- Thursday, July 25, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park - #LagunaCoastWildernessPark

    Socal - Orange County - Laguna Beach NickNames: #LagunaCoastWildernessPark

    This park shares a border with El Moro/Crystal cove park on the north, and runs down to Laguna Canyon road (133 Frwy) on the south. All of the undeveloped land immediately adjacent to Laguna Canyon road is in this park. the new toll road (73 Frwy) splits it right down the middle, but a couple of trails still go through via underpasses. Although I have ridden this many times, I am not sure that it is legal. most of the land used to be owned by the Irvine Co. and was private property. the City of Laguna Beach has set up a fund and is taking donations in an effort to buy this land and preserve it for this purpose. whether or not they have succeeded, I don't know. all of the trails here connect either directly or indirectly to trails within El Moro, and parking there is ample if you don't mind paying $5. the best way up, though is probably Willow Canyon, because it's probably the easiest climb, and the summit of that trail is centrally located, and from there you are at almost the highest point on the ridge, and you can access everything in that park as well as El Moro. the trailhead/parking lot about 100 yards south of the Laguna Canyon/El Toro road intersection, but I drive by that a lot and sometimes the gate is closed. there are places to park on Laguna Canyon road, but be careful. it could be hazardous and/or illegal. watch for no parking signs. there are numerous other trails that will take you to the top of the ridge. the Thomas guide lists most of them. the easiest to access start right in Laguna Beach such as Boat Canyon, the water tank road, and the Irvine Bowl road, which comes out right next to the playhouse in Laguna Canyon. they are a little steeper, but there are more legal places to park in Laguna, and it's a good place to end your ride. Thomas Guide page 920, 950

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    • Trail UpdateWater Tank Road Recently Regrade-Water Tank Road near the Pine Castle / Boat Canyon trailhead down to the entrance gate was recently regraded. Heads up that the surface is extremely loose!


    • Trail UpdateJust show up at the parking lot at 8AM. Maps and rangers there, and there will be plenty of people to ride with.


    • Trail UpdateLCWP - Laguna Beach / O.C.-I'm from the I.E. looking for new trails to ride, would like to check this one out... anyone know where I can get a trail map (on-line) or hook up with a riding group on like a Sunday or late Saturday afternoon? I'm flying solo so I'd like to go with a group or someone familiar with the trail.
      D a 35 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Trek Fuel 90 WSD from Upland


    • Trail UpdatePark Hours-Current Park Access:
      Daily: 7 a.m. to dusk (southern area of the park- south of the toll road).
      Parking Lot Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
      Parking is $3 per vehicle
      The new expanded hours began over the Thanksgiving holiday. Signage and electronic access information are being updated. Sorry for any confusion. Please feel free to call the park office with any questions/concerns.949.923.2235.
      Ranger Barbara LCWP


    • Trail UpdateThe reason is that different "offical" sources give different answers as far as when the park is open:

      the website
      the phone call in number
      the signs posted
      and, most importantly, the ranger on the trail!!!

      All have been different when I have checked.
      However, for sure, it was open on Weekends before 4pm last time I checked and that is what a ranger told me.

      Like I said, it is probably a drag to get all the sources updated when changes are made.
      bc riding a SC superlight from Orange County


    • Trail UpdatePark Hours-"The southern portion of the park (south of the 73 - San Joaquin HIlls toll road) is open daily: 7 AM to Sunset. Parking lot hours: 8 AM to 4 PM."

      Not sure why the poster caller themself the ranger says it's weekends only?

      The above quoted text is right off the ocparks.com website:

      Matt a 38 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a many from OC


    • Trail UpdateTalked to the Ranger last week. Still Saturday and Sunday only, probably for "another year."
      flunky51 a Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateLCWP Open Days & Hours?-During the spring, the days and hours that LCWP was open was somewhat ambiguous - I believe the signs were different that on the call-in tape recording. Hopefully, they got that fixed, but I imagine changing signs is a drag. Anyway, I'm wondering what the days and hours of operation are for the rest of the summer??? Thanks in advance if anyone who knows can post here.
      bc a Weekend Warrior riding a SC from Newport


    • Trail UpdateLCPW - Thank You-I went for a ride today and had a blast! I was first heading to Aliso Viejo, but saw that LCWP parking lot open. It's been many years since the last time I rode LCWP. I rode Willow Canyon trail and from up the hill turned left to Bommer. I saw the Laguna Cyn Ridge singletrack trail veered left onto it and that's what made this ride full of adrenaline rush. The trail is similar to Rattlesnake and full of greenery. The rocks added technical adventure and my hands were worked out pumping brakes all the way down to the Laguna Cyn road. Overall, this was the highlight of my ride.... today!

