- Sunday, July 21, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • Trabuco Canyon - #TrabucoCanyon

    Socal - Orange County - Trabuco Canyon NickNames: #TrabucoCanyon

    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 right on to Live Oak Canyon Rd. After you pass O'neill Park the road turns left on to Trabuco Canyon Rd. Look for the Trabuco Creek Rd. on your left. You can drive or ride the 4 to 5 miles to the Holy Jim Fire Station. (Note please travel slowly through the populated areas to keep the dusat and noise down) Thomas Guide page 863

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    • Trail UpdateUp Trabuco/Down HJ-Did this loop on Sunday. Incredible as usual. The weather was just perfect for this classic. The only trouble with the flies was down at the trailhead and that wasn't too bad -- except for taking away from the complete enjoyment of a cold one afterwards. The climb up Trabuco was a challenge as it always is. We've done this a few times and end up walking a couple of the really loose sections, cussing to ourselves that it's doable (something's never change, no matter how many times you try). I'm sure there's some hammerhead out there that can pull it off. The view on the divide made it all worth it -- and to top it off with going down Holy Jim. Does it get much better than that? Wow!! Highly recommended.
      Gregg a 46 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Blur from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateRode Down Trabuco Canyon-Rode up Holy Jim last Saturday and it was in great shape. I planned on riding up Trabuco Creek to Main Divide and back down but I found out when I got there that the Warriors Society was coming down Trabuco that day as the final downhill of their "Traverse" race. We opted to ride up Holy Jim and come down Trabuco instead. The water is really low in the creeks and the Holy Jim trail was in great shape. Didn't see hardly any poison oak on the way up and hardly any flies either. After getting to the top of Holy Jim the flies swarmed but we shook them on Main Divide. We rode Main Divide to Trabuco Creek Trail. At the top of Trabuco the flies gathered to welcome us again but they couldn't keep up as we bombed down the freshly laid tracks that the Warriors left. Great downhill, the poison oak was definately out but it didn't seem as bad as other seasons and didn't noticed any in my way. I swallowed a fly during the first 20 seconds of the decent and it made me think that it would probably have been a sucky climb up if you don't keep above "fly speed". Great ride down though!
      ICPAYDIRT a 34 year old Downhiller riding a Nomad from Pacific Beach


    • Trail UpdateUp HJT/ Down Trabuco-4 of us did the loop on Sunday. Awesome ride! Windy and cold in the shade, but I 'd rather have that than the little back flies. Trail conditions were just about perfect. The flight down Trabuco makes the hammer up Holy Jim totally worth it. Throw in the show at Cooks Corner after the ride... priceless!
      Gregg a 45 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Blur from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateMr Dirt-I couldn't disagree with you more. I believe you possibly climbed Holy Jim by the description you gave of the dirt road in. This trail rocks,sorry about your bad luck,but don't blame this very fun trail.I'll admit I haven't rode this trail in a while,but I will soon.
      Pain Freak


    • Trail UpdateNot Worth It!-I've got to say I might be done with this place. The first time I rode it I got about 5 miles in and caught a stick that totally trashed my rear derailleur. Lucky for me I had a chainbreaker to rig my bike for the almost entirely downhill (the first 6 miles or so is all uphill) return. I've got to admit that the ride down on my patch job singlespeed was a blast so I was tempted to make my way back. The broken derailleur and the poison oak on my body was almost enough to keep me away but I thought I'd try it again. I wish I hadn't. First of all, the drive in (and back) is totally rocky and lame. On my second visit, we had to fight the flies trying to suck the juice from our eyes and ears for about 7 miles of rough climbing with no let up. Popped a few tires along the way so we kept having to stop and let all of the insects converge biting on us while we do our repairs. Then the pump broke so we couldn't get enough pressure in our tires. We hit the "Horsethief Trail" on the way back down which was totally overgrown with no technical challenges or fun land features outside of white knuckled braking and balancing the whole way down. A tree branch caught on to my $265 Maui Jim sunglasses and broke them right off my head. Meanwhile, my hydrolic brakes were stinking and running hotter than they have ever been. When we finally got back to the Trabuco Trail I was looking forward to the great ride back to the car. Unfortunately, I began having so much fun that I pinch flatted because of the low pressures I had to run due to the busted pump (ok, maybe my fault but the place is bad luck). We ended up walking the best part of the ride back to the car. Did I mention the sucky drive back to the main rode. Oh yeah, and I got poison oak again! If you must ride this ride, I would strongly recommend climbing to the top where you will come to a road/trail intersection and then riding back the same way you came up. I think that would be super fun if uninterrupted but I won't ever know because I'm done with the place, it has bad Ju-Ju!
      ICPAYDIRT a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Superlight from Pacific Beach


