- Monday, May 27, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • Modjeska Grade Rd. - #ModjeskaGradeRd.

    Socal - Orange County - Modjeska NickNames: #ModjeskaGradeRd.

    Drive north on El Toro Rd. off I5 in Lake Forest, about 7+ miles. Take note of the battered old restaurant on the corner. Cooks Corner is the local hangout of mountain bikers, roadies, and Harley riders. At Cook's Corner, turn left on Santiago Canyon Road and right on Modjeska Grade Road. Parking is near the Santiago Truck Trailhead but watch out for the no parking signs. Thomas Guide page 862 E1

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    • Trail UpdateGreat Ride-Wow, what a heck of ride!!!! This is the time I rode in OC and I was very impressed with this trail. From the gate, we rode up to the flag pole and then all the way to the running springs. When we got to the running springs, much to my disappointment, the spring was dry. I thought the trail was challenging with all the ruts and rocks, but enjoyable nonetheless. On the way back, we went down the famous luge, which to might surprised, I made it all the way down without eating dirt. Overall, a very enjoyable and challenging ride.
      Pacman a 46 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Giant NRS3


    • Trail UpdateI MADE IT!-I have done this trail several times but never made it all the way to old camp, because of time. I finally did it yesterday! I have been begging myself to do it. I love that trail! It is so fun because of the rocks the drops and the spills. Speaking of spills, my friend took and endo(slang for flipping over the handle bars) on the trail just after the luge. Anyway I started at 7:30 and rode up to the trail and took Modjeska Grade all the way to old camp. Then I got to the luge and took that back to my Dodge. IT WAS EPIC!
      Nicksterphis27 a 18 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Hardrock Sport Specialized from Mission Viejo CA


    • Trail UpdateLuge-Just a warning for new riders at the top stay all the way left unless you want to jump a big gap,i almost made this mistake.
      boonespale a 34 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Iron Horse G-spot,and Iron horse mk III team from Fullerton,ca


    • Trail UpdateSplit Open My Knee-I just wanted to send out a message to the guys that helped me get back up after taking a hard fall on the luge. I split open my knee and it took a good number of stitches/staples...THANK YOU for helping me! People like them make the sport what it is..that is why I love this sport. It's a band of brothers and sisters that look out for each other. Thank you once again. I owe you guys some beers!
      GBFlores03 a 36 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Heckler from Tustin CA


    • Trail UpdateGolly That Was Swell!!-Me and my bestus buddy rode the trail the other day and it was so swell! There were so many people that I thought I was at a special CAMP! We saw bikers and hikers and horsey people and EVERYONE! It was like EVERYONE from The OC was there! I had some rad jumps and caught some air on the way down that hill near the flag. The I rode that Luge like nobody's business! Man that thing just rocks!
      Fang Grebelski a 39 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Fuel 90 from The OC


    • Trail UpdateWOW!!-I rode this trail for the first time on Saturday. (6-4-05) I started at around 7:30am and from the gate made my way to the flag pole. I'm getting back into it so the moderate climb really had me sucking wind. In fact, if anyone finds a heart and a set of lungs they probably belong to me. Ha. Making it to the flag pole made it worth it though. A bunch of mountain bikers were at the flag pole just hanging out having a good time. Look like regulars, everybody seemed to know each other. Since this was my first time, I asked for directions to get to cooks corner. I was pointed into the direction of the famed "luge". I was also told "It'd be a good idea to lower your seat". I took the direction and rode off. WOW...that luge is crazy. My forearms were burning from squeezing the brakes. I wasn't halfway down until I took the kind man's advice and lowered my seat. Man, That was a sweet ride overall. The majority of the trail was in good shape though there were some spots that were hit hard from the rains. Anyways...was this long winded enough?
      abmtnbkr a Weekend Warrior riding a Giant NRS3


    • Trail UpdateModjeska Grade To The Flag Pole-Started the ride from Modjeska Grade Rd. at 1:00pm. The trail was dry in most areas with the exeption of some of the shadier spots. Overall, nothing was real muddy. It was a great ride climbing all the way up to the flag pole. I had a friend who continued on to the old camp. He said that there was some really bad rutted out sections. Came across a couple of rattle snakes. Be careful! Did not expect to see any this time of the year. P.S. a police pulled up behind us when getting our gear back in our car. He said due to the complaints of the residents there is no parking allowed on the side of the road anymore. The sign has been bent to the side and is not very noticable. Don't get towed away! We need to respect the neighborhoods that we ride in so we can continue to have the freedom to enjoy our biking adventures and not have them taken away.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: Approximately 7 miles Elevation change: 1000 ft
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      Richard a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Blur from Fullerton


