Limestone Canyon - The Sinks

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Ride Description

Limestone Canyon was previously only available to the public through docent tours. These days, however, the park is open to the public every 1st Saturday of every other month from 9-2. It is gaining popularity because more and more people are becoming aware of this hidden gem. Two areas of interest in this section of land are The Sinks and Dripping Springs. Both are easily accessible and are some of the highlights of this ride. As of this date, some sections including part of East Loma and Dripping Springs are closed until further notice. Registration is required and there are tents on site manned by helpful workers and volunteers.

This trail starts with a nice warm up and then begins a 1 mile ascent on East Loma Ridge. The descent to Limestone Canyon is fun, fast, and it takes you to the Sinks. From there we climb to LImestone Ridge and ride the rolling singletrack. A descent back to Limestone Canyon completes this ride.

Maps are available so make sure you pick one up. It will help familiarize you with the park so you can explore the different areas of the Canyon.

Driving Directions

From the 55 freeway, exit Chapman Ave and head east. Chapman becomes Silverado Canyon Rd. Approximately 7.4 miles into your drive you will go under a bridge (this is my queue that I’m close) and make a right a few yards down onto a dirt road.

Parking Fee- none
Parking Information- Open to the public the 1st Saturday of every other month between the hours of 9am to 2pm. Guided tours are available if you don’t want to wait for public access and you need to sign up online at letsgooutside.org. The site will also inform you of upcoming public access dates.

Trail Directions

Begin your ride from the Augustine staging area and head towards the right into Hicks Haul Road for a little over a mile. This provides you with a nice warm up before the climbing begins. At 1.25 miles make a left into East Loma and begin climbing.

1.3 head left on East Loma and begin climbing.

2.3 head left and descend; 1.8 miles on Sandtrap.

3.9 When you reach the bottom make a right on Limestone Canyon rd. Ride for 2.7 miles. At approximately 6.5 miles you will pass the Sinks on your left side. It is an impressive geographic formation and has been described as Orange County’s mini Grand Canyon. A platform has been constructed so hikers, bikers and runners can relax and enjoy the scenery.

7.1 Go left on Box Springs for a brief moment then head right where you see two rocks headed on a single-track and ride the loop for 1.3 miles as it circles and brings you right back to Limestone Canyon Road. It’s a nice climb with a fast descent back to Limestone.

8.4 Retrace Limestone and ride back for about a mile until you reach Cactus Canyon trail.

9.4 Go right on Cactus Canyon. Climb up to the ridge for 1/2 mile

9.9 From here make a left onto Limestone Ridge. There is some initial wide road climbing, but it soon becomes a rolling ridge single-track. This part of the trail is a blast and well worth the effort to get there. Afterwards, you have two options to descend back to Limestone Canyon Rd and one is through Raptor. This trail is located on the left as you are rolling through. Or if you prefer to continue riding Limestone Ridge (our featured loop), you can continue and it will take you directly to Limestone Spur, which curves towards the left. The section of Limestone Ridge after Raptor is a bit overgrown and has one notable steep descent. It is completely ride able though. Ride it for 2.7 miles.

12.9 Right on Limestone and ride back to the car.

Difficulty

Level of difficulty- Intermediate.
Distance: 13.57 mi
Time: 2:00:31
Avg Speed: 6.8 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,936 ft
Calories: 1,036 C
Avg Temperature: 82.7 °F



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