- Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • Santiago Truck Trail - #SantiagoTruckTrail

    Socal - Orange County - Modjeska NickNames: #SantiagoTruckTrail truck trail - the luge

    The gate to Santiago Truck Trail is at the top of the Modjeska Grade. Get to Modjeska Grade via Santiago Cyn Rd. From El Toro it's up Santiago Cyn Rd. on the right about 2 miles past Cooks Corner. From Orange, it's several miles past Irvine Lake / Silverado-Black Star Canyon, on the left.

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    • Santiago Truck Trail To Old Camp-Eight miles of climbing to start this ride. It is an up and back unless you take the Luge when you reach Four Corners. The ride to Old Camp is great. The rain pact the trail down and there is no dust right now. The trail is in great shape. I will post the elevation chart in the picture section.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: Elevation change: 3080
      Dirt Road=100%
      Jesus Ocana a 38 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Gary Fisher: Marlin from Fullerton, CA


    • Trail UpdateSantiago Truck Trail-Hadn't done this trail in ten years and was dieing to get back to it. The trail was narrower then remembered. And the climb. Wow. Plenty of climbing which I happen to love. Nothing on this trail is technical. We went down the Luge which is very fun and which is one of the longest single tracks in Orange County. Not scary but fun and all downhill. I plan on riding this a lot more.
      jesus ocana a 38 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Gary Fisher: Marlin from Fullerton, CA


    • Trail UpdateWhat A Blast!-My fiance and I rode the truck trail today, including the luge, and we had a blast. We started from Modjeska Road, rode up to the luge, then down to Cook's and back up Santiago Canyon Road to the car. Unlike the previous writer, we didn't encounter any muddy conditions. A couple of washed out parts of the truck trail made it interesting, but nothing major. It was our first time down the luge and what a ride it was. Can't wait to do it again.
      Genie a 40-something year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Epic Comp from Tustin


    • Trail UpdateMud In The High Country-Rode the trail on Saturday. Good conditions up to the Luge. Above that there is lots of mud. Some places are 10" deep. I turned around about a mile from Old Camp because it was taking too long (and I realized that the downhill was not going to be as rewarding as it usually is). Went down the Luge and it was slightly muddy. It is a completely different ride (slide?) when it is slick. You don't pick the line, the Luge does.

      A few days of the 80 degree weather will dry everything up...or hit the trail now if you love mud.
      RollnStone a 48 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Trek Fuel from Cypress


    • Trail UpdateSTT To Old Camp - Luge-The trail is dry and traction is good. Very little erosion from the recent rain. Lots of rocks on the trail down to Old Camp and at the end of the Luge.
      RollnStone a 48 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Trek Hardtail from Cypress


    • Trail UpdateOld Camp/Luge Needs Some TLC-Rode Santiago to Old Camp two weeks ago. The trail was in good shape and the foliage has really thrived since my last visit. In the summer it is dry and dusty but now the trail has tall vegitation growing almost helmet high in some areas right along the edge of the trail. We decided to stop in Old Camp for lunch and we were a bit suprised to see that the place got hit pretty good. The big tree lost a limb that collapsed right onto the campsite. Several other trees had also fallen making the place look a bit different and in need of some clean up. On the way back we took the Luge down. The luge was fun but watch your speed! I went over the bars on one part of it putting a big dent in my "brain bucket". I was alright and had a great time!
      ICPAYDIRT a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Superlight from Pacific Beach


    • Trail UpdateTo Old Camp-The trail wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be after all that rain! A little more technical, but fine. Did run across a Diamondback though! . . . sunning itself in the trail. Needed to change my shorts after that one!
      a 42 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Spec Stump from Fullerton


    • Trail UpdateStay Off The Trails!-We've had the worst rain in years...please stay off the trails for awhile. All you are doing is tearing up the trails! Give a good week to dry up or something. Or, buy some slicks and hit the road. Thanks


    • Trail UpdateSTT-STT & The Luge. FYI>Portions of the Luge are completely saturated. Mid-section is a mud bog with running water.


    • Trail UpdateLA Times Article-
      EJ a 42 year old Cross-Country Rider from OC URL: LA times article


    • Trail UpdateDuh-umm, WET


    • Trail UpdateConditions on STT and Luge after rains????


    • Trail UpdateWhilst riding? whilst riding? Nice one. Who talks like that? How about this. Whilst you were trying to be a nice guy you left the keys with a bunch of drunken hoods approximately 100 yards from some dude's car,that was probaly stolen. Nice one.


    • Trail UpdateLOST KEYS On STT!!!!-Whilst riding back from Old Camp I came across some dudes that had found a set of keys. As I was heading back to the trailhead (and they were going the opposite way) they gave them to me. I decided the best thing to do was leave them at Cook's Corner. I figured you probably wouldn't be going very far without them...

      So if you lost a set of keys on STT recently go claim them at Cook's Corner.


    • Trail UpdateBridge At The Luge-The additional planking to extend the new bridge to a total length of 12' is all prepped for installation.

      Should be an easy install and should take less than an hour. New planking is pre-drilled and countersunk, and set up with wheels and handles to roll it to the site. All we need to do is drive-in 33 lag screws and were done. I have 4 ratchets ready to go.

      I'll be at the Cooks parking lot between 7:30 and 7:45 tomorrow morning and would like to get started by 8:00. I'd like to finish the bridge and start riding by 9:15 to Old Camp.

      If you would like to help out and ride in the morning, e-mail me; post here; or just show up at Cooks in the morning.

      I'll be the one with a 12' bridge in a 6' truck bed ;)

      See ya tomorrow.

      JamR a 49 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a A few bikes from Capo


    • Trail UpdateGreat Condition, Great Job, Guys-rode stt to the luge down to live oak, my very first time riding here (i've only been riding since summer). luge is in great shape. met a guy right at the start of the luge (nice to meet you, kevin), said the middle part was muddy last time he went. today, a little slick, but not bad at all, nothing compared to earlier posts, which were surprisingly only a few days ago. thanks to all who did trail work and bridge work. however, the luge is way too short and i might just go back down thru stt next time
      big-D a 31 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a specialized big hit from chino


    • Trail UpdateLadders On The Luge-I took a look at one of my trail books during lunch, and ladder-spans or embedded ladders are an efficient method for trail surfacing; especially when there is a lack of suitable rock available for a trail base.

      It actually might be a good idea to span the bottom of the “V” with a ladder. Ladders seem to have several purposes and advantages.

      1. It would be an immediate wet-condition repair to these trail sections to mitigate any more damage since the ladder would span the “V” gap and make it immediately useable.
      2. As time and weather permits, the “V” gap below the ladder can be filled (either leaving the top of the ladder exposed, or completely burying the ladder). The ladder will also act as a binder base for this section of the trail.
      3. If staked properly and sufficiently into the sides of the “V” slopes, the ladder could probably stand up during future storms, even if the “V” below was washed out again.
      4. They are easy and inexpensive to make, and light enough to carry easily to the site (as opposed to foraging the hillsides for rocks and boulders), and quick & easy to install.

      These ladders would be far from any north shore features, but could be a solid addition to the Luge for sustainability.

      I think I might take a look and do some measuring this Sunday after we finish extending the bridge at the bottom of the Luge.


      JamR a 49 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a A few bikes from Capo


    • Trail UpdateLadders On The Luge-Now that’s an interesting thought. Actually with the V rut as steep and deep as it is; you could readily fit a series of 12” to 16” wide ladders down into the V. Would make for a smooth and interesting ride through this area, and if done right, it would help sustain this section since it rarely gets direct sunlight. You could even bank some of the turns and let the lumber take the wear and tear instead of the soil.

      Ladders would also be a very quick and effective fix for this area. As is stands now, we’re going to have to bench in a lot of soil into these ruts to bring them back up to a hike-able trail since we need to be conscious of maintaining descent access for hikers.

      It would also be better for climbing and for hikers. Right now I don’t think you could actually hike up that section since the V is so deep and is only 3” to 4” wide in spots.

      Built in features in my opinion can be a positive addition to many trails if they are done right.

      I’ve actually toyed with the idea of trying to get permission to change a couple of bridges in some of the parks to flow with the trails better. Everyone seems to be so bent on building straight bridges right at a turn in a trail. When this is the case, the trail sections entering the bridge quickly begin to grow since you have to widen your turn in order to avoid hitting the bridges guard rails. I think a nice curved bridge that flows and follows the natural trail curve would be a better option.

      Actually the best option would be to eliminate the guard rails and bank the bridge; but I don’t think we could get away with that. Would be nice though if we could bank a bridge here or there.

      Something to think about???? I think that built in features (within moderation) should be a part of every trail system.

      JamR a 49 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a A few bikes from Capo


    • Trail UpdateQuestion For JAMR-Do you have any thoughts of how to "fix" the mudbog
      sections on the luge until they dry out? Would a northshore
      style ladder work? It seems like it would take a very long time
      for that mud to dry up.


    • Trail UpdateSTT/LUGE-Indeed, Vulture Crags is the Luge.


    • Trail UpdateLuge - Vulture Crags-Correct.

      When you're climbing STT, just take the singletrack to the right when you get to the memorial flag pole.