    • Trail UpdateLost Nightrider Head Trip Lamp-Great Ride Friday night. Got out onto the trail shortly after 6 PM.
      After about 50 min of twilight riding I had to turn on the lights.
      Peacefull and alone I had the trail to myself. Got up to the top
      about 8 PM - totally dark. I skipped the drop to Old Camp and
      headed out. Took it easy on the way down, back at my truck a
      little before 9 PM. Somehow in stowing my gear, I seem to have
      dropped my Nightrider Digital Headtrip lamp. If anyone happened
      upon it this Saturday morning 9/27, I would be very appreciative
      of an email letting me know someone found it. Thanks in advance
      Bobrsta a 48 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Sugar 3+ from Aliso viejo


    • Trail UpdateModjeska/Old Camp/Luge-Well, I think I found my fix. This trail is just about the perfect combination of work out and fun. We headed out right before 9:00 and spent just over two-hours on the trail. Next time will be earlier, as the heat became a factor. The climb up to Old Camp really gets the blood pumping. The DH down to and including the Luge made it all worth the effort. I have been riding Chino for a few years now, but I think that I will be better served driving down south to explore more of the great OC terrain!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 16+ miles Elevation change: enough
      Singletrack=50% Truck Trail=50%
      Mike a 27 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Enduro Pro from Whittier, CA


    • Trail UpdateLuge-Did a quick loop up Santiago TT down the Luge and back to Modjeska Grade. The Luge is in great shape, although most of the DH'ers might disagree. My only complaint is that it is too short. I suppose that is why SJT is so popular! It was amazing how few the numbers were going to the Luge or Old Camp, while Whiting was jammed! Anyhow, the true Luge is in full effect. Go out and enjoy!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 8 miles Elevation change: Enough for me
      Singletrack=20% Paved Path=20% Truck Trail=60%
      Mike a 27 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Enduro Pro from Whittier, CA


    • Trail UpdateSantiago Truck Trail-Rode Whiting/STT/Old Camp/Luge out and back Sat.A.M. Lower portions of Whiting are still muddy in places but the trail features left by the rains have added a little more interest to this part of the ride. STT is in excellent condition , again with the added ruts and rock exposure giving the trail a few more technical challenges.The Luge is also in great shape just watch the deepened " chutes " and a few washouts.Just be on your toes if you have not been down here in a few weeks. If we continue to have rains through the week STT will still remain an option,it is holding up quite well. Just remember to skip Whiting and the Luge for at least 48 hours after a storm. Overall an excellent ride. Lots of large groups out all the way to Old Camp. The best part about that was the general feeling of good will and gratitude to be out and riding! Trail courtesy seemed to be a priority and even the hikers were returning a Hello.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: miles+/-23 Elevation change: enough
      Martin a 48 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a SpecializedFSR/ from Irvine


    • Trail UpdateSantiago Truck Trail - The Luge-What with the rain and all, I HAD to get out there and enjoy the wilderness. (Like I would'nt have even if it was hot)! - Anyway, I rode from my house in Lake Forest, up the Aliso Creek bike trail, up Santiago Cyn Rd, up Modjeska Grade and finally hit dirt on the Santiago Truck Trail! Even thoough I waited for the crowds to thin out by riding late afternoon, early evening Saturday - the trail was still in pristine condition. No dust!, unfortunately, not sticky either. The sage was still pungent though.
      I was diggin' it, only a few bikers coming down and 2 others checking out a tarantula on the trail. Common occurance.
      Went down "The Luge". I can't remember the last time this trail was so clean and fast! Somebody must have walked through and cleaned out all the softball-sized rocks. Thanks! Had a great ride and came out just as the sunset was dropping over the horizon. Discovered a great new short section of singletrack while exploring the end of the ride for a perch to watch the incredible sunset.
      Had to ride back down the bike path in the dark, back to the homestead. I think that was more dangerous than any other part of the ride as lot's of walkers,joggers and dogs - all of which you cannot see in the dark. From my house, the loop was about 24 miles. A great ride!
      MTB Fiend a 41 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a ProFlex Animal from Lake Forest


    • Trail UpdateWhiting/Santiago/Luge/Whiting-Went up Whiting today. All is normal here at Whiting. Way too hot though. Near 100 at 9:30 in the morning. Santiago truck trail is getting down to a single track in many parts of the trail which is cool. The luge is as brutal as ever, the lovely trench down the middle is filled with loose dirt and gravel just waiting for you to make a mistake on the way down. Still, except for the heat, loads o' fun.
      Ride distance: 15 miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=45% Paved Path=5% Truck Trail=55%
      Matt a 29 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Trek 8500LT from Hell! URL: asdfer!`


    • Trail UpdateWhiting/Luge-Did the AM loop today. Start at Whiting, up Borrego, down Cactus, out to Santiago Canyon Road, up Modjeska Grade/STT, down Luge, back to Whiting for Cactus part II => Serrano Cow Trail => Live Oak => COFFEE!!! (Ahhhh...)