    • Trail UpdateHJT To Trabuco-The poison oak has poison oak.

      OPP riding a bottle of Technu


    • Trail UpdateHoly Jim - Trabuco-Went up Holy Jim today and the trail conditions were great. It was so clear out that you could see Catalina, the San Jacinto mountains, Toro Peak, the Cuyamacas, and other distant peaks from Main Divide. After a good deal of work on Main Divide Trabuco was quite nice to go down. Wonderful fast with enough loose and technical spots to keep you mental sharp. One difference I noticed that about half way down in the one of the shale sections there has been a landslide that has a big pile of rocks that is about 3 feet high by 6 feet long. It has been a year since my last ride on Trabuco so unsure when it occured. This was also my first time going up HJ and down Trabuco. I think I like this direction of the loop better, but both are great.
      Bill Porter a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Intense Spider from Oceanside URL: www.mountainbikebill.com


    • Trail UpdateTrabuco Up To Main Divide-I've been meaning to do this trail for a while, and finally made it this past weekend. While the scenery is beautiful, this trail is a beeeeeeeatch to climb, with long stretches of loose shale and small boulders -didn't help to have the sun beating down on us either! About half-way up you come to a part of the trail that's nicely shaded and shout for joy, only to discover that the gnats in there are thicker than pea soup and have an odd desire to fly into every exposed bodily orifice possible. Yikes! Anyway, I can see how this trail might be fun under better conditions, i.e. don't climb it in the middle of the day, and save it for a time of year when the bugs are on vacation, whenever that is...
      Ride rating: Novice
      Ride distance: 8 miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=90% Dirt Road=10%
      The SeaClasper a 33 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Huffy 76'er from Gondowanaland


    • Trail UpdateCourtesy-I rode here with a good size group on Saturday 05-24-03. I can't say enough about how great this trail is.We had a blast.Climbed HJ descended Trabuco.One helluva workout.A friend of mine just happened to leave his keys at the top.We had to drive down to Ortega Hwy and the cut over on the main divide and drive over.That sure made for a long,long day.And we found the keys.
      As we were climbing HJ though a group of riders were coming down.I would guess the group to be of about six, they wore the same jersey's.I guess they are unfamiliar with the rule of giving the right-a-way to the person going up.I don't have a problem moving over and sharing if there is enough room,but if there isn't the guy coming down is supposed to stop.These guys didn't.Well, four out of six didn't.One of the guys I refused to give the trail to clipped my bars as he was coming down.He announced "coming down", and I yelled back,"coming up".We clipped bars ,but no damage.He continued to ride on by with out even an "excuse me".I guess he just figures he has more rights on the trail then the rest of us.
      The water is still running high and overall the trail is in excellent shape.A little overgrown in parts and a little poison oak,but still one of the premier rides in SoCal.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 27miles Elevation change: 5000
      Singletrack=70% Truck Trail=30%
      Pain Freak a Cross-Country Rider riding a Renrut 02 /Quintana Roo TeQuilo from Fontana


    • Trail UpdateLocal-If you experience crap like that have him call the cops and put himself in trouble.

      The only road closed right now in the Trabuco Dist is Maple Springs.