      You found it.
      JamR a 49 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a A few bikes from Capo


    • Trail UpdateIndeed It Is...-Thanks for the info RDC! I hit it late this afternoon and it was in great shape (although I have no prior comparison). Man, was it nice to get hammering again...

      Can anyone give me the "low-down" on the seemingly secret path to the legendary "luge". I can't find it on any maps I have seen. Unless it is that section of singletrack I have seen labeled as "Vulture Crags" that leads back down to Live Oak Canyon Rd? But clearly I didn't go the distance to any major forks on this run...
      TexMTBer a 28 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Rocky Mtn from SJC


    • Trail UpdateSTT Is Very Rideable-STT is actually quite dry, just a few puddles but those are after the Luge. The Luge itself is another story, very thick mucky mud in a couple of sections. It will probably take some repair to get those sections rideable once they dry out as there is a pretty deep rut in one section. I rode STT up to Old Camp yesterday and minus the few puddles the trail is quite dry.
      RDC a 29 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a '03 Foes FXR from Westminster


    • Trail UpdateA Straight Answer...-I'm new to the area and I haven't ridden any of the Santa Ana mtn trails...but I'm ITCHING to get back on the bike--and to try new trails--after these rains! The stationary bike at the gym only makes me want to get out and ride even more!!!

      Bottom line: Is it feasible to ride STT (and/or the other near-by trails) without rutting the daylights out of the earth???


    • Trail UpdateSuprized-How well this trail holds up to the rain.Lots and lots of people out there today.
      That bridge weighed a lot more then 80 pounds.My fingers are still numb.It should hold up for quite awhile.Thanks again, Adam.
      Pain Freak riding a Surly Turner from The 909


    • Trail UpdateAwesome NEw Bridge!! URL: http://www.socaltrailriders.org


    • Trail UpdateThe new bridge is great! Most of the trial is in good shape. A few land slides to ride/hike over, and the luge has a few large mud pits. Thanks again JamR for the bridge.
      Mytrustysteed a 30 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Gary fisher sugar 4+ from Mission viejo


    • Trail UpdateBridge Installation-Switching my show up time to 8:00 am for the bridge installation if anyone in interested in lending a hand.

      JamR a 49 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a A few bikes from Capo


    • Trail UpdateLooking For Help-The bridge at the bottom of the Luge is gone, and the gap is widened enough to where using the existing boards on-site is impractical.

      I made a new bridge this morning and could use some help tomorrow morning installing it. The installation should be a piece of cake. The main thing I need is help getting it to the site.

      The bridge is 8' long by 2' wide and weighs +/- 80 lbs. Not heavy, just awkward. It has holes for pull/carry ropes to make it easier. I'd prefer not to drag it there myself, so I could use two bodies around 7:00am tomorrow.

      The whole installation should not take more than 2 hours, so there will still be plenty of time to get a ride up STT afterwards.

      I will bring all the needed tools and supplies.

      Please e-mail me if you would like to lend a hand for a couple of hours in the morning.

      We can meet at Cooks at 7:00 am, and I can drive everyone to the gate on Live Oak. I think the trek with the bridge is less than a half mile, and most of it is down hill.

      I just added some wheels to the bridge, so getting it to the wash-out should b e a snap.

      E-mail me if you can help, or just show up at Cooks at 7:00 am. I'll drop by the parking lot before heading up to the end of the Luge. I'll be the one with the bike and the bridge in the back of my truck.

      JamR a 49 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a A few bikes from Capo


    • Trail UpdateEveryone Meet At COOK'S On Sat!-Pulled up to Cooks Corner this morning around 10 after 9
      and was lucky to find a parking spot at the very back of the
      dirt lot, next to the shed and trailer. Obviously with all the
      other trails closed, STT was the call.

      Overall, the STT before the Luge wasn't too bad, like the
      previous poster said, a couple hike-a-bike sections, but over
      all, it was less muddy than I thought it would be. I reached
      the Luge, posted up for a few and headed up to Old Camp.
      The usual mud/water puddle at the base of the flagpole
      mound was there, as well as another one before the climb to
      Old Camp begins. The shale part of the climb wasn't too
      different, although there is one 3 foot boulder just off-center
      of the singletrack about 1/2 way up the section. It isn't
      obstructing the trail much. I made my way up and around the
      left hand bend, then the right and was on the "backside" of
      the ride. The shade has kept the mud pretty tacky in most
      areas, creating a bit more of resistance when pedaling. The
      section with the rocks seemed to be a bit rutted in some
      areas, as well as having more softball size rocks exposed. It
      seemed to be a little more tricking climbing this section since
      the rains. I continued up to the "saddle" area, a nice spot to
      rest and came across some dude sitting down, looking at a
      map and as I said "hello" he lit up a cigarette, CLASSIC! He
      had a european accent I noticed as we spoke. Apparently he
      was heading towards Old Camp and wanted to hit the Main
      Divide. Anyhow, I said "later" and continued up then down
      that really fun kinda "s" turn section, filled with small rollers
      and rocks. After that I came up to the "BIG PUDDLE", you
      guys know the one, it is about 15 feet wide or so, there was
      no "p**sy line around the side of the thing so I had no choice
      but to ride through it. This is where I decided to turn around, I
      was on a time crunch and didn't have time to go all the way to
      Old Camp. I cruised back to the Luge and started my

      Nothing unusual about the top section, but as soon as you hit
      the covered area watch out! There was a slight film of water
      present, and then I rounded the corner and blam, sticky/
      gooey mud, and a 3-4 inch rut downthe middle of the ST. I
      had to stop, unclip one foot and scoot my way through it. My
      tires were completely caked with mud, scraping and catching
      the mud on my fork arch and my chain stay. After that
      madness for about 20 yards, the rest of the luge was killer, a
      few new good size rock slabs are present and also, right
      before it ends, another small mudpit.

      The washed out bridge is a tad tricky. Luckily i was able to
      hand my bike to some other rider who was on the other side,
      and I then jumped across the 4 foot rut/ravine to the other
      side. There are 3 narrow planks, on a downward slope that
      were pretty slick. So, be careful if you choose to walk across

      All in all, a good ride was had. Great weather, and other then
      the mud on the Luge, and the couple hike - a -bike sections
      the trail was in pretty good shape.
      dirtKLAUD from long beach, CA


    • Trail UpdateSTT Pics Post Rain-Quite a bit of damage out there...two hike a bikes before the luge and one after...a couple of trees down on the trail down to oldcamp and the wood bridge at the bottom of the luge is washed out. The new water bars on the luge really kept it in decent shape, although one section is very muddy. Saw a group of 6 deer about 1.5 miles in from the gate.
      Ride distance: 17.6 miles Elevation change: 3000
      EJ a 42 year old from OC URL: STT pics 1-13-05


    • Trail UpdateBrilliant-Let's see, I rode it last Saturday and you rode it Thursday night....hmmmmm figure it out.
      StevenfullyJackson a 23 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a BigFoesCoveScat from Fullerton Loop


    • Trail UpdateNight Ride-Rode it last night with several hundred others. Very wet and very rideable. even for a short ride, it's a work out.
      Don't NOT ride it because of the last guy saying it "shouldn't be riden for awhile". It's Nat'l forest (our land) ride it when ever you can, if you can.

      This trail holds the water well even if it rains the same day.


    • Trail UpdateAgreed, Pretty Wet!-Dirt Klaud and I rode STT/Luge Saturday afternoon and the downhill section just before the Luge has a small stream running down it the entire way. After the rain yesterday and today I'd say this trail shouldn't be ridden for a few days or so....pretty muddy.
      RDC a 29 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a '03 Foes FXR from Westminster


    • Trail UpdatePretty Soggy Out There-I rode up to Old Camp, and down the Luge yesterday morning. Although 95% of the trail is dry, there are some sections that are really soggy. Plan on getting muddy if you ride it. There is so much water draining out of the hills, that I think some sections will be bleeding for a good few weeks.

      BrahMa riding a 4 Year old Prototype 6 Pack


    • Trail UpdateNew Trails Cut After Luge.-Noticed yesterday after the Luge that some new trails have been cut....pretty wide trails also. Anyone know the reason or who did this.....seems kind of odd.
      RDC a 29 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a '03 Foes FXR from Westminster


    • Trail UpdateLuge Has Been Cleaned Up!-Kudos to the people who cleaned up the Luge after the rains a couple weeks ago. Was the worst I've seen it. Someone has filled in the ruts and rain gutters recently.
      Ride rating: Novice
      Unfriendly Giant a 39 year old Weekend Warrior


    • Trail UpdateLuge-Sunday morning ride was awesome. I took a couple of friends from Cooks, warmed up on the rode climb to STT. Once on the dirt it was hard to stop smiling. I was having a blast out of the house, no rain and riding my bike with one of the best views around. The climb up the trail is nice and tacky tires were hooking up great. A few ruts from the rain but nothing bad. A thanks for the trail work it is hard to imagine the damage from the rain before. On to the Luge the beginning was a little loose and rocky but very rideable and fun. The twisty single track has some great trail work done here as well nice banked turns and water bars that should hold up nice this winter. Down to the bottom the home owners have routed the exit away from their property a bit so look for the right turn a little bit sooner. Thanks again for all of the trail work it really helps this trail last and is very fun to ride. I did see one rider going up the Luge so keep your eyes open.