      BTW, the lady Park Ranger was very nice today... thanks.

      paukana a 43 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a 2004 Specialized Enduro Pro from Long Beach, CA USA


    • Trail UpdateRanger Barbara-Water Tank Rd. is not an access point into the park at this time since it passes through private property between the barbed wire drop-gate and the end of Poplar St. Hopefully the property will be conveyed and become part of LCWP in the near future. Thanks for asking before entering into a closed area, your responsible actions are much appreciated!
      Ranger Barbara from LCWP


    • Trail UpdateWater Tank Road Open?-A few weeks ago I was checking out Water Tank Road as a future entry point into the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. It looked like a good place to start because of the parking and because it starts at a pretty high elevation. But, there were signs up that made it look like that entrance is normally closed to entry by "unauthorized" people. Is this true? Maybe I was at the wrong entrance and there is another? Hopefully someone knows. Thanks.
      bc a Weekend Warrior riding a SC Superlight from OC


    • Trail UpdateTKA Rider From Anaheim-this park'is what I call mountain Bike fun' my firt time at this place' excelent I loved, the trail's are very good went up the hill took one trail or road call laguna bowl rd ,my god the vista of laguna beach and the pacific ocean from this trail is something to behold just beautiful up there ,,one of the best sofar for mi
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: Elevation change: not sure
      Singletrack=25% Dirt Road=90%
      a 37+ year old Downhiller riding a my big red from Anaheim , Ca' USA


    • Trail UpdateTKA Rider From Anaheim-this park'is what I call mountain Bike fun' my firt time at this place' excelent I loved, the trail's are very good went up the hill took one trail or road call laguna bowl rd ,my god the vista of laguna beach and the pacific ocean from this trail is something to behold just beautiful up there ,,one of the best sofar for mi
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: Elevation change: not sure
      Singletrack=25% Dirt Road=90%
      a 37+ year old Downhiller riding a my big red from Anaheim , Ca' USA


    • Trail UpdateFirst Time In Laguna Wilderness-Parked in the lot off of Laguna Canyon Road, signed in and headed up the hill. Pretty serious climb with no warm up. Took this up to Bommer Ridge and then over to Old Emerald. This single track is F-U-N! All down hill, can get up a lot of speed and as soon as you do - sharp turn out of nowhere will start the heart pumping even faster and throw a little more caution into your system. Can't wait to take this trail the 2nd & 3rd time so I know when to go & when to pull back on the levers a bit. Took this down to Emerald Canyon. A bit of payback must be experienced for all that downhill you get on the singletrack and Emerald Canyon will give it to you. Constant uphill, a few steep spots but do-able (if I can do it most of you can do it easily - I just started riding in January). Took this up to El Moro over to Fenceline. A little crowded in El Moro but the singletrack was good. Hit top of Deer Canyon and turned around and took Fenceline back to Bommer and then back down the hill to the parking lot. The downhill would have been really good if there weren't so many people out (lots of MTB, hikers and even one group of equestrians). Since LW is only open on the weekends I would guess it is usually crowded. We did our bit to try to not be the "bad MTBers" and slowed considerably by the hikers and nearly stopped for the horses until the riders told us it was okay to ride on. This could become part of a new favorite ride. Next time: Start in El Moro, up I Think I Can and Moro Ridge thru the gate to Bommer, down Old Emerald to Emerald Canyon and back to Fenceline and finish with either Slow and Easy/Moro Canyon or (if the legs can take it) Rattlesnake/Mach One/Moro Canyon.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 9.1 miles Elevation change:
      dc_in_hb a beginner/wannabe intermediate a 44 year old Weekend Warrior riding a '03 LocoMoto from Huntington Beach


    • Trail UpdateWhatta Ride!-Met up with RDC and my other bro at 9:30 in the lot at El
      Moro, geared up and headed out by 10. Entered at the
      bottom of the lot, up I Think I Can, along the top Ridge to the
      gate, hung a right and crusied along Bommer Ridge, we
      stopped for a moment at the Old Emerald singletrack, were
      contemplating on heading further to Laguna Ridge (T & A)
      and we ended up following three guys who showed us the
      way. T & A was pretty challenging, it makes Rattlesnake look
      like a walk in the park. Anyhow, we managed our way down
      T & A, said "later" to the guys who finished off their rides by
      doing that 4 foot wall drop off at the art school. So, we cruised
      up the 133 to LCWP, signed in, began the climb back up to
      Bommer, we ended up losing one of our riders to fatigue, he
      had done a pretty good ride the day before, so, his legs were
      shot, and the heat didn't help. He managed to get a lift back
      to the El Moro parking lot. RDC and I continued on and
      rested once we reached the top of Bommer Ridge. Headed
      back into El Moro, along MIssing Link, to Redtail or Fenceline
      and up to RattleSnake, climbed out and hung a right at Mach
      One, up Mach One to No Dogs and out.....lots of people out,
      and even more heat was out!!!
      Ride distance: 17.25 miles Elevation change:
      Dirt Klaud riding a Specialized Enduro


    • Trail UpdateLCWP/El Morro-Got up early Sunday morning and headed to the parking lot at El Morro. Got there about 6:15 and there were a few other people getting ready to ride also. There was a bit of fog and some mist in the air and it was nearly dark still. Got on the trail about 6:30 and did my usual trek to Moro Ridge and up I think I can. Climbed up to the top and the fog got heavy up there, even worse the further towards the back of the park I got. I decided to try a little diversion into Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. From the end of Moro Ridge I hung a right into LCWP onto Bommer Ridge. Followed Bommer around up the ridge line until I saw the singletrack for Old Emerald. Wasn't sure what to expect as this was my first time in LCWP. I was pleasantly surprised on this singletrack, bumpy, kind of windy, not overgrown and all downhill! After the .8 mile singletrack I hung a right and headed up Emerald Canyon road. This turned out to be a bit more climbing than I had wanted, about a mile long, but nothing too steep. Then headed back into El Morro to the singletrack and down Rattlesnake. I saw THE hottest chic jogging up the hill after the singletrack of Rattlesnake.....(couldn't concentrate after that). Anyway, climbed up Mach One and headed down No Dogs back to my car. Weather was a little wet, but nice and cool and only saw a handful of people. Next time I'd like to explore a little more of LCWP.
      Ride distance: 14.2 Elevation change: 800
      RDC a 28 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a '03 Foes FXR from Westminster