    • Trail UpdateProblem-has anyone came in contact with that idiot that drives a v.w. bus.its red. hes a morron that claims hes a forest ranger. hes tryed to restrain us and tell us the rode was closed. if you see him punk him.hes a clown.


    • Trail UpdateUp Trabuco Down Holy Jim-ridden on 1-09-03, starting out heading into Trabuco canyon light rain was falling making the technical climb that much more interesting. After the split at the horsethief tr. (go right and accross the little creek bed), the rain was a bit more heavy but not cold, after the thoughest sections of climbing things should have gotten easier but the rain really started to come down and since we had climbed nearly out of the canyon, it was getting chilly. After hiding out for a good 30 mins, we had enough break in the rain we felt good to finish our planned route (I did not see the decorated tree - either its become undecorated or I missed it with all the rain coming down).
      Once on main divide, life got much better as the showers got lighter and we even had some sunshine between clouds. Passing the West Horsethief trailhead on our left we continued up and down on main divide, after a few short showers we came to the Holy Jim trail on the left side (not even gonna try that first drop in with all the wet), blew down Holy Jim since there were no other trail users out there seemed like we were down in 5 mins. The waterfall was flowing pretty good and made for a nice ride even with the sometimes heavy rain.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 20 Elevation change: 1200
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      Mtnbikerman a 27 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Giant NRS from Long Beach


    • Trail UpdateChristmas At Trabuco-Rode up Trabuco from Live Oak Rd and saw the Christmas tree the last poster noted. It was quite a welcome sight in a picturesque location. I've posted a picture of it in the photo gallery. The Snoopy ornament on the top of the tree is the best.

      The trail was moist and the rocks a bit slippery on the way up. But the weather was perfect. Saw a couple of other riders on Main Divide and caught up with them later after descending Horsethief. Had a nice "race" to Live Oak with one guy. We were muddy grins when we made it back to the cars. A great ride.
      Mike Kim from Carlsbad


    • Trail UpdateTrabuco To Holy Jim Loop-Decided to try the Holy Jim/Trabuco loop going up Trabuco and down Holy Jim. Parked at Holy Jim and rode up to the Trabuco Trailhead. If you want to test your uphill technical skills, I think the Trabuco trail is an excellent way to do it. At some places there is very short hike and bike, maybe three or four places. It doesn’t look that bad, but it eluded me. (maybe a Viejo could clean it, hehe) The trail condition can be best described as moist and chewy, with a generous portion of rocks thrown in. This trail is very fun, and always seems very remote. Around a mile or two from the top, some one had dressed up a little pine as a Christmas tree. This was a very cool! At the top, took a short break, then noticed my rear tire was flat. Pulled out a small short thorn type nail from my tire, and when I inspected my tube, I had several punctures in it. So look out around the Trabuco/Los Pinos junction. Nobody at all encountered on this leg of the journey.

      After fixing the flat, continued along the Main Divide. Saw two bikers and a few hikers. Had a
      blast bombing along the fireroad at warp speed. The road is very sandy in spots all the way to
      Indian Truck Trail. I had a front wheel wash out slightly in one of the turns, but recovered
      quickly. Always good for an adrenaline rush! The weather was milder than I had anticipated, but
      still a bit cool at the higher elevations. There is a bit of a climb around Trabuco Peak, but it
      seems easier in this direction.

      After the Indian Truck Trail Junction, the Main divide seems amazingly dry and hardpacked. Nice
      and fast! The descent down Holy Jim was beyond words. No matter how many times I do it, it is
      always just a super fun rush. The trail was in superb condition, grippy and fast. Just put a Sun
      Rhyno Lite wheel on the back, and some new Maxxis high rollers, and all I can say is ‘man did
      that feel sweet’! You can get some serious speed on this trail, so think about wearing a bell on
      this one. This was Saturday, so the trail had more than usual amount of hikers on it. I let hikers
      pass, and sometimes hikers let me pass, and everyone was really cool about it.

