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.
Distance: 7.97 mi
Avg Speed: 8.2 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,070 ft
Calories: 595 C
Avg Temperature: 69.5 °F
From the 55 freeway exit Chapman and head east approximately 4 miles. Make a right into Trails End Lane (right across from Santiago Canyon College ) and head straight into Santiago Hills Park. Park here. Ride back to Chapman and head right. On Jamboree make a left. Cross Newport Dr and enter the trail straight ahead.
Park your car at Santiago Hills Park and ride back out to Chapman and make a right towards Jamboree. Make a left on Jamboree and cross the street at East Santiago Road. The entrance to the trail is directly to your left before the street curves and takes you into the Irvine Regional Park.
The first section of this loop provides a great opportunity to warm up, as the trail is smooth and relatively flat. Ride on Santiago Creek Trail for approximately 1.5 miles.
2.65 miles you will arrive to Mountain Goat trail. Make a right here and head right on the fork. Gear down, get in the saddle, and start your ascend. Fortunately, you don’t have far to go.
3.01 miles you will reach the top of Bumblebee trail.
Head to your left and make your way down the hill. Your climbing efforts are briefly rewarded here.
When you hit the bottom of Bumblebee trail, you are going to intersect Yucca Ridge and Coachwhip trails.
Stay straight on Bumblebee and begin climbing once again. The trail takes on a redish color and has a short
series of switchbacks to get through. Crank through them and turn your front wheel quickly as you turn into the switchbacks.
3.41 miles you will get to the intersection of Bumblebee and Grasshopper. Take the
Grasshopper trail and head right.
Notice the two trail markers just a few short yards after turning right on Grasshopper? One of them is Oak.
Turn right on Oak. You will soon pass a metal gate at 3.55 miles.
This is the metal gate I was referring to at 3.55 miles. Keep riding.
4.30 miles, make a right and head towards the towers.
4.38 you will have reached the top. Take note of the tower on the right. A few feet to the left of it is
the entrance to Barham Ridge trail. Drop down into this singletrack and begin your descent. This is where
the technical part of the ride begins!
5.26 miles, Barham Ridge will turn sharply to the left. Don’t worry,
the trail is clearly marked so you can’t miss it. Go left and begin your descent down the Chutes!
5.73 miles, this is the last descent of the Chutes and you want to take the trail to the far left.
Use your momentum when you drop into this creek bed section. As you can see, you have a
short but steep climb.
Make a right on Roadrunner.
6.61 miles, you have a couple of options. Keep straight on this trail and it will take you back to where you started.
From this trail, you can add your own diversions by taking any of the single tracks that you see to the left or right of the trail.
They all end up bringing you back to this trail so don’t worry about losing track of where you are. We chose to make a right
Turn, which looped us back to this trail. Keep cranking. In about 1.2 miles you will be back to your vehicle.