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 8 miles Elevation change:
      Dirt Road=90%
      ZULU a 36 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Spec. Stumpy FSR Comp. from Trabuco Canyon


    • Trail UpdateLuuuuuuge-Saturdays trail maintenance was a lot of fun as usual, and with the recent rains, the soil was like working with Play Dough.

      Rode the trail up and down on Sunday and it’s the best I’ve seen it in years. Easy climbing and very fast & maneuverable on the way down. Nice banking on some corners and a few small air sections. Just in time for the night riding time change. The trail should sustain itself pretty well this winter.

      Overall, the entire climb up to Old Camp is a very clean run.

      JamR a 49 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a A few bikes from Capo


    • Trail UpdateSTT/Old Camp/Luge-Dirt Klaud and I got a late start from Cook's, but the air was cool and there was a nice breeze so temps were ideal. Made the usual boring trek up Santiago Canyon/Modjeska Grade...both of us feeling strong. The lower section of STT wasn't as tacky as we expected, but the higher we got the more sticky it was. Made it up to the Luge and chatted with some other riders, then headed towards Old Camp. The initial ascent after the Luge has a bit more of a gravel feel than before the rains, but it is fine after the 180 degree turn. There were a few mud puddles, one in particular you had to ride right through. Just tacky enough for some dirt to stick the tires but not bog you down. Made it to the end, but decided not to drop all the way into Old Camp, then geared up for the downhill.

      Some new larger ruts and more loose rocks scattered around made the descent more tricky, but the Kendas just seemed glued to the trail. It was almost scary how well hooked up the bike felt....almost had too much confidence but it was a blast. Then we get to the start of the Luge...hearing about the trail maintenance the day before we were eager to see what was done. The initial part was loose and rocky as usual, then we hit a couple of water bars and things start changing. These guys did an awesome job, the top part of the Luge is totally transformed. The big ruts are gone, lots of water bars, and the turns were banked and very fast. Never had that much fun going down the Luge! At the bottom we hear some dirt bikes at the top of the hill, on our way out we see their tire marks on the singletrack. We get to the top and there are 3 guys up there tearing up the trails.....frickin morons. On the way down towards the paved road there is a fun little kicker/water bar you can launch on. Bombed back down live oak to the truck and feeling great! Awesome conditions out there right now.
      Ride distance: 17-18 Elevation change:
      RDC a 29 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a '03 Foes FXR from Westminster


    • Trail UpdateSunday's Orange County Register-If you don't subscribe to the Register, go buy a copy of Sunday's paper (July 4) and check out the "Sunday Morning Read."


    • Trail UpdateSTT, Old Camp, Luge-DirtKlaud, Miznax, Rooster Legz and myself met up and Cook's a little before 9am....me with a hangover. Drank a bottle of water and a couple tylenol and we were on our way. It was already getting warm, but the breeze was cool. Worked our way up to the Luge and signed the book being sent over to our troops. Miznax's Psylo took a crap and stayed in the 3" travel mode the rest of the ride which made his descent pretty rough. We finally made it up to Old Camp....really hot and a lot of gnats and flies. Grabbed some food and headed down to the Luge again, but not before DirtKlaud got 2 flats with 10 minutes. Fixed his flats, and we all met up again at the Luge. There we saw some smoke down in the canyon before we headed down. The Luge is pretty dusty, but still in decent condition. Regrouped again at the bottom and saw a water dropping helicopter flying right above us. Made our way back to the cars, tired and hot, but we all had a good time. Saw a bunch of fire trucks going up Live Oak when we were loading our bikes up. Overall conditions are good on the STT, the Luge just being a bit powdery.
      Ride distance: 17.5 Elevation change:
      RDC a 29 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Foes FXR


    • Trail UpdateSantiago Truck Trail Flag And...-I wanted to thank the "Mountain Bike Mafia" for the outstanding job on the American flag installation at the Luge intersection. First-class installation!

      Second, I am usually focused on the ride and until yesterday never noticed that I was actually riding over an ancient sea bed. There are numerous rocks on the trail that are full of fossilized sea shells.

      Wildlife report: one ornery rattlesnake that took a lot of coaxing (throwing rocks) to get the hell off a narrow off-camber turn. No mountain lions spotted....

      Temps at 2PM were fairly warm but by 6 were truning downright pleasureable.
      Ride rating: Novice
      Ride distance: 8 miles Elevation change: yes
      Singletrack=20% Truck Trail=80%
      Jim a 50 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Enduro from Huntington Beach


    • Trail UpdateKeep Your Eyes Open!-Went for a late afternoon ride yesterday on the STT.
      As we were starting the climb, I mentioned to my
      riding partner that I had received an e-mail from the
      Warriors Soc. about recent mountain lion sightings
      on this trail.
      Sure enough, a couple of miles into the climb we
      heard a couple of riders yelling at us from the ridge
      above. They told us that somebody had seen a lion
      right where we were riding, about 5 minutes
      before. Apparently, the lion was in the middle of the
      trail and took off into the bushes when the riders
      approached. It was in the last section of uphill
      before you start going down towards the Luge.
      We kept looking at both sides of the trail but didn't
      see anything. Continued up to Old Camp, turned
      around and descended rather quickly , as we were
      running out of day light. The Luge was as fun as
      always, even on a hardtail.
      Anyway, a beatiful day for a ride, with nearly ideal
      temperatures. Just remember that is a good idea
      to ride with somebody and keep to your eyes
      Pilas a 36 year old Racer riding a Cannondale Hardtail from Irvine


    • Trail UpdateMoist-STT wasn't too bad yesterday, moist spots here and there.
      someone blew their breakfast out right about at the top of the
      steepest climing section of the STT, YUCK!

      noticed a couple more "new" jumps on the way to old camp,
      nice and smooth, nothing too extreme.

      the luge was nice, wasn't too muddy at all, just tacky.


    • Trail UpdateSTT>OLD CAMP>LUGE-RDC and I started at Cooks Corner, and did the STT to OLD
      CAMP back down to THE LUGE. Lots of people out on the
      trails today. Trails are in great shape up there, almost no mud
      at all except for a few of the usual puddles after the LUGE on
      the way to OLD CAMP. We dropped into the bottom and
      posted up for a few, grubbed a snack, checked out the creek,
      was about 1/2 full and then headed out. We met up with
      some guy who was riding solo at the LUGE and he joined us
      for the ascent to OLD CAMP and back down the LUGE.

      This was the "maiden voyage" for my new Enduro, a great
      ride to break in a new bike!

      Good times out there!
      Ride distance: 17.5 miles Elevation change: not sure
      Dirt Klaud riding a Specialized Enduro from long beach


    • Trail UpdateBackwards Luge-Went to Cook's corner and was in the mood for a new trail (something different, at least). Basically I went up the Luge and did the whole loop counterclockwise. Very entertaining too! I had the entire trail to myself since I started about 2:30 PM. I can't claim to have just simply pedaled up the Luge. The hard parts were the portions where the dirt is narrow and you whack your pedals or some of the "stair steps" of rocks and dirt. Highly recommend it!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 7 miles Elevation change: 1000 or so
      Singletrack=1.5% Dirt Road=4% Paved Path=2%
      Jim a 50 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Enduro '01 from Huntington Beach


    • Trail UpdateMore Bees-Last Tuesday, just before the Luge we rode under and through a swarm of bees. It didn't bother us too much, but we kept going, and didn't hang around. I know regular honey bees do swarm, but are generally docile while swarming. I've been around swarms and have never been bother by the bees. But I don't know that this is true for the Africanized bees. They are a lot more agressive and one bee stinging will set off the whole bunch of them. Anyhow, the ride was great, almost as clear as last Saturday's ride. Wish I was up there today.
      Ride distance: 16 miles Elevation change:
      Dan a 51 year old Weekend Warrior riding a an old GT Agressor


    • Trail UpdateMoonlight Drive-I went for a very late night jaunt on the STT Saturday.
      After a busy weekend day, I had originally planned on a dusk ride to check out the early eclipse.
      The low cloud cover squashed that idea, so I changed gears and spent a pleasant evening with the Familia.
      All night there was still that little voice constantly whispering in my ear "Gotta ride, Gotta ride".
      It finally got the best of me. I told my better half I was heading out and grabbed my gear.
      It was 60° on the patio, so I dressed for a cold ride in the canyons. Stupid! The cloud cover kept things humid and toasty; a pair of shorts and a long sleeve would have been just fine.
      By the time I hit the trailhead about 11:30, the moon was directly overhead and was peeking in and out of the clouds. The clouds had thinned to the point where everything was bathed in a bright, diffused glow.
      It was so bright that the light wasn’t really needed. I clipped in and followed that familiar path up the rolling hillside. A tacky granite groove meandered ahead, plotting my course for me.
      There wasn’t another soul around; even the trail-squatting canyon wrens had called it a night.
      It was just me, my creaky bottom bracket, and the twinkling lights of master-planned suburbia below.
      I climbed with absolutely no intensity. This wasn’t a training ride, just a nice way to finish the day.
      I spun away, breathed deeply, sorted my thoughts and enjoyed the beautiful night for what it was.
      After several miles of climb, I stopped, drank in a few minutes of stillness and then called it a night.
      The downhill back was over in an instant. I switched on the light and had an uninhibited descent with no fear of rolling into a family on a day hike.
      When I reached the truck, a great horned owl serenaded me goodbye from atop the powerline.
      Working a PM shift puts your body clock on a weird schedule. Sometimes it blows, sometimes it pays dividends.
      It’s interesting how a short ride can sometimes be the most satisfying.