      Back to the car for some liquid refreshment, and then back home with a slightly muddy bike, sore
      legs and a big smile on my face. This loop takes about four hours.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: ~ 20 miles Elevation change: ~ 3000 feet
      Singletrack=50% Truck Trail=50%
      KujoWabo a 40 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Stumpjumper FSRxc from Laguna Niguel


    • Trail UpdateStarting @ Blue Jay Camp-Looking for other loop options. I started at Blue Jay Camp and (after a little warn-up on San Juan Tr.) and headed up to main divide... I had not done this climb in a few years and had fogot how steep it gets. But after about 3 hard miles you'll reach the Trabuco/Los Pinos connector, head past that and down to the right. Lots of pedaling later the W.HorseThief connection drops down on your left (Anyone ever do the East HorseThief?). If you want to add mileage and a bit of a more rideable downhill, keep on going up and down on main divide untill you finally reach the top of Holy Jim. After the first drop-in, the entire trail is rideable and in good shape. Catch your breath at the bottom (if we ever get any rain, be sure to check out the falls). Continue down out to Holy Jim parking area, then go left and up into Trabuco Cyn. Follow the Dirt Road till it ends at the singletrack. Head up the sometimes technical climb to the HorseThief/Trabuco split (about 3 miles in?.. Hard to tell because the computer doesn't keep track while I walked some of this). Once past the loose shale/gravel on the lower part of Trabuco the climbing gets a bit better. I think about 6 miles later you'll find yourself back at Main Divide and a fast fireroad return to the car. Next time I think I'll start at bottom of San Juan and not go all the way over to Holy Jim.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 23miles Elevation change: lots O pedaling
      Singletrack=35% Dirt Road=25% Truck Trail=40%
      Mtnbikerman a 27 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Giant NRS from Long Beach


    • Trail UpdateSantiago/W. Horsethief Loop-Rode this loop on Monday 21Jan02, from the south entrance of the 3S04 (Main Divide Truck Trail). Parked near Bluejay Camp and rode up into the Santa Anas while looking at the unbelievable views of Riverside Co. Took the Main Divide to the top of W. Horsethief and then down. I have not ridden this since Jan 1996 and was pleasantly surprised at the trail markers and barriers to keep the Motos out. Had a couple of close calls on the way down, but overall the trail conditions were very good, just a little loose rock in some of the chutes and switchbacks. Bottom line, know your abilities and ride within yourself. The climb out of Santiago Canyon was great, the trail was in perfect shape and got better as I neared the Main Divide and the much welcomed cruise back to my truck at the bottom!!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 11.4 miles Elevation change: 4000
      Singletrack=50% Truck Trail=50%
      Tony a 35 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Intense Tracer from Temecula


    • Trail UpdateTrabuco To W. Horsethief Loop-This route blows. Maybe im a pussy but the climb up trabuco is too rocky and the descent down horse thief is too tight to have any fun. Next time i get the urge to drive up trabuco canyon for a ride, imi sticking to holy jim.




    • Trail UpdateThis trail could soon be closed to mountain bikers. Check the posts below and take action.

      a Cross-Country Rider


    • Trail UpdateTrabunko/West Horse#@$#-I did this ride yesterday, and it is great. Lot's of forest and rocks,smooth dirt, climbs, and descents. I rode up Tabuco and down Horsethief. I would do it the other way though. The views are great from the top. Watch out for gun-toting Yahoos at the trailhead. The road into the trailhead is not that bad, if I can do it in an '81 rustbucket van, then you can do it in your SUV. The trail is about 95% rideable and the bottom singletrack is a joy on the way down. Next time I want to try Joplin. SoCal ain't so bad....
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 12 Elevation change:
      Singletrack=80% Dirt Road=20%
      Donut a 27 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a DeVinci Bonzai from El Segundo, CA