    • Trail UpdateWhack! Smack! Ouch Ouch Ouch...!-Did an A/W+LW loop -- my first ride in LW in 4 months or so -- accompanied by Tumbleweed (as usual). Started at A/W side, up Cholla, down Stairsteps (which is in excellent condition these days, but unfortunately with a new "cheater line" at the rock garden just before the hard left turn). Signed in and headed up Bommer Ridge fireroad. All is well over to top of T&A, where we lowered the seats, and T-Weed put on his plastic DH-wear, casually mentioning its main purpose is protection for the overgrowth, not so much the pitfalls of the terrain...

      Good call by him. Lots of branches reaching out to scratch the arms, legs, face, body. Lots of ducking and weaving. Made it kinda fun but a bit painful.

      Trail surface is nice, not too dusty yet, a few new ruts, the big boulder drop seems a bit more harsh on the transition since last time, but, all in all, the trail is in really good shape. Just a bit scratchy... Not that I'm asking for any "maintenance" on the thing -- please don't take that wrong -- but a few more guys and gals dropping down this one could help clear out a few of the rogue branches (usually with one's face, unfortunately). Wear good sunglasses to stop the eye-pokers.

      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: Dunno Elevation change: Dunno
      V-Lander a 44 year old from Viejoland


    • Trail UpdateRide The Ride-Did a bastardized version of the 3 park ride detailed below. Had 4 hours to pull it off, I did it, but man do I feel trashed! Gave a shout out to another Lagunatic to see if he wanted to go, but wound up going solo. Here's how it went down:

      Take off 7 AM from the main Aliso Woods trailhead. It was COLD, with frost on the ground! Up Meadows, it is much easier if you remember to lock out (Duh'oh!) Trail is in great condition, hard as asphault and lots of grip. Got to the top, then cruise over to Stair Steps. This trail is a rock infested full helmet type steep-steep fun zone. Walk parts of it, but also pull off some crazy stuff and surprise myself. Get down to the 133, cross the highway.

      Now I am in Laguna Coast wilderness park. Took almost an hour to get here. Right off, another steep fireroad climb, Willow Canyon. That's the way this ride is for the most part, you are either heading way up or way down. Get to the top, take a left and then over for some FUN single track, Old Emerald (watch for the turn off, it is not marked). Then back up again on Emerald fire road. At the top, take a left, now I am in El Morro. I have never been in this section, so meet up with some guys and ask directions. Bomb out of there, cruising, cruising fast. Maybe a little too fast. I am flaming down this fire road and realize I had taken a wrong turn somewhere (all the way down Slow and Easy). Turn around and climb back up and see it was easy to miss the turn off where I wanted to go. (watch for a sharp right at the intersection to head over to Fence Line) Well, it is now about 9:30, and if I want to make it back by 11 I have to turn around and not do the final 'rattlesnake/deer canyon' loop I had planned on doing. (I'll be back)

      So back the way I came, except I do not turn off back to the Ranger station, I go straight (down Bommer) and down to the Laguna Ridge trail (T&A ). Another steep-steep trail (loose at the top), this one downhill. At the top, I pull off a text book run off my bike. Back end tips up and over, I run down the trail while my bike cart wheels behind me. No harm, no foul. Keep cruising. This trail is radical. There is all kinds of techno shiznit. Kept it cool though, no more wipe outs. Back down to the 133. Not sure how to clean the 6 foot boulder drop off though.

      Head up and over to the ranger station. Across the road to stair steps. Up stair steps (walk bike almost entire length) then down Rock It and back to car. Wow! Did it in 4 hours EXACTLY! Trails are in EXCELLENT condition, and the temperature was perfect.

      This ride is tons o' fun and will give you a big dawg work out too. Legs dead, brain hurts, beam me up scotty........

      KujoWabo a 40 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Stumpjumper FSRxc from Laguna Niguel


    • Trail UpdateLaguna In Winter-I rode here Saturday afternoon.
      It's just beautiful right now. Green and flowering - saw the first lupine of the season.
      Went up Willow, across Bommer, down Old Emerald, Up Emerald Canyon and then back up Bommer.
      I tried to find T&A but lost the map out of my pocket and had no luck.
      While climbing back up Emerald Canyon, I noticed a fun-looking singletrack on the North side of the canyon - what is that?
      For those of you sick of the Aliso weekend crowds this would be a good place to start - saw a total of four bikers including a Giligan without a helmet. A decent number of hikers were out.

      PS - Lots of climbing is not so good on 4 hours sleep!