      Schecky a Die-hard Enthusiast


    • Trail UpdateBees!-Yeah I was there about a week or so ago and I was taking a break at one of the lookout points before the Luge. Out of nowhere this huge SWARM of bees flew right past me. It looked like they were more or less heading north along the mountains. It was pretty f-ed up, although they flew within about 10 feet of me and didnt bother with me at all. Ive heard that normal bees dont swarm like that, only killer bees. I dont know if this is true or not, but Id be careful up there none the less. Killer or not, a massive swarm of bees is not something I'd want to screw around with. I should also say that Ive been up there about three times since then, and not seen a single bee, but apparently theyre still there. Anyone else know anything about this?

      OokieCookie a 23 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Specialized Rockhopper from Laguna Hills


    • Trail UpdateAttacked By Bees!-Rode to Old Camp on Sunday 10/5. Came back down the Luge. After the Luge you must climb out of the ravine, starting with the creek (dry) crossing. We got to the top of the little climb, to the area where there is a little mound of dirt and a lame little balance beam. There were bees everywhere! I was actually the third in our group to arrive there, as I approached I watched my buddy take his helmet off. I saw one bee fly out of his helmet, while he fluffed another out of his hair. When I was within 10 feet of him I was suddenly stung right under my shoulder blade and under my camelback! I yelled and literally dove off my bike and into a roll, trying to squish it. It worked. The four of us took off, but my buddy stopped about 100 feet away to put his helmet back on. We heard him yell as he was stung twice, although maybe by the same bee, we don't know. My other buddy also had to stop because he felt one crawling around on his head, but got it out before being stung.
      Anyone else had bee problems there?
      We didn't go off trail or do anything we could think of to bother the bees. It left us wondering if it could have been killer bees, but we thought it probably would have been even worse.

      Everybody beware and maybe don't stop in that area!
      Ride distance: wimpy Elevation change: 100 points in my blood pressure!
      DaKahuna a 33 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Bullit from OC


    • Trail UpdateNovice My Eye!!-Last Saturday a buddy and I parked at Cook's and hammered up to the STT. Two miles of good old uphill. We started at 7:00 am so it was cool enough. Got to the flagpole at 7:40, ok. Two stinkin hours later we finally made it to Old Camp. Lots of little flies to get in your eyes and ears. There was still a little water in the creek which was cool.

      Heading toward the luge my partner took a spill on the pointy rocks and left about 100 square inches of epidermis behind. His wife was pissed!

      The luge was fast and fun, but the 10 miles up was tough on us.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 17 miles Elevation change: couldn'tsay
      Singletrack=70% Dirt Road=20% Paved Path=10% Truck Trail=5%
      Rusty Bucket a 43 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Giant NRS 2 from Tustin


    • Trail UpdateSTT/Old Camp/Luge-Set out just after 6 PM to Old Camp. Ran into three other guys heading to the Luge at the trailhead. It was amazingly warm for this late at night, and we worked up a sweat. Enjoyed the moderate grade of the STT up to the Luge. Time to keep climbing now! The trail is somewhat looser and appears less traveled after the Luge. Looked back and saw the three guys at the top of the Luge and gave a holler. The trail condition is superb overall, though. Firm, with lots o' traction. Got to Old Camp before 8. Time for some liquid refreshment of the fermented kind. Also time to break out the lights! Climbed out from Old Camp ready for some downhill action. Had a blast as we flew down the trail. Saw a few Tarantulas crawling around, (no 'squishies' though) and also found that some type of bird has an odd habit of resting on the trail, staring at you on the approach, and then at the last possible millisecond flies up and comes as close as possible to hitting you. This happened three times. (Night Bird Flying, Hendrix anyone?) Fun stuff! Now time to blast the Luge. The Luge is now so groomed, this seemed like the easiest part of the trip. 6 minutes down at night seemed like a pretty good time for two old farts. On to the traditional 40+ MPH cruise back down to Cook's Corner. MTB, you gotta love it!!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 16 miles Elevation change: ~2000 feet with all the up/downs I think
      Singletrack=95% Paved Path=5%
      KujoWabo a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Stumpjumper FSRxc from Laguna Niguel


    • Trail UpdateNot Quite Hells Kitchen But....-..it was close enough. Scooped up RDC around
      10:15 in tha mornin' and headed southbound.

      Arrived in the Ralphs lot around 10:45 and we rode
      through Whiting, up Modjeska to Santiago, down
      The Luge and back to my truck through Whiting.

      All I can say is that it was hot, and we only saw one
      other conscious person the entire ride (female
      hiker), and we saw two dudes passed out on
      those picnic tables at the bottom of Upper Cattle
      Pond. They were both wearing sweatshirts, so I
      am assuming they were still sleepin' from the night

      Anyways, the trails are in pretty good shape, very
      dry, but we didn't encounter any over-abundance of
      really loose sections. The Luge looks like it has
      been toned down a bit in technicality, but hey, I
      didn't really miss dodging "baby-head" after
      "baby-head" that used to litter the center of the
      "chute" that used to exist for a good portion of the

      Other than the heat factor, we both had a blast, my
      legs were kinda shot though, rode el morro on
      sunday morning and had a hockey game sunday
      night....but, i still managed to keep the rubber side
      down (somehow)

      Ride distance: about 15miles Elevation change: dunno
      BDEE riding a JamisDAKAR from Long beach


    • Trail UpdateJune Gloom = Muddy Ride-We started up the Santiago Truck Trail from the gate on
      Modjeska Grade Road this AM. The surface was tacky from
      the drizzle that we have been getting, but I thought we would
      emerge through the clouds into a drier area. WRONG. It
      gotter wetter and wetter as we climbed, to the point where
      there was standing water in small puddles to large puddles.
      Also, it has been wet so long, there is an inches deep layer
      of mud, not just the surface. The mud started to cake on my
      wheels, on the fork stanchions, accumulate behind the
      bottom bracket. We made a switchback, probably final
      climb before Vulture's Crag. It was way muddy, probably
      bearly rideable. We decided to head back down. Ride down
      was a bit tricky, my buddy actually slipped off the trail and
      rolled down the hillside.

      My advice is to stay off the trail, it is muddy, we will rip it up if
      we ride it under these conditions.

      My buddy hiked at El Moro this afternoon, and said it was dry
      and conditions were great.
      Steamer a Racer riding a Trek Fuel


    • Trail Update1st Timer Down Luge-Yesterday was my first time down The Luge and I must say it's all I've heard and more. I'd say conditions are pretty good. Plenty of loose rocks at the top. No serious rutts, but as the previous rider wrote there are many deep sections where my peddles hit the side of the trail because I'll admit I was navigating down The Luge like an old lady in a Cadillac. Slightly overgrown, nothing bad. Can't wait for round 2.

      Ride rating: Advanced
      MIZNAX from the Heights, now stuck in Fullerton.


    • Trail UpdateTacky, The Good Kind...-Parked about 1/2 way up the Modjeska Grade and
      made my way on to the dirt around 1p.m.. Same o'
      Santiago, there was next to zero in the way of mud
      and puddles present, I thought there would be alot
      more muddy sections after this weekends rain.
      Some areas are a tad overgrown, but just by the
      time you get "irritated" by all the foliage in your face
      the trail clears up. Not many riders out today, saw
      one old timer just before the top of the Luge and
      one guy coming down about a mile before Old

      The weather was nice, as it stayed pleasantly
      overcast for 95% of my ride. The dirt was nice and
      tacky the whole way up and down. Hit the Luge on
      my way back, other than the fact that there are
      some deep sections, wouldn't really call them ruts,
      but just deep sections where if you leaned too far
      one way, your peddle would hit the side of the trail
      the Luge was in pretty good shape. Slightly
      overgrown in a few areas, but nothing too bad.