    • Trail UpdateWest Horsethief/Trabuco-Rode this trail on July 25 for the first time. Because I have weeny minivan, and not 4 x 4, parked the car at where the dirt road starts and rode my bike in. (If your vehicle can handle it, by all means drive in. This road is bumpy and gravelly) Rode and hike-a-bike, across the rocky creek beds, to where the trail branch off left to West Horsethief, and right to Trabuco canyon. My original intention was to take the Trabuco but mistakenly I went up West Horsethief. This is a beautiful scenic area. I felt like I was hundreds of miiles away from bustling orange county. Did not see a single soul. West Horsethief is a difficult climb but overall the conditions were good. Got up to Main Divide, had a snack, and rode to the right. The Main road is loose and rocky - not too much fun. But the views of Lake Elsinor to east and canyons to the west were simply breathtaking. Just when I thought I may be lost, came upon Trabuco Canyon trail head to the right. Started super fun decent through tunnels of tree branches and chased a flock of quails on the way. Half way down the trail became rocky and unrideable at times.
      Overall great ride and a mid week getaway. I only have two qualms about the trail. One, it seemed that 10 to 20 % of the trail was gravel garden, where lack of traction made it impossible to either climb or descend safely. (Maybe it wasn't that much but the parts that you have to walk the bike seems longer). Two, watch out for these green plants with thin long leaves with sharp thorns at the tip ( I think they may be called century plant, but I am not sure). These thorns stick into the trail and more than one of the stuck me in the leg. Have a great ride.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Turtleman a 38 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Mongoose fairlane from Anaheim


    • Trail UpdateGood Conditions-A friend and I decided to try out Trabuco Canyon/Holy Jim trail for our very first ride the other day 5-26-01. I've been a regular hiker on the HJ trail, but never ridden it. With the exception of the occasional big rock in the middle of the trail, it was in good condition atw to the falls. We made it about halfway up to Santiago Peak before turning around and at some points the trail gets kind of narrow and you've gotta watch out so you don't fall over the side, but otherwise a fun ride, specially going downhill.
      Danny a 22 year old riding a Old skool Kent 12 spd from Anaheim


    • Trail UpdateDownhill Shuttle-Downhill shuttle from Los Pinos saddle to Trabuco canyon. Trail in very good to excellent condition. No problems. Some loose sections are somewhat exposed, so be careful.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 7 Elevation change: -2000
      Rick Colman


    • Trail UpdateHoly Jim To West Horsethief-Holy Jim and West Horsethief are in excellent condition!

      Rode up Trabuco road to Holy Jim, luckily, it was still early enough that there were few "crazies" bouncing about in the wannbe mud holes. Once you are out of the canyon bottom of Holy Jim Trail and start climbing proper, the trail is in the best condition I have ever seen. We came upon a "trailside shrine" with a stick cross and inscription that was a bit hard to read. Anyone know anything about this? It's dated 1992. Anyway, continued on up, I had to walk the last 2 miles or so, and my riding partner (XcChris) whom I had never met before (except through postings on this board) was accomodating - I suspect he could have continued riding, personally I was tired.

      At the top of Holy Jim was snow!. Just then, 3 bikers came down from Santiago Peak. They had come up Maple Springs, the lead guy was on a single-speed! Now that's gotta be some arduous climbing. They said the snow was 12-18 inches deep at the top. Knowing the climb to Santiago Peak was about 3 miles of grueling climb, especially in the snow, and time was running out - Chris and I opted to head on over to West Horsethief for our descent (as planned). Well... the distance to West Horsethief was a bit further than I remembered, but we made it - despite the COLD COLD WIND! Brrrr.

      We had a snack at the top of West Horsethief and then made our drop in to the canyon. West Horesthief was in MUCH better condition than I remembered it. (Of course, the last time I dropped it was about 3 years ago and I was severely bonked at the time). XcChris cleaned it with no problems, I, as usual, struggled on each switchback and just took it slow.

      At the bottom was singletrack heaven! I don't remember the bottom, canyon section ever being so sweet - it was fast, it was clean, a few rock gardens but mostly absolute bliss!

      I looked for the sign for Trabuco Trail, looks like some jerk ripped it off the tree. Bummer.