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 16.5 miles Elevation change:


    • Trail Update3 Parks In 1 Ride!-If you can pick out the directions embedded within the goofy stuff, here's a guide to a ride that covers Aliso/Woods, Laguna Wilderness, and El Morro in one ride! You could start from any one of the three parks, but this ride describes it starting from A/W.

      Ridin' with the Viejos

      You can do this one only on the weekend, since Laguna Wilderness isn't open mid-week without special permission.

      Have fun!

      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 30-ish miles Elevation change: 3k?
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=40% Paved Path=10%
      MTB Addict a viejo year old from Viejo-land


    • Trail UpdateLegalize It!-I have been informed by the rangers at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park that some of our beloved singletracks are, in fact, illegal at the present time. I know it is hard to believe, but it's true.

      The good news is that these same rangers have advised me that if a group of semi-organized mountain bikers were to approach the powers that be, there is a good chance that some of these trails could be declared legal singletracks and opened to multiuse.

      I'd like to get together a list of people who would support such a change in trail classification. To that end, Please send me an email message with your real name, the city you live in and your telephone number. I plan to get an email discussion going regarding the particular trails we'd like to see legalized and determine what needs to be done to make it so. For example, along Lizards trail there are some old fence posts that are very near the singletrack. It is my understanding that these posts represent a bit of a safety hazard and that volunteers are removing them so that the trail may one day be opened. Similar maintenance issues may need to be addressed on other trails.

      At the present, I'd like to remind everyone that the only two legal singletracks at LCWP are Old Emerald and Laguna Ridge Trail (aka T&A). Please ride only these legal trails at the present. Also note that as of this weekend, LCWP will be charging a $2 per vehicle parking charge, in keeping with the other County park parking charges (like Whiting, AWCWP, Santiago Oaks).

      I look forward to hearing from all interested parties. I'll be working at the sign-in booth this Sunday morning if you'd like to discuss this in further detail. Ride on!
      Chris a 28 year old riding a Bianchi DiSS from Aliso Viejo


    • Trail UpdateOpen Saturdays Starting JULY 6-As of Sunday, May 26, 2002, the official word from the park rangers is that Laguna Wilderneess will be open on Saturdays staring July 6, 2002.

      The park was supposed to commence open access on Saturdays in June, but expanded access has been pushed back one month.
      Chris a 28 year old riding a Bianchi DiSS from Aliso Viejo


    • Trail UpdateLike Riding Here?-Want to improve access? Would you like to see the park open on Saturdays?

      Consider volunteering as a Wilderness Access Volunteer (WAV). Your 3 hours per month will go a long way towards our accomplishing the above goals. There are additional benefits to serving as a WAV, as well, including access to the park during the week and on Satudays, once you have completed the orientation.

      Yesterday mountain cyclists represented approximately 2/3rds of park users. They are quite enthusiastic about cyclists using the park, and the more volunteers they get, the better things become for us cyclists. Give it some thought...

      ChrisCrash a 28 year old from Aliso Viejo URL: http://lagunagreenbelt.org


    • Trail UpdateDamn Frustrating!-I've been thinking of taking a trip to Orange County from San Diego to ride, but from all the arguing about what is and isn't legal (can't cross into this little bit here, around this bit there) it just sounds like a huge pain in the ass. Can anyone tell me of downhill trails in the area that are legal. Much appreciated, thanx.
      Ride rating: Beginner
      Ride distance: ? Elevation change: ?
      Singletrack=?% Dirt Road=?% Paved Path=?% Truck Trail=?%
      San Diego biker a 47 year old Downhiller riding a Marin dual slalom from San Diego URL: ????/


    • Trail UpdateSingle Track-I happened to accidentally come upon the exact sigle tract described below in "OC72-preride". This sigle tract rocks big time! What a gem. It goes up and down. It is beautiful. It will test your endurance as well as your huck-ability. But I am not sure if the last half of the sigle track is legal. Does it go around the Laurel Canyon Wilderness area (which is restricted)? If it goes through the Laurel canyon, I believe one can stay out of it by taking the fire road right before it, which will take you back up to Willow Canyon. If you know, can you post a message?

      Turtleman a 38 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Mongoose Fairlane from Anaheim


    • Trail UpdateDitto, Friggin Moron-In this day and age where there is constant pressure to close trails, and Sierra Club is trying to close even Cleveland national forest, only person who should go back anywhere is irresponsible rider like "old enough to know better ???? old cross country rider".
      Please do not ruin it for rest of us.
      Turtleman a Die-hard Enthusiast


    • Trail UpdateLegal Vs. Illegal..-
      Wwwwwwaaaaaaaaa, Go back to Mission Viejo.


    • Trail UpdateFriggin Moron!-If you are going to do a covert and illegal assault on LWP, don't post about it. Posting about it takes it from covert to overt, makes the Rangers think that we don't care about the boundary between the two parks. (yeah I know, I've made the same mistake, but I learned from it) In my opinion, the boundary is ridiculous, but unfortunately, it is well marked and must be observed until (hopefully some day) we can legally cross. Previously, it was my understanding that some trails I'd ridden in LWP are in fact not open at this point. My apologies to the Rangers for this oversight, as there was no intentional poaching of LWP trails.