      Get out there while ya can!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 15.63miles Elevation change: not sure
      bDEE a Weekend Warrior riding a jamisDAKAR from long beach


    • Trail UpdateWhiting To Santiago Truck Trail-I made the trek from Temecula to OC to ride one of my favorite routes on 05/01. I pedaled out of the parking lot at Whiting and headed up towards STT. Within a mile i saw a small rattlesnake in the middle of the trail, and with the cooler conditions I figured I better be on the lookout. I reached Modjeska Grade road and ground my way to the top. I saw a few cars parked there, so I knew I had some company out there. About a mile up the trail I was just cruising along and apparently got a little too close to a coiled up rattler who was sitting on the rocks and he let me know it!! I pedaled out of there faster than I thought I could. Now I was nervous, but I kept rolling along. I stopped briefly at the flag at the top of the Luge, then headed on. I rode about 2 more miles, then my time was up so I turned and headed back for home. On the way back I ran into a hiker who saw the same snake I did. About a half mile from Modjeska Grade, I was stopped again by 2 guys who warned me about a large (4-4 1/2 foot) rattler just down the trail. I rode cautiously by the 3rd snake of the day and decided speed was my friend and went as fast as I could back to my car!! The conditions were absolutely perfect on both Whiting and STT. They seem to ahve handled the rain well and did not get to severely rutted. Apparently they were just right for the rattlers as well. I have seen rattlers on STT before, but not in the frequency I did yesterday. I would stay to the center of the trail and keep your eyes open, I am sure there were snakes I did not see!!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 18miles Elevation change: ??
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=45% Paved Path=2% Truck Trail=3%
      Tony a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a UZZI-SLX from Temecula


    • Trail UpdateSantiago To Old Camp, Down Luge-Santiago trail is in excellent condition, very nice ride up, there are a few loose spots and some over grown shrubs towards the top...but nothing to worry about....went down the luge..i'd say its in fair shape, there are a few big rocks that have fallen on the trail...and the rain has made a few cracks even deeper...still fun though!

      I would do this ride anytime!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 18 miles Elevation change:
      a Cross-Country Rider riding a special fsr from AV, CA


    • Trail UpdateCurrent Conditions?-What's the status of Luge and STT? Dry enough to ride without destroying it?
      Roadkill from Trabuco Canyon a 40 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a 2002 Specialized FSRxc with a few from Trabuco Canyon


    • Trail UpdateSTT - Old Camp - Luge-Rode up Santiago Truck Trail to Old Camp...down into Old Camp....back up outta Old Camp....down to the Luge.

      STT was in pretty good condition, especially with the amount of rain that has fallen the last few weeks. MOstly dried out....however there were still a few large water/mud holes in the usual places. Up near the top of STT the canopy of brush is getting a little low. Several places you gotta duck to get under low-lying branches. Same thing dropping down into Old Camp. Lots of water running through the stream at Old Camp. Also, when did the fire pit at Old Camp become a trash recepticle? The ride back down to the Luge was typical. Ruts were not bad on STT. The Luge was actually pretty dry. BE WARNED....the washout at the top of the Luge has gotten bigger. There are some pretty good ruts going down the Luge, but nothing too dramatic. Down towards the bottom of the Luge, all the rocks that used to be up a little higher are now littered along the last few sections. All in all a good ride.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 17? miles Elevation change:
      mtnbikej a 30 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a SC Bullit from Tustin


    • Trail UpdateMuddy - Don't Ride It Now!-The luge is very muddy now, and will be for several more days at least. Don't ride it or you'll leave your ruts for months to come. Stick to the truck trails until the trails dry out some more. Have some fun and ride up to Santiago Peak to get in some snow . . .


    • Trail UpdateHow Is The Luge Now?-We are riding the trail this afternoon. Does anybody know the condition of the luge? Thanks!
      R-Kelly a 31 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a FSR XC from Laguna Niguel


    • Trail UpdateSST?-I've seen a lot of wild life while out riding, including bobcats, coyotes, deer, snakes, buffalo, etc. but I saw my first fox last week on the STT.

      By the way when did the STT become the SST?

      Spiderman a 44 year old Weekend Warrior riding a FSR xc Comp from Trabuco Canyon


    • Trail UpdateSST Night Rides-I have ridden the SST on the last 2 Thurs. nights, starting after the crowds that have been night riding here. On both of the last 2 Thursdays, I have seen a group of 10 deer (exactly 10 both times) grazing in the area by the large, reinforced washout area! They have been only about 30 feet off the side of the trail, and they don't run when I go by, they just stare and wait for me to pass. It was a little scary the first time I approached the area, coming downhill into the little saddle before the climb by the washout. To be riding along and suddenly have many pairs of eyes turning towards me and glowing in the light of my headlights made my heart stutter for a moment - I have been riding alone. Both times I have seen them it was at about 9:30pm. I didn't see anyone come up after me, and I was the last one out of the Cook's Corner parking lot too, maybe they are waiting until they think all the riders are done for the night before they come out? It was pretty cold last Thurs. but definitely worth it! I was thinking of trying to get a picture of the glowing eyes with my SLR camera (and then stop riding by there at that time to quit disturbing them), but I am a novice photographer and am not sure how to pull it off. Any suggestions? Please email me.
      DaKahuna a 32 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a blue and red Superman Bullit from Anaheim


    • Trail UpdateSST To Old Camp And Luge Return-More puddles than last heavy rain. Some trail maintainence issues, like the sink hole marked w/sticks is filled in and the large washout has been inforced to hold wider and flater. I hope they leave it at that. They have groomed every trail for 100 mile radius. Let the trails be.
      This trail was a bit to wet today, tommorrow should rock. But the puddles should last weeks. The creek at old camp was flowing hard waist deep. Busy day out here saw at least 25 riders , 8 trail runers , and 4 hikers.
      Ahhh the LUGE . Again to wet, it rained so hard that the gravel has washed clean. Making for a buttery but slick ride. TOO MUCH TIRE IMPRESSION! This trail surely got worked today. Give this one a few days to dry out.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Singletrack=50% Truck Trail=50%
      Blow Bijou a 34 year old Downhiller riding a UFO from OC


    • Trail UpdateSST To Old Camp Luge Return-Nice "report" Roger, it can be windy here since this ride is mostly along a ridegeline duh... anyway the Santiago Truck Trail is in great shape after a little rain. The ride down into Old Camp is a bit more interesting since some ruts have developed and a bit of the trail is washed out. Heading back down is more fun because of the tacky conditions. The luge has good traction right now and is always a nice little diversion, head back to the car after the 40+mph run down the hill to cooks corner. Good quick ride
      Ride rating: Novice
      Ride distance: 16miles Elevation change: 1000?
      Singletrack=20% Truck Trail=80%
      Mtnbikerman a 27 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Giant MCM Team from Long Beach


    • Trail UpdateWhew-Weeeeee It's Windy Up Here!-About 100 of us went up today (7:30am) and all I can say is it sure was windy at the top... And COLD TOO!!!
      Other than that it was a GREAT RIDE
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Singletrack=75% Dirt Road=25%
      Roger a 41 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Blur / XTR-XT from Yorba Linda


    • Trail UpdateSTT Via Whiting R. To Louge-Decided to lengthen our usual Whiting route (normally 1 hour) which normally consists of Mustard / Right to Top of Dreaded Hill / Back down to Cactus/ Back to Car. This time we started on the back side of Whiting Ranch and Climbed Dreaded Hill (OUCH). That was tough (2 rests, 1 mandatory). While resting at Four Corners, my Friend and I then heard someone talking about a trail called 'Louge'. Not knowing what we were getting into, we decided to follow. When we finally reached Louge, we figured we got in about 2-2 1/2 hours of climbing with about 15 minutes of downhill. Now that I know what the trail consists of, I will not be so nervous about doing this again. Although the steady climb to Louge was not difficult(beginner), when your completely clueless (and mapless) of where to go, it can be a bit intimidating. Next we will probably try to get to Old Camp, but we probably will not start with Dreaded Hill (Mustard will do just fine). By the time I reached the bottom of Louge, my legs were noodles and we had no food and not much water left. I was glad to be back to civilization, next time I'll bring some food. By the way, The trail seemed to be in great shape (I am used to Aliso Woods, so anything seems in good shape in comparison), I just hope we get some more rain soon.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: ? Elevation change: 1000
      Singletrack=5% Dirt Road=00% Paved Path=10% Truck Trail=85%
      Kurt a 35 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Enduro Pro from Laguna Niguel, CA


    • Trail UpdateRode up to Old Camp today. The weather was
      absolutely perfect for a morning ride and the trail
      conditions reflected that. The ground was nice and
      tacky going up which made for a nice ride. Coming
      down was a blast, just watch out for the few muddy
      spots that are still there. The trail should dry out
      well this week with the winds picking up.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 15 Elevation change: 1500
      Truck Trail=100%
      Chez a 26 year old riding a Specialized StumpJumper from Huntington Beach


    • Trail UpdateHot Times On The STT-I had a lazy start, approx. 8:10 AM and the sun was warming the trail up REAL good, pardner. Trail conditions were pretty normal: loose rock with a few really dusty spots. Fairly low number of bikes with a mix of people slower and faster than me. One guy was impressively fast, as I was starting to slow down after 75 minutes of pedaling and he accelerated uphill. Cool! It took 1:29 to pedal uphill and 50 minutes to coast downhill, 16.4 mi. round trip. No snakes, tarantulas, or other critters spotted. Lots of bugs down at Old Camp so bring repellent as the cool air is worth it. Consumed lots of water, no bonks or breakdowns and was home before lunch time! Until things cool off I'll return at night for this one (especially the Luge!).
      Ride rating: Novice
      Ride distance: 16.4 miles Elevation change: @3000
      Singletrack=1% Truck Trail=99%
      Jim a 49 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Enduro '01 from Huntington Beach, CA


