time while the marine layer was still covering the sun. Made it much more pleasant.
    Ridge Park Rd parking - Bommer / Red Tail / Rattlesnake / Mach one / I Think I Can / Moro Ridge / Fenceline / Bommer to car.
    8.5 mile loop this time.
    Much more fire road riding on this one (which was fine with my father-in-law). Managed to ride all of Rattlesnake on my 4" XC bike (while wishing I was on something 6"-8" and a little slacker) in time to watch the other two gently walking their bikes down it.
    Never made it out to San Juan Trail... maybe next time.

    Thanks to all for the suggestions.

    Hit me up if you're ever in Northern Utah to ride.

    Here are a couple of pics... you know, to prove I was there.

    OC area riding-20130621_073857_resized.jpg
    No wonder you need so many fire roads, this place is a tinderbox ready to spontaneously combust!

    OC area riding-20130621_075414_resized.jpg
    On the way up I Think I Can, if you look really closely you can almost make out the ocean in the background. I believe that realtors refer to that as a "Peek-a-Boo" view in the OC, right?

    OC area riding-20130621_073837-1_resized_1.jpg
    Looking back up Rattlesnake. Good times.

  22. #22
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    Glad to hear you had a good time. And don't worry about those aggressive branches......they have reached out and snagged this local more times than I'd care to admit.
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

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