      There is little question howver, due to the clearly marked signs, that passing from El Moro to LWP is in fact, illegal. Don't do it, and if you do, don't post about it.
      El Jefe a 32 year old Racer riding a Sugar from Mission Viejo


    • Trail UpdateLegal Vs. Illegal..-Park your car on or near boat canyon rd. in laguna beach. If you want to remain covert do not park at the trail head /gate. Ride down to PCH and go north. Enter El Moro Canyon through the trialer park. Ride up moro canyon to, i think i can, to moro ridge to the rear marker. Proceed down fenceline until you get to the junction of fenceline and missing link. Go through gate and proceed north on Bommer Canyon Rd. until you come to some singletrack off to your right. This is Toads, This drops from the ridge of bommer canyon rd. into laurel canyon. its a technical piece of singletrack with tunnels, drops and rock faces. Once to the bottom make a right on the fire road. I cant remember the name of this road (see Thomas Guide). It has some steep sections but theyre all makable. When you reach the upper portions of this fire road youll see what i think is white canyon fire road on your left which ascends from the 133. next youll come to the junction of white(?)and bommer canyon roads, Stay on bommer until you come to boat canyon. From here the choice is yours with all the great singletrack that descends off this fire road. Just remember that if you go off the left side your have to ride through town. And if you go to the right youll most likely end up at the back of emeral bay and ahve to either backtrack or get creative.

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 10 maybe Elevation change: dont know
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50% Paved Path=00% Truck Trail=00%
      old enough to know better a ???? year old Cross-Country Rider riding a a bike with two wheels from these parts...


    • Trail UpdatePark Ranger, Please Email Me.-RE: AWCWP / LWP legal trails access. I want to work with you
      El Jefe a 32 year old Racer riding a Sugar from Mission Viejo


    • Trail UpdateA Little Late But Here You Are..-The legal access from Aliso and Wood Canyons to Laguna Wilderness Park was to be "Canyon Acres Road".

      This would have made it almost legal. FYI, any group activities of over #100 persons would require a County Use Permit (on County land).

      At the bottom of the Canyon Acres road just befor you hit pavement you would have to cross City of Laguna Beach's parkland (requires a permit) and then private property within the city limits of Laguna Beach. Nice try though!

      To be completely legal next year try riding down Park Avenue at the South end or over to Aliso Creek Road to El Toro at the North end.

      Work with us.
      Park Ranger AWCWP riding a MT BIKE from Orange County


    • Trail UpdateMarie Callendars-Well,

      Is it safe to say that if a trail is fun, it will certainly be deeemed "illegal"? :)

      The issue is liability, not wilderness preservation.
      If it were wilderness preservation this would not be an accessible user area at all.
      Flowrider a 30s year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Mountain Bike from Orange County


    • Trail UpdateHey Ranger...-Thanks for the input and education on the legal and illegal trails. Believe it or not, we really appreciate it.



    • Trail UpdateAuthorized Trails-Heads Up/ FYI:
      Marie Callendar and/or Shredder are not authorized trails. "Wilderness Access" maps are available at the Park Ranger office that detail legal trails. Only trails listed on the map are authorized. If you have a question regarding access please call the park office at 949/494.9352. Thanks for trying to do the right thing and ride responsibly. Doing so will ensure that park access will increase in the future.
      The Park Ranger


    • Trail UpdateIt Is Legal-There may be an illegal entrance to it, as there are multiple entrances to this trail, but the trail is well known and legal. I spoke to the Ranger myself who said that the closed trails are marked, and that unless there are new cut trails they haven't seen yet, everything else is legal. Those gentlemen may have veered off of Marie Callendars / Shredders / Around the World, and might well have been on forbidden ground, but the main trail is legal.
      It is good of you to be concerned though. That attitude will help keep LWP open and biker friendly.
      El Jefe a Racer


    • Trail UpdateLaguna Coast-I havenít been riding here long, but have recently discovered this park. I am a little concerned reading some of these previous posts, because my very first time in this park when I checked in at the gate and spoke with the Ranger, it was made clear that the only legal trails in the park were marked by their numbered trail markers.

      I was up on a ridge line talking to a Ranger when we saw a bunch of riders over on a rock overhang somewhere near the toll road, and I was told that they were not supposed to be there. She said that they probably got there by Marie Callenders or Shreds(something like that) and that the usually come out onto the Canyon Road north of the parking lot.

      This sounds like the trail described below. If it is, why can't you people stick to legal trails. If it's not, then I hope you won't be offended.

      Anyways, I came from a place where lots of trails are being closed because of biker arrogance, and I don't want to see it happen here.

      Mary a 31 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Ventana from Newport Beach


    • Trail UpdateOC72 Pre-ride-A bunch of us OC idiots (no Joe, not IDiots) met up for an OC72 pre-ride. We'd heard of a really technical trail in LWP, and knew where it started. That was all the info we had. We needed to investigate. Up a long fire road, easily doable using the middle chainring and middle gears....just a little long. Then on to the best bit of singletrack in the park, and some of the best in OC. The trail itself is a few miles long, and gives you a taste of just about every type of terrain you can imagine.

      It started out with a very short, gentle climb, and into some twisting buffed out single track. Great for taking on some speed. You almost want to slow down, however, simply because of the scenery. Down a couple loose sections, then a little up and down rolling stuff.

