3. Intermediate/Advanced

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    Black Star Canyon - Silverado Canyon Bike Trail

    You can look forward to 8 miles of climbing to the top of Black Star, but coming back down is the fun part.  The scenery is great as this ride is deep in the Santa Ana Mountains.  There is a lot of history in this canyon, which adds to the allure of this ride.  Some claim that this area is haunted. However, we have yet to encounter anything out of the ordinary.  Just a great ride!

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    Caspers Wilderness - Santa Ana Mountains

    Casper’s wilderness park sits on over 8000 acres of beautiful terrain within the Santa Ana mountains. The park can be accessed from the main entrance off Ortega highway or from Dove Ave in Coto De casa. You can get right into bell canyon and make your way up the east ridge for a quicker ride and loop, or you can do longer, more grueling loop starting in Coto. The first few miles are generally down hill with plenty of short, steep climbs. Head down on star rise trail until you reach bell canyon. There is a tough steep climb going up towards east ridge but the ride down is worth it. Cruise along the campground for about a mile and get back on dirt. The second half of this loop is ascending about 7.5 miles all the way back to your car. Its a long jaunt so bring drink, food and proper gear (tools).

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    Lower San Juan - San Juan Capistrano

    The San Juan Trail is one of the best rides around, but it is certainly no walk in the park. The entire trail network is about 20 miles and it is commonly split into two separate rides (Upper and Lower). It is arguably one of the best trails in So Cal. Although many cyclists enjoy riding the entire singletrack, we prefer to ride each loop separately. It is more manageable that way! Lower San Juan consists of 6.35 miles of climbing through technical singletrack before reaching the top of Cocktail rock. This is the common rest area and chances are you will be united with other riders there. The Upper San Juan loop also takes you to Cocktail Rock. As you make your way up, you will need to clear a series of switchbacks, and a good majority seem to come in early in the ride. This is an out-and-back ride, so once you are ready to descend, retrace the exact way you came up. The downhill ride is exceptional and the main reason we ride this loop. Use caution on the trail as you will encounter other riders and hikers traversing the trail.

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    Santiago Oaks – Weir Canyon Loop

    Santiago Oaks has everything a mountain biker can ask for, from technical downhills to some serious climbing. The Weir Canyon Loop is a beautiful and scenic addition to any ride within the park, and can be accessed on Barham ridge or next to Yucca ridge. It traverses through the Anaheim Hills area and has plenty of uphill and downhill sections. Be prepared to climb your way back up to the ridge after you loop around.

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    Snow Summit Loop - Big Bear Lake

    When you think of Big Bear mountain resort, snowboarders and skiers come to mind. However, when summer rolls around, it is converted into an awesome bike park that has to be experienced by every mountain biker. You can elect to climb to the summit for a great training ride (elevation is over 7000 at the start) or simply take the lifts. At the top, you can choose from 3 descents ranging from beginning to advanced. There is something for everyone depending on your skill level, but don’t be deceived; even the beginning level descent is quite a workout! If visiting Bear Mountain bike park for the first time, we highly encourage you to try the beginning descent first.

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    The Luge - Trabuco Canyon

    We are fans of the 1 hour ride, and it does not get any better than The Luge if you are looking for a quick outing. There is parking available in a section adjacent to Cook’s Corner, which is a great place to get something to eat after your ride. The ride begins on pavement by heading west on Santiago Canyon Rd. Consider this a nice warm up because the first and steepest climb will await you at approximately one mile. Head right and begin climbing Modjeska Grade rd. Once you reach the top, you will finally enter the Santiago Truck Trail where the dirt trail begins. In a few miles you will notice the Luge, which can be identified by a US flag that was placed there. Begin the descent, which is approximately 1 mile of semi-technical fun. Upon exiting, head right on Live Oak back to your car.

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    Upper Laguna/Rock-it - Laguna Beach

    This ride begins in Laguna Beach, takes you into Aliso Wilderness park, and back to Laguna. The reason we ride this loop is to catch the world famous Rock It trail, which is a sweet descent through windy single-track and beautiful rock formations. It looks more intimidating than it is, but it can easily be navigated. Afterwards, take Coyote Run to Canyon Wood for a quick stop at Dripping Caves, and check out where Orange County’s bandidos would hide out from the law. After this, the climbing begins and it is brutal! The first climb comes straight out of Dripping Caves, and although short, it is steep. You’ll catch short break when you reach the top and descend down to Mathis, but then you will be faced with a tough, steep, one and a half mile climb back to Alta Laguna Park. Isn’t that why we ride though!?

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    Upper San Juan - San Juan Capistrano

    This is definitely a trail you want to ride when you develop technical skills and leg endurance. It is by far one of my favorites because of the challenge it provides, but is is also one of the most beautiful rides out there. It is all singletrack, lots of shade, and plenty of scenery to enjoy. The first section of the loop is not terribly technical, but there are some rock gardens to traverse through, as well as a few short hops and jumps. After about 4 miles in, the trail begins to ascend until you reach Cocktail Rock. From there you loop back through the Old San Juan trail. It starts with a steep but short climb and before you know it, you are navigating your way through big ruts in the ground, as well as roots and other obstacles. Finally, you get to climb 2 miles back to the trailhead, which can be a tiring and grueling experience back to the car! Don’t let that keep you from enjoying this trail though as it is one of the best singletracks in So Cal.