      We continued on down the canyon, even the hike-a-bike through the rocks at the very bottom now has a distinct, rideable trail through them. Amazing how trails evolve over the year.

      We hit Trabuco Road with a vengence and JAMMED down the road, passing a Jeep that did NOT want us to pass him. Blew his doors off! Heh, Heh - being a former Jeeper myself, I know he wasn't too happy about the fact we could bomb the road and he had to slow down for the rocks.

      About a mile or two up from the entrance to Trabuco Rd, we came upon 2 kids in what appeared to be their Mom's Volvo. The thing was leaking Power Steering or Trans fluid in a large puddle. The passenger said somebody was "chasing them" and they hit a rock which also caused the Passenger Air Bag to inflate. We stopped to survey the damage and could see what looked like a driveshaft hanging down, but the car was front-wheel drive (maybe 4x4), so I don't know what it really was. The driver was on the cellphone talking to someone - not happy. XcChris and I mused on the way down how if someone were "chasing" me, I would pull over and let him pass. We both decided that was a decision an old man like me would make! Hah - I realize I have to pay for that which I break!
      Anyway, I digress. It was a great ride, an even greater adventure.

      Next time, I am going to try a trail some other riders told me about. Trabuco Trail to Bell Grade - as long as I have been riding/hiking Santa Ana Mountains/Cleveland Natl. Forest I have never even heard of this ride. Gotta try a new adventure!
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 30 miles Elevation change: LOTS!
      Singletrack=80% Dirt Road=20%
      MTB Fiend a 41 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a ProFlex Animal from Lake Forest


    • Trail UpdateHoly Jim-I took 1/2 day off of work yesterday and decided to ride one of my favorite trails. I parked off of Live Oak Cyn at Trabuco Creek Rd. I rode up Trabuco Creek for about 5 miles (my bike computer is busted so my mileage is estimated). This dirt road is bumpy and not that great for the first few miles. After that, if you pick a good line, you can spin pretty fast in the middle ring for the remainder of the road (which beomes shaded and pretty). You gain about 1,000 ft in the 5 miles. On this stretch, I passed a guy who I think is the original Holy Jim. He was only wearing some type of loin cloth. His hair and beard were both very long and his skin was the color and texture of tanned leather. I said "Hi" but he just grunted. I half expected to get a knife or a spear thrown my way. Anyway, I hung a left at the trail split and continued up the Holy Jim singletrack. After crossing the last of the creek beds, I felt wasted from dehydration (even though I was drinking a lot of water). The heat doesn't usually bother me but yesterday was tough for some reason. Anyway, I decided to take the next 3.5 miles easy and I slowly cranked up the rest of the trail. I had originally planned to ride further (and catch W. Horsethief or Trabuco down after rolling along Main Divide) but since I felt like crap, I turned around and blasted down Holy Jim. It was great to cruise this sweet trail on a weekday since there were no other hikers or bikers. The trail was in great shape (except for a few rutted switchbacks). I caught my second wind on the way down and big-ringed it back down Trabuco Creek Rd (with 1 rear flat to slow my progress). The dehydration kind of sucked, but other than that it was a beatiful afternoon.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 20 miles Elevation change: 2800 ft
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      SS a 32 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Catamount from OC


    • Trail UpdateInsane Loop-Took the advice of the O.C. loc's on this site and it paid off big time. Set sights for the Holy Jim to Joplin loop which begins with a great drive down Live Oak Canyon drive. This road takes you from the typical O.C. tract housing into a great wooded canyon with ranch houses and biker bars. Hooked a left on Trabuco creek road for some off-road trucking up a couple miles next to the creek which comes equipped with pools and small falls. Basically, the drive was better than some rides I've been on.

      Parked the ride, hopped on the pogo, and started up the Holy Jim trail. This ride warms you up with some great technical creek crossings, most of which I made and some I did not. Very fun. Then it's into some switchbacks which also demanded full attention. The entire climb was like a dream, climbing at 2 in the afternoon, blazing hot but COMPLETELY COVERED in the green room. Almost the whole trail is canopied supplying ample shade. The trail goes back rolling along almost putting you to sleep with it's beauty and then out of nowhere comes a rock slide area which provides a test you aren't prepared for if it's your maiden voyage. Beyond that it's more shade and flowers all the way to Main Divide where I took a left.