      Then the first drop

      A little tricky if you aren't ready for it, not hard at all if you are ready, and a great huck chance if you are just a bit insane. Most of us just rolled it. Rob hucked it about 5 times, stacking his borrowed Bullit only once. (Rob was heard to mutter, "uh, sorry Matt.")

      Then onward. Up and down again. The uphills are a little loose and fairly steep, with the downhills being even looser and much steeper. After a moderately hairy decent, with some loose rocks and a little exposure, all of a sudden the trail opens up onto a huge cliff.

      Huck opportunity #2.

      Rob and Inkpad took a huck or two while the rest of us goofed off, dropping rock ledges and smooth 2 and 3 step rollers. We spent a lot of time here. Maybe too much, but we didn't care.

      OK, back to the trail. More fun stuff, with a few veggie tunnels hiding what lay around the next turn. There are a few very ridable 2-3 foot drops that, with enough speed, turn into mini-hucks. Good chance of an endo of you aren't rolling just right though. All of a sudden, a 90 degree turn into a rock drop, with a narrow ridable chute and a boulder reaching out from the right just begging for flesh or paint. Even Rob stopped to check this one out. Inkpad, not knowing the danger ahead, rode right on through. A little luck and a lot of skill kept the rubber down and the feet clipped in. We'd all like to see him duplicate that maneuver.

      Then onto some climbing. Steep, a little loose, and long enough that those with any sense would put their seats up. Most of us did not. Up, up and up....what goes up, must come down. Around a blind turn the earth seems to just fall away. A deep rut marks the line, but also adds to the danger. If you go down on this section, you're going way down. Rob, Inkpad and I all ripped down this section and waited for carnage. Chris came close to eating dirt, but managed to tripod down the steepest part, and riding out the sweeping drop turn. Asdfer proceeded cautiously at first, then let fly without incident. Ladydirt was a bit hesitant at the beginning, and relied on a bit of foot braking. Once past the hairiest part, she too just let the hammer fall. No crashes. A guy we'd never met who rode along, (and frequently called us sick faaks) took his turn. Whoops! The hill was not without casualty, but no injury.

      As we near the end of the trail, a few of us comment that we are really near the end, but still really high in elevation. There's gonna be something special coming up. Sure enough, welcome to the rock face. There are a couple lines to take, one more treacherous than the other. Traction on this section is so good, you can just let the bike rip through and catch some air, and still brake in time to set up for the final drop. Of course if you miss your landing on the mini launch, it's a hard way down. The last drop can be hucked, rolled or avoided all together, though the line to the right is a loose, rocky, rutted line. Once at the bottom, a few pedal strokes brings you out to Laguna Canyon Road. A short ride back to the entrance, and we called it a day. The OC72 will include more, but we accomplished what we set out to do. We found the perfect OC trail.
      El Jefe a 32 year old Racer riding a Sugar from Mission Viejo


    • Trail UpdateLaguna Coast Wilderness-LCW is now open to MtB on Sundays and they are encouraging riders to come visit.

      I was able to park in the unpaved lot near the entrance to the Ranger's Station off Laguna Canyon. No fee... no hastle. The entry hill measured approx. 1.5 miles and was rather sever by my standards. A group of younger and stronger riders passed me and appeared to make the summit. I lost my forward momentum once and had to hike-n-bike about 20 yards before I could remount. After that I was able to make the remainder of the ride without serious trouble.

      I'm a bit timid about riding unknown and possibly technical downhills when I ride solo. Therefore, I chose to climb as high as possible and ride only the peaks so that I might oversee the entire area. Trails in El Moro can be see from the higher LCW vantage point. A volunteer at the Ranger's Station mentioned that if you ride across the rim to where the two parks meet it might be possible to enter one from the other (over a fence) HOWEVER, to do so it illegal. Riding through the Radio Tower area is also illegal.... and patrolled, don't get caught.

      During my ride, those younger guys I mentioned earlier were spotted riding down one of many single tracks.

      The effort put into the ride up, was rewarded by the ride down. I could have ridden faster but the trail was also being used by groups of hikers and "docent guided tours" so I eased my way around the many blind curves.

      My recommendation lies in this question: Will I go back? The answer.... Yes!

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Newport Coaster a 51 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Upgraded Raleigh M80 from Newport Coast


    • Trail UpdateNice Ride-

      I just found out you can now ride here every
      Sunday from 8am - 3pm. My other half hit Santa
      Barbara for some crazy DH'g so I looked for a solo

      From Cholla in A/W I took the West Ridge to Stair
      Steps and hit the 133. Signed in and got a map.
      So many choices! Up Willow w/ a few nasty steep
      climbs. Some horses were rounding the corner so
      I dismounted and let them pass. The lady rider
      said, "you don't have to do that", but I wasn't taking
      any chances. She said, "what are you tired or
      something?" Friendly type, but I tell ya, the horse
      had one eye on me the whole time.

      I headed down Emerald after hitting the gate at El
      Moro. I have always wanted to see where this trail
      ends up. It was nice to roll along and see A/W
      from that side. I sort of felt like I was on the moon.
      After the main climb, I didn't see another rider. Just
      me, 91X on the walkman and beautiful mtn tops.
      This trail had steady rollers, but was a bit easier on
      the way back. I took the middle fork and it ended at
      some sort of station. The view of Laguna was so
      pretty. Busy streets and crashing waves lay below
      me, but just far enough away to feel peaceful. Had
      a snack break, then headed back to the trail head.
      Next time I'll go down into the canyon for a little
      more variety.