    • Trail UpdateWhiting To Modjeska Grade/STT-took off from the washington mutual this past saturday morning with my buddy and his son...we did the usual ride through whiting, up to four corners(cleared mustard this time, last time i had to stop once)....took a short breather, and got some info regarding the best way to reach modjeska grade. we then continued, down to cactus, up a short somewhat steep climb (santiago trail?) once at the top of that, we went down, thru/next to the stables,across the highway, climbed the rather grueling highway up to the gate to the beginning of the modjeska grade.....i believe we rode about 7 miles up the grade, the sun was beginning to warm up pretty good and we were out of water(70 oz. camelbaks®)....at that point we decided to turn around and head back down. on the way up we saw a "mama" deer and her two offspring, that was pretty rewarding....on the way down we cut through some single track, (dont know the name) i ended up eating sh!t on it, got a nice scrape on my lower left leg and bruise on my hip to remind me of saturdays ride....the down hill part of the road back to whiting was quite fun, haulin' ass down that road was bitchin', just remember to give yourself time to brake and nearly stop as you approach the main highway....overall, the conditions were great, we got on the trail about 8:30 a.m., the crowd wasnt too bad, there was a large group of some high school girls cross country team training on whiting, they were polite and their coaches were cool too. the trail was dry, and the "loose" sections on modjeska added some diversity to the ride, the sun started heating things up around 11:00 am....a great and tiring ride was had by all!!

      did you get your seat fixed yet rick?!?!?!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 18 miles Elevation change: not sure
      BretDEE a 27 year old Weekend Warrior riding a HARO from Long Beach


    • Trail UpdateSTT To Old Camp Back To Luge-Started from my home in Portola Hills (above Whiting Ranch), down to and up Modjeska Grade road. Always a good warm-up burning and spinning up that grade. The rest of the climb is relatively easy for intermediate riders. The trails on STT are in really good shape, a couple of loose rock / gravel spots here and there, dry, but not rutted at all and tight. I was lucky and it was cloudy overcast day so heat wasn't a factor this early June (6/2). 70oz camelback was plenty to get up and back. About 10 mile climb to old camp, passed by several riders crowd factor was almost nil. Scenery was very nice and was kinda freaky being so secluded by myself. Hit the flat before Old Camp and came back down fast. Almost fell off a cliff doing bunny hops to my weak side. Idiot, came out with a few scratches and thankful a bush kept me from going over the side. As mentioned in earlier posts, be careful on the fast decents, although the trail is tight, the ground can get loose with gravel, rocks and loose dirt. Met up with a descender at the Luge named Mark from Hidden Hills. Luge was a little loose and steppy, my arms got a good workout as did my v-brakes. Back down Live Oak Rd. and back home. All in all a very fun workout and got home in time to watch the Lakers beat the Nets. STT is a good candidate for night rides...
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: Approx 10 miles to old camp Elevation change:
      Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=50% Paved Path=10%
      LouiSurfer a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Mangoat Aphrodesiac Hardtail with Marzocchi's from Portola Hills, Ca


    • Trail UpdateWhiting/Luge/O'Neill-
      Not sure where to post this one, since it hits 3 distinct parks, but...

      Started at the Portola shopping center entrance to Whiting (Whining) Ranch, which lived up to its nickname, as many flaccid bikers were pushing their steeds up the little hill to 4 Corners, their faces twisted in whiny exasperation. I guess we all had to puke our guts out on mild uphills at one point in this sport... From 4 Corners, it was down Cactus, out the back by the stables, up the Modjeska Grade, then onto the STT.

      Made it to Luge entrance, then hooked up with a couple other riders from there. Luge was fun, still nice and grippy from the last mild rain, so that made for some cool descending. At the bottom fork in the trail by the wooden post, a whole contingent of hikers with their dogs started a 30-yard-long ribbon of trailblazers up the Luge. Glad we made it down just before them... That trail would be kind of narrow to pass all them people and pooches at such extreme high speeds (Just kidding! Of course I'd stand in the poison oak on the side of the trail for 20 minutes to let them all pass).

      Meandered onwards to Live Oak Canyon Road, then hooked LEFT on the paved road (instead of the usual right down to Cooks). Hooked right into the Ramakrishna Monastery entrance, then made an immediate left into O'Neill Park, onto a fireroad, then made the first right onto Vista Trail and started to climb. This is a good heart-thumper climb, reminiscent of Meadows Trail at Aliso, but with a couple harder sections than anything on Meadows. Good n' grindy.

      At the top, turned right onto a fast descent down Live Oak Trail, dropped down until it turned into some fun-but-non-techno s-track, went past the nursery, into the residential area, onto El Toro Road, crossed the street to the bikepath, then went up towards Cooks Corner until we could hook into the Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail, which parallels the bike path and El Toro Road, then hooked a u-turn down this until making a right on Aliso/Serrano Riding and Hiking Trail, which dumps out onto the Glenn Ranch entrance to Whiting.

      Spent a bit of time playing around on the drop-off/jump combo near the back of the parking lot. Try this one sometime; it's fun. You can get a 4-foot air drop on the drop-off, immediately go up the jump, then practice mid-air kick-turns to land it on the trail heading left after the jump. Start on the "Bridge to Nowhere" for extra speed. You'll see it right away in the parking lot: a 30-yard-long wooden bridge sitting in the dirt for god-knows-what reason. Build it and they will ride? Good enough for me!

      Once back inside Whiting, looped around on Live Oak Trail (no relation to the one in O'Neill), then out the other Portola entrance/exit. Ended the ride with a bit of urban trials on the way thru the shopping center parking lot back to the car. Somehow avoided dinging every Brianna and Justin's moms' cars in the process. Of course, I would have left a note if I had...

      Sorry about getting so lengthy with the details, but this is a fun loop that is tricky to negotiate just right without explicit directions. (Okay, okay... I'm also sitting around the house alone, a little bored, while waiting for the wife and kids to return home from the AC concert.)

      This 3-park loop must not be that well known, since I've never seen it posted with the O'Neill option. And it is all on legal trails, to boot! -- not a bad option in this new era of 'copter-assisted trail busts a-plenty in many OC mtb areas. Ironically, as the OC rangers call out the posse and evil bikers are corralled and cited (making good use of our taxpayer $$$), later today, when ALL the frikkin' traffic lights on Moulton (from El Toro to Lake Forest Blvds) went out , there's nary an officer to be found to help direct traffic during this potentially deadly snafu. Hmmm... Maybe they were too busy chasing naughty bikers (at our dedicated OC Rangers' requests??) before the evil "wheeled locusts" destroy more precious endangered amoeba or whatever other crap we're supposedly threatening by riding the unmarked "commando" trails that have usually been there for a couple of decades by now, anyways. (Rant, rant, foam-at-mouth, etc., etc. etc.)

      But I digress...

      Back to the loop: It's a good one, go try it sometime, and if the 20+ miles and 2 1/2 to 3 hours isn't quite enough riding for your fancy, you can extend the STT part to Old Camp, and also do the infamous Dreaded Hill once back inside Whiting, ending with the fun spin thru Serrano Cow Trial, et al, thereby adding about another 10-12 miles to the distance and another hour or so to the total elapsed time. Fin!

      Enjoy the ride! 8~}

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 25 or so miles Elevation change: 3000???
      Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=50% Paved Path=10%
      MTB Addict a 42 year old riding a SCZ Superlight from South OC


    • Trail UpdateAn Interesting Day On The STT-Started at the gate and made a friend on the way up. Thanks for the company Bob. Hope you find this web site. A beautiful January day in SoCal. The trail was in excellent condition. Some loose gravel - almost ate it once coming back down. Rode up to Old Camp in about an hour and a half. First time on the trail and really enjoyed it. I spend most of my time in Aliso Woods. Climing the Truck Trail I came upon a group of riders with one who had been injured. Apparently he broke his collerbone. He seemed O.K. and had his arm in a sling. Luckily he was riding with some friends. I saw his bike and I'm not sure what happened but the front rim was bent almost in half. Made it up to Old camp then turned around. On the way back down I saw a helicopter getting ready to land on the mountain along the trail. I high-tailed it to the spot and sure enough it was for the gentleman with the broken collerbone. However, he did not leave in the rescue helicopter. I stopped and watched the Medi-Vac take off. What a site! The pilot had landed on a spot on the trail about 20 feet in diameter! Then to top it off, when he lifted off, he got about 30 feet in the air and pointed the nose about 45 degrees down and coasted down the side of the mountain. I thought he was going to crash!! After being assured again that the gentleman was O.K. I continued to the bottom and wouldn't you know it - I blew my rear tire about 250 ft. from the end of the STT!! I also arrived to two fire engines and an ambulance waiting for the gentleman with the broken collarbone. All of this along with 80 degrees and sunshine made for an excellent ride. The trail is in good condition however there is one spot that is partially washed out. Because it was my first time I can't describe where it is but any riders be aware it is there. And if the gentleman who broke his collarbone reads this I wish you well and hope you can get back out on the trails once you are healed.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 10 miles Elevation change: 3000 ft
      Truck Trail=100%
      Dave a 27 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Gary Fisher from Laguna Niguel


    • Trail UpdateSTT/ Luge-Grabbed a quick hour on the dirt today. Not as long a ride as originally planned, but better than nothing. From my doorstep, STT / Luge and back home is 13 miles exactly. Perfect hour ride.