      The climb up main divide to the peak can be described in one word... bumpy. The kind of bumpy that ruins any stroke rythmn you had hoped to keep. After that amazing climb up HJ the terrain on this "road" jars, rattles, and shakes you another 3 miles or so to the summit where you will come to a 3 way intersection. Take the road on the right(no gate) and bomb down for a little more than a mile keeping an eye for a brown plastic post with a small u.s. forest sticker on it. It will be in the saddle at the bottom of this descent.

      Clear your head and drop into Joplin for some riding that will leave it's mark both mentally and physically. The trail is cleared of most brush obstructions which lets you concentrate on the task at hand... the loose, rocky, terrain. Did I mention it was loose? Sometimes loose dirt, sometimes loose rocks, just keep switching from front brake to back trying to find the perfect balance without locking up. I only had one touch about a mile in when I rode my front brake a little too hard, crossed it up and did a "superman" right over my bars. Stood up, brushed myself off, and discovered a puncture wound in my upper abdomen. An injury like this does one thing... turns you into a wuss for the next mile. Made it out of Joplin alive and endured the short climb out to connect with Santiago truck trail.

      I don't know much about Santiago but this section of it was great. Super fast singletrack, smooth and straight just begging you to go faster than you know you should. A couple miles on that and I came upon my connector back to Trabuco.

      No sign, no name, no bike tracks, just the way I like it. Hung a left on this "trail" with it's distinctive red dirt and hung back for a slow and low descent over very steep and rutted terrain. Twisting back and forth down into Trabuco I was surprised to clean this chute considering the injuries I had sustained earlier. My nerves were on edge.

      This loop is long, hard, and beautiful. Is there anything else you need in a ride? I would like to say thanks to SS, MTB Addict and anyone else who chimed in on my O.C. questions, it really paid to ask. Good luck to you.
      Dusty Bottoms


    • Trail UpdateBe Carefull BGR Country-All the Santa Anas provide beauty and great danger. Plan well and start early this time of year. Local clubs can help you navigate safely and avoid the nightmare seen above. Have fun and stay safe.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      JLopez a 41 year old Downhiller riding a GT , Klien, 72 tooth nishiki downhill rasta bike from San Juan Capistrano URL: Billy Goat Racing