      The hike back up stair steps was brutal. The
      temperature at 2:30 was at a boiling point. I had to
      stop and hide against a tall shrub before I could
      push any further! Once at the top, I made a RT and
      headed to the top of Mathis. Down Mathis, to
      Cholla's base and out. Clocked 19 miles and 2
      hrs 47 minutes on the computer.
      Ladydirt a 33 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a FSR Stumpjumper from Aliso Viejo, CA


    • Trail UpdatePac Man-I think that's the trail that comes out at the intersection of el toro road and laguna canyon. anyway, i guess its hiking only. but we rode down it late last sunday and some bone headed (or maybe just misguided) hikers placed many large rocks in the middle of a particularly sketchy section of the trail. i was barely able to negotiate this bolder field and if i had gone over the bars it would have been a very bad fall. now, maybe bikers aren't supposed to be on this trail but we're not out trying to maim anybody for life. the hikers should cool of a little and think about the consequences of what they do.
      a a 46 year old riding a bike


    • Trail UpdateWreck-That crash actually was on the other side of Laguna Canyon Road from Laguna Wilderness Park. Looked like it was on Direct Dial, a drop from Aliso/Wood Canyons Park down to the Dog Park on Laguna Canyon Road. I was riding Laguna Wilderness that day, and saw the helicopter dropping someone down to help the rider out.


    • Trail UpdateThis is an LA times article that I pasted. Anybody there for a first hand report?

      Bicyclist Injured in Steep Laguna Terrain Rescued


      More than two dozen rescuers were needed Sunday to save a biker who fell on a steep trail in Laguna Canyon. The 38-year-old Aliso Viejo man, whose name was not released, was heading down a steep rock face above Laguna Canyon Road near the dog park when he was thrown off his bike. He severely cut his lower left leg, Laguna Beach fire officials said.
      Because of the steep and rugged terrain and his injury, the man was unable to walk out. A joint rescue team from the Laguna Beach Police and Fire departments, Laguna Beach Marine Safety and Orange County Fire Authority worked three hours to rescue the biker.
      Officials said access to the biker was difficult because of the terrain. The Orange County Fire Authority's Urban Search and Rescue Team used a rope to cross the slopes, and the Fire Authority helicopter team used a short-haul sling and basket to lift him out.
      The biker was taken to Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills for treatment, officials said.


    • Trail UpdateRide #3-Sunday a.m.

      Had the pleasure of hooking up with MTB Addict and company for a stroll through their backyard aka Laguna Wilderness. Apparently no ride is complete without first taking a dive over the side at Aliso. The trail shall remain nameless, it probably has 7 other names anyway, but it was a nice wake up call at 7:30 a.m. Endured some truly beautiful sections and made it to the bottom alive with all teeth still in my mouth. Also had chance to view the most beautifully executed inverted aerial rollover ever attempted. Were talking big, big air.

      Then we crossed the street, got fingerprinted, photographed, and had our records checked by the environment police at the front gate. Began our climb up the gut of this place taking note of the mileage markers and listened to everyone spew out trail names and what marker it was near. Got to the back and hooked a right down a handmade, trail that was second to none. Basically, this trail was built to hit every rock slab in the park, and that it did. Nice drops, roll overs, and traverses on lots of different rock types. The only thing missing here was the feeling of solitude as on every ridge you see a snake of riders eating up trail. Speaking of snakes we scoped a giant rattler near the bottom, the third of four I saw this weekend so keep your eyes peeled in this heat.

      Nothing beats a guided tour as I hung back and let the leaders show the way. No maps, no fear of getting lost, or wondering where the trail ends up. Thanks again you guys, the ride was sweet.

      Good luck to you.
      Dusty Bottoms


    • Trail Update5/00' Bike Magazine "warning"-
      Hey all. Found this in the May issue of Bike. "OC park rangers will soon be able to issue citations to individuals breaking ordinances on park property. The current discipline is a lecture and a slap on the wrist to those tresspassing, using ILLEGAL TRAILS, destroyingthe habitat, removing natural and cultural resources and walking a dog without a leash.
      Rangers will no longer be requireed to to call out a OC Sheriff to issue a citation. Double fines may issued in natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) areas which includes LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS PARK.
      They're cracking down on POACHERS, so if you'd like to ride LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS legally contact the Nature Conservancy @ 714 832-7478.
      I for one believe this is a knee jerk reaction to the publicity outlined in the OC Register and Mr. Lopes comments being interpreted as the views of all of us who ride in this area....
      A rider old enough to know better year old Cross-Country Rider riding a yeah right from here, dumb ass...


    • Trail UpdateNot Trying To Start Anything.-In response to the 'cuffing. All I wanted to do is give some of the people out there some info. so they won't feel "bullied" if a "rent-a-cop" gives them a hard time. I am not saying go out and thrash the place and then wave your hands in the air at the cop. There have been some overzealous "rent-a-cops" and these were the ones I was refering to. In response to your statement "(slap on da 'cuffs) if necessary" by your own statement it would not be necessary. Remember when placing a restraint on someone the bigger picture is your a taking away thier rights and for that there better be a damn good reason...not "well he was ridding of the trail, so I cuffed him". All I am trying to do is give at least a little ammo. so that if they do deal with an overzealous cop they can at least reason with them.