      The weather was great this afternoon, and the truck trail has dried considerably from the past days' rain. There were a lot of riders coming back down the Truck Trail below the Luge. I guess they thought it might be too soft. Too bad. They missed out. Still a few puddles on the climb, but no problems with extra trail damage or widening since the puddles are small and in wide portions of the trail.

      The luge has a few extra loose rocks and pebbles up top, but as you descend, all you'll find is firm tacky dirt. The trail is in prime shape, with only a slight widening of a couple ruts near the bottom. A little greasy on the climb out toward Live Oak, but not bad if you stay to the left. Happy New Year!
      Ride distance: 13 miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=1.5% Paved Path=8% Truck Trail=3.5%
      El Jefe a 32 year old Racer riding a Sugar from Mission Viejo


    • Trail UpdateSTT/Luge-I did this loop for my first time and what a great ride. STT was a moderate sustained climb, very nice views of south OC. I've been looking forward to doing The Luge for a while now and it was everything I imagined. Tight, rutted, rocky, fast singletrack. Friday rains made for excellent traction. What a treat!! Out to Live Oak and blast down to Cook's for a couple cold pitchers! Definitely one of the best singletrack's in OC!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      BigD a 28 year old Weekend Warrior from RSM


    • Trail UpdateOnce In A Blue Moon-Halloween night, full moon...blue moon. What odd thing could I do to mark this rare occasion? The clear night sky and crisp Fall air begged my attention, as did my neglected bike. Only 2 rides in the last 2 weeks due to, of course, injury, so I was feeling really sluggish. But with the brand new Mutanoraptor on the front, and going tubeless on the rear for the first time, no road ride around the block would do. Luge time.

      10:30pm as I'm parking at the bottom of the hill, I thought to myself, "I've never climbed the Luge.....I need to do that....now." My task was set before me.

      I rode up to the entrance and turned off my lights. A winding ribbon of dirt lay ahead, clearly visible under the bright full moon. Shadows fell across the trail in places, and created an eery electricity permeating my body and charging me with energy. The Luge is one hell of a climb. With the narrow channel down the center, and agood bit of exposure just over the lip, there is little room for stalling or error of any sort. The rain from Tuesday did a great job of firming and cleaning the singletrack, sculpting it into a silky smooth, hard packed work of art. Up, up I rode, finding that the Luge is a lot longer than I thought. Occasionally, a bush would rustle and I'd hear the scurry of some small animal, at one point I heard the footfalls of a larger mammal, a coyote perhaps? Ahh, the things you notice without the noise and distractions of daytime.

      At the top of the Luge, I turned my bike around, dropped my seat, clipped in to my pedals, and spun my first pedal stroke toward the light grey carpet, beckoning for me to speed as in daylight.

      The top section was unimpeded by shadow, and I whipped through the first right hand turn, down the grooved slope, into the left banked curve. I've never seen the Luge so clean and tacky. I tried to make my tires wash out, and could not. The turns were smooth and banked so perfectly, I could've gone down blindfolded. Whoops, I should be careful what I say. All of a sudden I head into the tree lined section, and shadows turned the bright grey trail to black. Should I use "The Force" and just bomb through? Should I turn on my light? No, I just slowed a bit, sat back on the bike and let it roll. No problem.

      The little drops were right where I remember, and made me smile. Back into the open, and the long straight, usually loose rocky chute was, again, remarkably clean. Past the flat rock to my left, I remembered another shadowed section was soon to come. A couple ruts, a couple softball size rocks, but still, as clean as you could ever imagine, the Luge was a dream. At the very end of the trail, I emerged from the shadows, ramped up the right hand line, pulled up on the handlebars, and dropped a little 18" berm to finish.

      I stopped to put the seat up, remounted and rode on. Whoops! I forgot to look where I was going. Right out in the open, I fall and scrape my elbow and knee. Typical huh? Oh well, I dive back down into the tree lined path, climb up, down, up, then the last decent toward the road. Back on with the lights and I coast to my car.

      A rare opportunity was not missed. After all, it comes around only once in a blue moon....
      El Jefe a 32 year old Racer riding a Sugar with lights mounted, but not on. from Mission Viejo


    • Trail UpdateNight Ride....-Met Inkpad at Cook's Corner Tuesday, for a quick
      loop. A group was getting ready to take off and one
      of the guys turned out to be Terminaut. Nice to
      finally meet him!

      We ended up tagging along with his group and
      what a beautiful night it was. On the drive over, it
      started to rain, but eased up after a few minutes.
      We all stopped after one of the climbs and the view
      was amazing! The warm wind was whipping
      about and actually helped me up the grade. It was
      one of those humid rushing winds that made you
      feel like you were on a tropical island. The city
      lights below sparkled with no fog or smog to cloud
      the view. Down the luge we went.

      At the bottom we turned off our lights to check out
      the darkness factor. Down the canyon we saw a
      creepy figure hunched over, swaying in a single
      light. For a second we stood silent trying to see
      what he was doing. Taking a closer look, we
      realized it was a Halloween skeleton hanging from
      a tree. I guess the spooky set up worked!!!!!!
      Ride distance: 7 miles Elevation change:
      Ladydirt a Die-hard Enthusiast


    • Trail UpdateSame Route As ReFleX...-On Saturday with TeamBasso. Excellent ride... the fast, loose downhill from Old Camp around the exposed bends always brings images of Wile E. Coyote chasing the RoadRunner to mind...

      Bitchen scenery, nice climb, not too difficult and with plenty of great vistas for rest stops. Minor bug population still exists, but if you keep it moving, no problems.

      Luge was great, a little dusty but full of fun little rock-ledges to wheelie off. 43 mph for me on the pavement back to my truck at Cooks' Corner.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 16 miles Elevation change: fair
      Truck Trail=All but the Luge%
      XcChris a 27 year old riding a FSR Enduro from Aliso Viejo URL: TeamBasso


    • Trail UpdateSTT/Old Camp/Luge-After spending many weekends driving to distant trail locations, I decided to hit up one of my old favorites. Parked at Cooks, and rode up the road to the beginning of the STT. Surface on the climb up to the start of the Luge was almost like pavement. Very hard packed, but still a little bumpy to keep it interesting. Continued past the Luge to climb the more rocky sections up to Old Camp. Was feeling very good, and was able to keep it in my middle ring on the last two miles or so of rocky terrain, through the tunnel section. Unusual for me, as I usually drop to the granny, so knew it was a good day. Once at the top of the saddle, I inexplicably decided to drop down to Old Camp. For some reason, I had never been to Old Camp from this direction, only from Joplin. What a mistake I have been making all these years. The drop into Old Camp from here is a high speed rock fest that left me grinning. Even felt good enough at the end to ride up Joplin a bit (checking out the poison oak status for the upcoming OC 72). Old Camp was nice, with minimal insect factor. Rode back out of Old Camp to the saddle, and proceeded to scream through the tunnel section. Trail conditions were excellent. Feeling really good, and nailing all the sections. Can't remember ever riding it this fast. Saw a couple of riders coming up, and was able to slow down and let them pass. Continued my tear to the start of the Luge, even on the uphills. Strange that I am still feeling strong enough to push hard on the climbs. Get to the top of the Luge to catch my breath. Gotta love those downhills that cause you to need to catch your breath! Continued down the Luge, which although a little silty, still offered the excellent traction I found on the upper section of the STT (or maybe it was the brand new MotoRapotor up front?). Plopped through the dry creekbed at the bottom, to climb the steep uphill. Caught a rider at the top, and proceeded to chase him the rest of the way out to the gate. Cranked hard down Live Oak back to the car. A good ride, with plenty of adrenaline throughout. Looking forward to riding this again at OC72!

      Ride Hard!


    • Trail UpdateWooHoo!-
      Big thanks to the OC72 Planning Crew that led the "Planning Ride" through Whiting to STT & the Luge. That was my first ride down the Luge - damn, what else have I been missing out on??!!

      What a bitchen little singletrack? Faaaaaaaaast, fun & scenic, this fun, swoopy drop off the Santiago Truck Trail is not to be missed.

      That said, It would be easy to ride right past the entrance to the trail. As you climb STT, at approximately 3/4 miles, you begin a cool, narrow, loose and exposed descent. You'll know it when you're on it! Just as this section begins to climb again, a short but steep hillclimb/sideaction singletrack appears. There is a little jump at the start of the side-action ST, then you climb up to the top and drop down and to the right.

      It is easy to get moving a little too fast, so watch your speed, or you'll end up parking your bike in a tree like I did!