    • Trail UpdateHolyJim Falls-I just wanted to share a little story of my trip to Holy Jim Falls Trail. I am a 25 year old, from PHILADELPHIA! That's right, the city of brotherly love! Well, I was out in Huntington Beach for a couple of weeks on business and since I am a serious cyclist, both on and off road, I had my bike shipped out. After spending the first couple of days riding at El Morro Canyon, which if you haven't been there yet, I suggest checking it out, I drove to Holy Jim Falls, Trabuco Cyn., for a longer ride and new experience. Well, a new expereince I was in for. After driving up the 4/5 mile dirt road up Trabuco Canyon, I parked at the trailhead. The beginning of the ride was fine. I started climbing and was really taken by the beauty of the landscape. After almost 3 and 1/2 hours of brutal climbing, I reached the top of Saddle back mt.(I think that's what it was called) By this time there was snow where I was and I hadn't seen a person for at least 2 hours. I decided to turn around and go down. This is where things got a bit interesting. Somewhere along the way, I missed a turn off and ended up going down the opposite side of the mountain. After desending for about 50 minutes to an hour I noticed a mountain range that I definitely did't see on the way up the mountain. I kept going down though. As I got further down the mountain I saw a highway. It turned out to be highway 15. Realizing that this wasn't where I wanted to be, I decided that my only real option was to head down to the road and try to either find a way back to the trail head by road or get somebody to give me directions back up and over the mountain. Oh, did I mention that It was starting to get dark. As I tried to head into any town of population, I spotted some road riders ahead. I followed them for about 3 miles until they rode into a town called Corona. As the riders entered the town they stopped at what appeared to be a aid station. I stopped and spoke with some of the people helping out. Turns out the most of the people were from the Orange County Rebel Riders Bike Club. I told them where I was coming from and they all seemed to be miffed at the fact that I came from the other side of the mountain. By this time it was completely dark and quite chilly for a guy in short spandex. Absolutely exhausted and starving, the aid people told me that I could help myself to any food that I wanted (they had all kind of goodies for the riders that were in the last leg of a DOUBLE CENTURY - and I thought I had done alot of riding) So at about 11:30, the last of the riders came through the station and one of the aids, Paul Haussler, offered to get me back to my car. Little did he know that once we got to Trabuco Cyn. rd. we had to drive the 4/5 miles on a horrible dirt rd. in the pitch dark. Well all things considered, we finally arrived at my car about 12:45am. Paul, who was from Huntington Beach, let me follow him home so I wouldn't get lost. 1:30am - I arrive in my hotel room, exhausted and ready to pass out. The moral of the story - DON'T RIDE ALONE, especially in a place that you're not familiar with. But, I have to say that this was an experience that I will never forget, and the people of Sunny southern Cal bike clubs have huge hearts and kind souls. I really apreciate them taking care of me for the couple hours that I needed it the most. Who knows, I could still be lost, riding in the Mountains of Cleveland National Forrest - Come to think of it - That might not be such a bad thing!!!!
      Tam Grebnesor a 25 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Cannondale from Philadelphia, PA.


    • Trail UpdateTrabuco Cyn W. Horsethief Loop-Begin the 10.4 mile loop by climbing steadily at once over rocky strewn trails alternating with smooth forest canopy covered trails. You must make (try to ride) several creek crossings. Poison Oak on the trail can be a problem during certain times of the year. Be aware. After a little under 2 miles you must cross the creek to your right at the West Horse Thief Canyon Junction. (Oh by the way don't forget bug repellent on this ride, the flies can be brutal) After the creek crossing the trail becomes tougher with steeper rockier, sometimes unridable for mortal souls. Trudge onward somehow for about a mile more. Soon the trail crosses another drainage back to the right and becomes a tunnel through the sagebrush. Even though it is still steep, the traction is much better here. Continue until 3.3 miles and bear right at the split. Continue through oak covered glens and the beginnings of a pine forest until 4.4 miles where you intersect the Main Divide Trail.Turn left (down) the road for 2.6 miles of ups and downs and spectacular views of the Lake elsinore area and the Pacific views as well. You will have gained approx 2200'+ by now. Watch for the trail sign "6w11" and the wooden barrier at 7.0 miles. Turn left onto the West Horsethief Canyon Trail. The trail starts off mellow with excellent views down the canyon all the way to Catalina on clear days. Soon it descends and steepens through some manzanita scrub. Stay right at the trail split and descend below the ridge to the right at first.The next parts drop 1700' in 1.7 miles. It is very steep with loose rocks approx 3-6" in diameter with hundreds of feet of exposure on the downhill side. The trail is also very overgrown in places. Kinda dangerous I'd say. I advise full leg protection and a jacket. Don't use too much front braking or your tire will bounch and veer uncontrollably (possibly off the cliff). There are several switchbacks you may choose to get off and safely turn unless you are real good. Finally you make it into Trabuco Canyon floor again and then pick-up the main train. Drop the approx 2 miles back to the trailhead in no time. Several of the wooded, ferned glades are a joy to ride in. Watch out for other trail users on the weekends especially, although usually during the week the trail is empty.Oh yeah, watch out for ticks too. The trail is real overgrown and they ARE around.


    • Trail Update<A HREF="http://www.hsis.uci.edu/grega/rides/holy.html">Ho-


    • Trail Update<a Href="http://www.apc.net/maross/ocmtb.htm">Trabuco & Ho-


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