    • Trail UpdateOptions/me-
      Ah,so thats why the Irvine Co. rent-a-cop's are such a-holes. This whole thing isnt new is it. Still there are other routes that will keep you off Irvine Co. land and outta sight of the nature Conservacy tree huggers. You just gotta find um.

      Does anyone know if the entrance to willow canyon off Laguna Canyon is patrolled 7 days a week??? I've only seen them there on weekends. Last time i spoke tothe nature conservancy they said the park can be accessed by foot only on the first and third sunday of each month. So now you can ride it or ride through it?
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      old enough to know better a ??? year old Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateBack To Law School...-Hey, Rob R., you should've spent the tuition money on your third year of law school instead of that FSR. Peace officers and private persons alike can make an arrest (Penal Code section 834) and may use restraint (slap on da 'cuffs) if necessary (Penal Code section 835).

      Private security officers ("rent-a-cops") do have big limitations compared to police officers, deputy sheriffs, park rangers, etc., but if you get caught doing something somewhere that you're not supposed to, take it like a man (or woman) instead of whining about your "rights." Remember, that rent-a-cop is representing the rights of a private land owner to say who can and cannot enter his property.

      If you don't want to play by the rules, then you best be prepared to suck it up when you get nailed.
      DB a 34 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Trek hardtail from Orange


    • Trail UpdateEl Moro (handcuffing)-To "Limited Use"-
      That sucks about being cuffed but let me state one thing for everyone here on the board to read and know (as your rights) no person other than a police officer (rent-a-cops don't qualify)can cuff you. This is called unlawful detention. It is unlawful for anyone other than an office with at LEAST a POST level three (basic powers of arrest) can detain you. If anyone ever trys to handcuff you just mention to them that what they are doing is violating your rights and is both criminal and a civil offense, translation..they can be sued BIG TIME!!! I belive if you honestly didn't know and are not looking for truble, the cop would also side with you (cops dont like wanna-be's) Just got back from El Moro and it was GREAT!! Gotta love "elivator"!!

      Take care,
      Rob R.
      Rob R. a 28 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Schwinn from Santa Ana


    • Trail UpdateLimited Use-Be sure to heed to the designated trail days on the 1st and 3rd sundays of each month. The renta-cops who patrol this area the rest of the time are a-holes and will have you arrested. I had quite a run-in with one a few months back. He cuffed me and my buddy and called the sheriffs. Luckily the sheriff was cool.


    • Trail UpdateRe: Options/me-actually, teh parl is OPEN to mtb. every 1st and third sunday the park si opent ogeneral public, including bikes, and hikers. They also have docent led rides at other times. Rode today, it was great!
      Geoff a 21 year old Weekend Warrior riding a 99 FSR from Orange


    • Trail UpdateOptions/Me-Currently this park is still off limits to MTB's. This is due to the private ownership (and patrolling) by the Irvine Company on part of the land and the Nature Conservancys manangement efforts on the rest. TIP: if you access from the residential areas to the west or from 133 to the South DO NOT park your shuttle or primary vehicle AT the trailhead. Concel it on a side street away from the trailhead.

      The area is clearly mapped on page 113 of the great Randy Vogel book called: Mountain Biking Orange County.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: ? miles Elevation change: ?
      Singletrack=?% Dirt Road=?% Truck Trail=?%
      an avocate... a youd think id know better year old Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateThe Park Ranger-Almost accurate. Laguna Coast Wlderness is closed to general public access. Guided mtb rides are coordinated thru The Nature Conservancy 714/832-7478.
      We do have a permit issue access program called WildernessAccess. 1st & 3rd Sunday of each month (weather permiting)gates are open from 8 AM to 3 PM. Permits are issued until 1 PM. No Fee required. Sign in, get a map, have a great ride. In time, the park will be more accessible. Be patient.
      Larry Sweet


    • Trail UpdateMy Favorite-My favorite ride is to park a second car at the El Moro/Crystal Cove parking lot, then drive inland to the Alicia Parkway entrance to Aliso/Wood Canyon Park (you can park at top of the world, also). get to Westridge trail via either Mathis or Cholla. from Westridge there are three short, but very sick singletracks that will take you into Laguna Canyon (probably the best kept secrets in aliso/wood. definitely experts only). the best is probably telonics, which shoots off to the right about 1/4 mile down canyon acres from Westridge. very steep, very technical, sandstone, very scary. I had to put on fresh underwear after my first time. it puts you onto Laguna Canyon road about a mile south of the Willow Canyon trailhead. another one is steps, and that starts down off Westridge between the Lynx and Rockit trailheads. very rocky, not so steep, but there are some insane dropoffs and the rockiness makes it very technical. this puts you out at the water tank at the top of phillips road, which takes you to Laguna Canyon. turn right, go about 300 yards or so to Willow Canyon trail. go to the top, and from there pick your route to the El Moro parking lot, and your second car. any one you take will be excellent fast downhill.


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