      Trail conditions: getting bumpier on Luge, same as always in Whiting, not too dusty yet though, flies not too bad yet on STT, blah, blah, blah...

      Major news of day: Rattler sighting on Luge in the major rut section midway down. I stirred-up the little critter's temper (didn't see him) then my buddy Danno got to bounce/slide by his fully coiled body, a mere 12 inches from his exposed ankle. (Pity the 2nd guy to go by a rattler...)

      Happy ending to the story: no bite (just a friggin' near-cardiac for ol' Danno) some cool deer sightings in Whiting and on STT and some tasty java and danish afterward added up to a neat ride.

      But, KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS OPEN out there (and always try to lead down narrow singletrack... hee hee. ;-)

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 15 miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=40% Paved Path=20%
      MTB Addict a 41 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Santa Cruz Superlight from South OC (MTB paradise...)


    • Trail UpdateSantiago TT To Old Camp-After the slight dousing we received this New Year's Day the trail is in excellent shape. Brushing needs to be done on the last 2 mile stretch leading up to Old Camp but it's still rideable and mostly clear from all the traffic that goes through there. Night time views are great but very cold this past weekend.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 8? Elevation change:
      Truck Trail=100%
      JLampitt a 27 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Cannondale SuperV 500 from RSM


    • Trail UpdateSantiago/Old Cam/ Luge-Good conditons. It was windy and cool today. Just awesome. Trail is in great conditions. Like TK said below, Luge is getting bad.
      Singletrack=30% Dirt Road=10% Paved Path=10% Truck Trail=50%
      FRANK a 30 year old Weekend Warrior from California baby !! URL: Santiago Trail


    • Trail UpdateSantiago Trail/Luge-Did a extended version of the Whiting/luge loop mentioned below........went all the way to Old camp, then back down via luge, cactus etc, thats a super loop, 23 mile total. A great ride for those looking for something more challenging with lots of nice semi technical rocky singletrack. Santiago itself is a super shape, and the recent moisture is a godsend. The Luge however is getting hacked up, lots o braking bumps and rockier than in the past..........
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 23 miles Elevation change: 2500
      Singletrack=35% Dirt Road=10% Paved Path=10% Truck Trail=45%
      TK a 36 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a DEAN from Rancho Santa Margarita


    • Trail UpdateModjeska-Whiting Loop-Modjeska + Luge is a great great loop (i suggest starting at Cook's Corner to get all the paved uphill out of the way in the beginning). But I more strongly recommend adding this trail as a huge sub-loop to a Whiting ranch ride. Start with the Whiting trail, make a left at Four Corners going up the hill past the water tower, then fly down to Santiago Canyon road. Head down the road a little and make a left onto Modjeska Road. Do the trail at the top, take the luge down, take Live Oak Canyon Road down to Cook's Corner, then head back up Santiago Canyon Road, making a left at the open horse ranch with a dirt road winding up behind it (i can't remember the name of this ranch). Take this trail back, some ups and downs, and make a right at the bottom of a dip before the next peak. This takes you back into Whiting trails. Find your way back from there and have fun! Totally about a 15 mile loop, it makes dinner taste all the better.
      Joe Brancaleone a 23 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized Rock Hopper from Laguna Niguel, CA


    • Trail UpdateI have ridden this trail several times since it was graded and now there is a pretty good line beat-out through the soft dirt by people riding to Old Camp. The rain has gone a long way toward helping the trail condition. It is a very nice ride (and test piece if you like to keep you section times), and it gets more like the old "pre-graded" trail everyday. It won't be long before the foliage grows back in the trail, and on the plus side, when the foliage does grow back the singletrack will be a new departure from the old route!
      Singletrack=20% Truck Trail=80%
      Jon Schmidt a 36 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GT Xixag Custom from San Clemente .com