      Thanks again for the tour, guys.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 17 miles Elevation change: 2k, Jay?
      Singletrack=50% Paved Path=10% Truck Trail=40%
      XcChris a 27 year old from Aliso Viejo


    • Trail UpdateSTT / Luge-I hadn't been feeling great this weekend, maybe I caught a bit of my daughter's bug, but I needed to get some riding in- preparation for the upcoming 24 hour thing in a couple weeks. I started out from my home, riding over to the Bike path on El Toro. 5 miles up the road, and I'm perched at the base of Santiago Truck Trail. All of a sudden, I don't feel so stuffy. I don't feel so weak. I don't feel so achy. I know I won't hit the 18 minute mark to the Luge like I did a couple weeks ago, but knowing that allows me to sit back and enjoy the ride for the sake of riding rather than training. I take the left offshoot over a steep two-stage hill, and down a short, but steep chute. Now I feel good. The offshoot is a little loose in places, but the rest of the trail is in fine shape. Lines are well defined, and as always, the trail is firm and fast. At the top of the hill, looking down on the Luge, I see a trio of riders just heading down the winding singletrack. I take my time dropping my seat, and take a second to enjoy the late evening breeze. Now down into the Luge. I know I'm blazing, but I figure that if I catch them, I may be able to strike up a conversation. About halfway down I come upon the two gentlemen, with the lady rider still a ways ahead. The guy in front takes a dive. I ask if he's OK, he indicates he is, and I pass cautiously on his right. His buddy who'd passed him as well, slows a bit and gives me the go ahead to pass. As I go by, he shouts, "Tell my wife we'll be down in a minute." I roll along, and start to really let it loose. The Luge is clean and fast. Lots of traffic, and no rain have widened the singletrack, and turned it into a thoroughfare. Too bad. Hopefully this fall a little rain will allow some vegetation to tighten the lines a bit. I come up behind the female rider in the last quarter mile or so of the Luge. She's smooth and calculated. Definitely no novice. Riding within herself, but not slow. Not slow at all. At the bottom, she seems startled to see someone other than her husband. I tell her that "the other guy" crashed, but it wasn't bad, and that they'll be down in a minute. We all gather at the base of the Luge and immediately start talking about riding and bikes. That's one of the great things about riding; a total stranger can feel like a friend in a matter of moments. We take off and meet up again at the gate by the road. A little more chatter. Once again, we talk at Cook's Corner as they load their bikes. In conversation, I mention that a great resource for trail and riding info is SoCalMTB.com. Lindy (sp?) says she lurks at times, and Martin and Mark acknowledge the same. In asking if they ever post, I tell them that I post as El Jefe. They smile and nod knowingly, as if Martin's crash is now easily explained. Damn. Poor guy, he didn't even know me and already he felt the Curse of El Jefe. Oh well, it was great meeting some enthusiastic riders from OC. Back down the hill to my place. It was a much better ride than I anticipated. The trail is great, the weather was great, the riders I met were great. Another great ride on the STT.
      Ride distance: 15 miles Elevation change: Just enough
      Singletrack=10% Paved Path=70% Truck Trail=20%
      El Jefe


    • Trail UpdateMistake Below...-I am certain that the post below belongs in the Silverado Canyon/Motorway heading. The STT is definitely open. BTW, Silverado Canyon is not exactly the best place to try out your new Expedition, unless flat dirt roads that require no 4wd or any sort of off-road driving skill are your thing....

      ReFleX a 30 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Turner RFX from Irvine


    • Trail UpdateWhat The Hell?-There isn't any water on STT for them to mate/live in? Please tell me you meant to have posted this for Silverado....
      El Matador a 29 year old Racer riding a angry bull from Spain


    • Trail UpdateTrial Closed?!?!?-According to a sign at the entrance, the trial has been closed to all trucks, bikes (motor or not), and hikers until October 1. This is because of the mating season of the ARROYO TOAD.

      More about California land declared toad habitat

      DON'T BLAME ME!!! I just got a new Ford Expedition 4x4 and wanted to try it out!
      Now I have to wait till October!!!! RATS!!!

      Kenneth a Weekend Warrior from Orange


    • Trail UpdateSTT / Luge - Just did a ride up STT then down the Luge and found that trail conditions were generally much better than usual. The tacky ground from recent rains provided great traction, making it easy to clean the first side-detour climb to the left.

      I'm not sure if trail mainentance has cleaned up the Luge or what but it seems to be really smooth and also lacking of the babyheads that used to litter certain sections on the way down. The trail seems as tame as ever - just be careful with the big washout towards the start of the trail as erosion is definitely taking its toll.

      Ride distance: 8 miles Elevation change:


    • Trail UpdateShort Ride On The Truck Trail-I was out of action for three weeks and just got my Specialized Enduro back with a new 2001(!)frame. We've had some rain here and last night was my first chance to head out on a big trail. Santiago Truck Trail was in pretty good shape, not much new erosion and not too many puddles to splash through. It is VERY GREEN out there now. Temperature was 48 degrees with mild winds and a few raindrops at 6:15 PM. The trail surface was pretty firm and there were only a few spots where it seemed mushy. I was time limited to approx. one hour so I headed uphill for 45 minutes and then screamed back downhill to my truck. It was on the downhill run that I noticed that adjacent hills had some lightning strikes so it was best to get out of Dodge! I had the trail to myself last night but I expect this weekend to see quite a crowd out there.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 3 one-way Elevation change: 800?
      Singletrack=50% Truck Trail=50%
      Jim a 47 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized FSR Enduro 00/01 from Huntington Beach


    • Trail UpdateWe're On A Night Ride?-Decided to take a late afternoon spin on the old STT with a buddy. Tried to get on the dirt by 4:30, but lost track of time with a couple minor mechanicals between myself and riding bud. Parked at Cook's corner not knowing if we'd go out and back or hit the Luge. A couple sections on the way up were a little soft, but not greasy or messy. "Wow, the sun seems awfully low, I wonder what time it is?" I muttered to myself. But rode on anyway. Actually traction was great as the rain had washed the loose dirt off the rocky areas. Many parts were bone dry....funny weather around here...eh? We came around on the trail just just before the Luge and realized that darkness was upon us. Hmmm, I guess those mechanicals took longer than I thought. Now I know why most people wear watches. Oh well, decision time. Luge or back down. I thought of Terminaut and his muddy ride and wondered if the Luge would be damaged if we took it. I walked down a little way since I really couldn't tell from looking, and it seemed that the Luge was in good shape. OK, so my conscience won't bother me for riding it, but should better judgement, safety, sanity etc... kick in here? With no lights, and against all that is sane, we bombed the Luge in almost pitch black. I lead since I've been down it once before. All things said it wasn't in bad shape. My bud took a couple nasty spills, and I dabbed twice to keep from completely losing my way in the darkness, but it was sweet, sweet riding. Took the little extra track up by the water tower at the very end just for fun and shot back to Cook's. Burger was fantastic and I met a guy in there who rides 150 miles a week at 62 years old. He was ranked #2 NORBA Seniors a few years back. Just looking at him and talking for 5 minutes I could tell he was no BS. Reflecting on the experience, this is not a ride I want to repeat under the same circumstances, but sure was one helluva ride for a short "afternoon" run. One for the memory books.
      Jeff Jarvis


    • Trail UpdateSantiago Truck-Old Camp-Luge-The previous notes are misleading in one respect: I wouldn't call this a "novice" trail. It's non-technical up to the Luge, but beginners should avoid this downhill. It can be nutso, but intermediates shouldn't have trouble with it. The climb up to Old Camp is long, with a total vertical climb over 3,000 feet; so it will require some endurance. And going up to the Main Divide from there is strictly advanced riding.
      Great trail, some incredible views and it's one of the quickest to recover after a rain. Just be prepared for some significant climbing and rapid, rocky downhills.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 8.5 miles 1-way Elevation change: 3,300'
      Singletrack=80% Truck Trail=20%
      RangerJay a 47 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GT XCR-1500 & Klein Adept Pro from RSM


    • Trail UpdateThis trail is primarily located in the Cleveland National Forest, so it's open for night rides and during rainy season, even when the County Parks are not. The trail sheds water very well and is often ready for low-impact riding within hours after rain. The trail is more like dual-track, but has a nice steady 8.5 mile climb to 'Old Camp' (Note: from 'Old Camp' you can take the Joplin Boys Trail up to the 'saddle' on Saddleback Mountain). This trail offers spectacular Ocean/Catalina/Palos Verdes Peninsula views! Once past the turnoff to the 'Luge' the trail becomes much more wilderness like and challenging.
      Many riders just go up the trail to the junction for the ride down 'The Luge'. 'The Luge' is a quintessential singletrack that constantly evolves. One day it is smooth and fast, other days it is full of loose rock. Always it is fun and challenging. The trail is called 'The Luge' because it has a distinctly carved out center rut all the way down, sort of like a Luge track. (Note: Watch out for ticks, this trail seems to have more than it's share. And yes, that is Poison Oak at the bottom). Most folks, come out at the bottom of the 'The Luge' (stay right) and drop down Live Oak Cyn Rd to Cook's Corner and ride up Santiago Cyn Rd to their car.
      This ride is posted on this site as Modjeska Grade, as well, I just wanted to set the record straight and get the proper name posted.
      Ride rating: Novice
      Singletrack=80% Paved Path=20%
      a Cross-Country Rider


    • General Review
      • trail shot very cool place

      Steve from SoCal Posted:

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