2. Intermediate

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    Aliso & Wood Canyon Loop - Laguna Niguel

    This ride embodies beauty, toughness, and biking skills, as you traverse Aliso Wilderness, climb up Cholla trail, and descend Rock It. The Coyote Run trail is a blast to ride, and you can even stop by Dripping Caves trail for some cool pics and a piece of history.

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    Bane Canyon - Chino Hills

    The Northeastern part of Chino Hills State Park is home to some terrific mountain biking. This entrance to the park was closed for over a year while upgrades and improvements were made to the road. What’s nice about it is that it provides a paved road for vehicles to drive in, but a good chunk of the original Bane Canyon dirt road was left intact, which runs parallel to the road. This loop has a nice combination of fun singletrack with most of your climbing in the first mile of the loop.

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    Crystal Cove I- Newport Coast

    Those of us that live in Southern Cal are fortunate to have a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to determining where to ride. On those blazing, hot days though, nothing beats a trip to the coast where the temperatures tend to be a bit lower. Crystal Cove State Park, located in the Newport Coast area, is one of those places. Crystal Cove is home to several classic rides such as Moro Canyon, Moro Ridge, Fence-line, Rattlesnake, and Emerald Canyon, just to name a few. This park can be accessed directly from PCH but we prefer to begin this loop from Ridge Park. Parking is free.

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    Crystal Cove II- Newport Coast

    This is another great loop within the Crystal Cove State Park system. It’s a cruise down into the Deer Canyon picnic tables, with some steep climbing throughout the ride. One of the highlights is tearing down Mach One into Moro Canyon, and some technical descents on Rattlesnake.

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    El Prieto - Altadena

    Recently, we stumbled onto an article where the editor shared some of his favorite places to ride, and he mentioned a trail called “El Prieto” in the San Gabriel mountains (Pasadena area). The article was from a prominent mountain biking magazine, so we had to check out the trail for ourselves. It did not disappoint!

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    Laguna Canyon Wilderness I- Laguna Canyon

    Laguna Wilderness Park is adjacent to Crystal Cove and is another fantastic destination when you want to escape the inland heat. This loop starts with a steep climb for the first 1/2 mile and then becomes more manageable as you continue to make your way up to Bommer. It also incorporates some of the best single-tracks within the area as you traverse into Crystal Cove. The most technical section is when you are entering the Lizard trail, and it is a treat to ride. There is more climbing afterwards but you end the ride by descending back down Willow to your car. Use caution as you are making your way down as the trail is popular with hikers and other bikers making their way up.

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    Laguna Canyon Wilderness II - Laguna Canyon

    Just like Laguna Wilderness I, this ride is quick and to the point. This loop takes us to the newly developed Stagecoach trail, which has only been around for a couple of years. It’s a nice flowing trail that eventually climbs through a series of switchbacks. There is plenty of climbing to be had, but there are plenty of sections that will have you descending and picking up speed. It also ends with a 1.5 mile descent down Willow back to your car. Use caution on the way down and be aware of hikers and ascending bikers.

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    Santiago Oaks I- Orange

    One of the things that I love about our sport is that you can customize the ride loop to your own abilities or perhaps to choose different scenery. We have been riding Santiago Oaks for several years, primarily for the descent down The Chutes. However, there are plenty of other options and trails that can add some variety to your ride. For this particular loop, we chose to make our way up via Bobcat Meadow trail and descend through Yucca Ridge, and back up to the Chutes for our traditional descent. The ride on Yucca ridge is fast and exhilarating, but by no means technical.

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    Santiago Oaks II - Orange

    One of the things that I love about our sport is that you can customize the ride loop to your own abilities or perhaps to choose different scenery. We have been riding Santiago Oaks for several years, primarily for the descent down The Chutes. However, there are plenty of other options and trails that can add some variety to your ride. For this particular loop, we chose to make our way up via Bobcat Meadow trail and descend through Yucca Ridge, and back up to the Chutes for our traditional descent. The ride on Yucca ridge is fast and exhilarating, but by no means technical.

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    Santiago Oaks III - Orange

    This particular loop starts from the eastern part of the park and begins by following Santiago Creek trail alongside some neighborhoods. After about a mile, you will begin an ascent via Oak trail all the way to the towers and enter the singletrack that takes you towards the Chutes. Instead of the Chutes though, you will descend Deer Trail, which comes up in less than 1/2 mile and circles back up to Bahram ridge. Your next descent will be on Mountain Goat, which will put you back on Santiago Creek. Although a lot of us ride Santiago Oaks specifically for the Chutes, this loop gives you some climbing and downhill variety through other trails. Nevertheless, it still offers a great workout, beautiful scenery, and a fun descent.