    • Trail UpdateMark-I got to the trail around 10am on Sunday, May 23rd. It was drizzling and damp. The ride started out great. The drizzle kept the ground tacky, but not too wet. Just past the luge, after a rocky little downhill, there is a small climb to the top of a hill with a few minor switchbacks. The trail used to be great, but now they BULLDOZED THE WHOLE THING!! It's bulldozed almost the whole rest of the way to Old Camp! Some guys were turning around at the top of the switchbacks saying it was unridable, but it's totally makeable, so don't turn around there. Keep going. It just sucks that the whole trail looks like a fireroad now. Even the rock garden is mowed down. It's not even a challenge anymore. It's like a 15ft. wide road! By the time I was at Old Camp it was raining and covered in mud by the time I made it back to my truck.
      Singletrack=10% Dirt Road=80% Truck Trail=10%
      Mark a 28 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Specialized FSR from Huntington Beach


    • Trail UpdateLuge-The last time I rode the Luge was last year when El Nino had taken it's toll everywhere. Checked it out yesterday and it is in excellent shape!!! The trail maintenance folks did a stellar job on re-vitalizing this trail. The vegitation has been cut back and the trail is totally sweet!!! It's going to be a great summer of MTB'ing!!!
      Jim White a 35 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a GT Xizang Titanium from Mission Viejo


    • Trail UpdateJim White-The last time I rode the Luge was last year when El Nino had taken it's toll everywhere. Checked it out yesterday and it is in excellent shape!!! The trail maintenance folks did a stellar job on re-vitalizing this trail. The vegitation has been cut back and the trail is totally sweet!!! It's going to be a great summer of MTB'ing!!!
      Jim White a 35 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a GT Xizang Titanium from Mission Viejo


    • Trail UpdateSantiago Trail-The trail is in great shape. It is mostly dry and very rideable. If the weather keeps up you should make sure you wear sunblock. I burned my arms and neck on Saturday and saw a lady with a sleveless who looked like a lobster. The Luge appears to need to have the vegitaion cut back with in the next month so it is not out of control come spring.
      Singletrack=90% Paved Path=10%
      OAF a 27 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GT LTS


    • Trail UpdateSantiago Truck Trail-The trail has weathered this seasons storms quite well, other than the sections washed out last year, the trail is in good shape, and is ridable all the way to Old Camp. This is a great trail, but takes skill and stamina to make it to Old Camp, but still a good ride for less experienced up to Vulture crags ( about half way).

      Please be considerate on Modeska grade road, don't ride up 2 or 3 abreast, as this infuriates the locals since its very hard to pass on this road, so USE YOUR HEAD!!
      Singletrack=30% Truck Trail=70%
      TK a 35 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Stumpjumper Pro from Rancho Santa Margarita


    • Trail UpdateSantiago Truck Trail-All in all the trail has survived El Nino pretty well so far. Lots of weeds and plant growth with a general narrowing of the trail. Really only one bad slide about a mile or so up the trail. You can walk or possibly ride around it. The steep rocky section past The Flume is better now, the rain having compacted all those loose rocks. Farther up the trail is pretty much the same as always, awesome. Anyway for way too many details check out the trail write-up in OCnow at:
      http://ocnow.com/recreation/knobnation/mtb_trails/santruck/santruckgd.html. They even have video.

      NOTE: When you go here don't be a choad and ruin access for the rest of us by parking in illegal areas or causing a general disturbance to residents. Thanks. Singletrack=95% Dirt Road=5%
      John a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Zaskar LE from Mission Viejo URL: OCNow Knobby Nation


    • Trail UpdateSantiago Truck Trail-I had the pleasure of riding this trail on Saturday morning 01-03-98. The unpredictable weather kept me from a longer adventure. The fire which was talked about in the previous update is all but forgotten. The sections of the trail which were regraded have had ample rain and sun to harden up again and conditions were pretty good. There were a few sections in the first 3-3.5 miles that were a little muddy, but with a keen eye for dirt they were easily avoided. I did not venture down the Luge due to limited visibility (fog) so I could'nt report on that. I managed to get to the the top of the second major climb before the rain forced me back to my car and am pleased to report that only a few small slides were caused by the recent storms. Overall the trail is in excellent condition and should be hardpacked and fast as soon as it dries completely!!!
      Singletrack=20% Truck Trail=80%


    • Trail UpdateSantiago Truck Trail-Was really bummed today as I watched my favorite trail burn up in a brush fire. I was even more bummed when I saw bulldozers making a new road up the trail. (I know they're just doing their jobs - and a great job they are doing.) Not sure yet how much of the trail burned, but the first mile or so of trail will probably be all chewed up and loose for months until the rains come. Oh well...I guess the upper parts of the trail are the better parts anyway.
      Singletrack=65% Truck Trail=35%


    • Trail UpdateSantiago To Old Camp-


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