Cleveland National Forest
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With up to 50 miles of biking and 4500 vertical feet it's steep climb with optional single track. Good year round.
Relevant Guidebooks & Maps
A Cleveland National Forest map is also very useful. Useful Guidebooks: 101 Hikes in Southern California by Jerry Schad includes pieces of this hike (Trabuco Canyon) with informative descriptions.
From Claremont take I- 10 East to 1-1 5 South. Go past the 91 Freeway and continue for three miles until you reach Weirick road. Exit and turn right, toward the mountains. Follow the road as it curves sharply to parallel the highway after about 0.2 miles there is a small road called Buffalo Speedway, it is marked as private, it is easy to find because it comes just before a large ranch/factory. If you pass a factory and come to a four lane residential road, you have gone too far. Following Buffalo speedway for about two miles drive slowly because of barely visible speed bumps. 100 yards after the road turns to dirt, you can park and begin mountain biking. If you have 4wd you can drive up into the mountains, 5 miles to get to the fist crest at 4500 feet. It takes about 30 minutes on road. Offroading possibility as well. Call ahead to make sure that the dirt road is open for driving.
This ride/drive/hike offers excellent views of the ocean from the far away Santa Ana Mountains at 4500-5000 ft. elevation. The ridge runs north-south and you can follow it for about 20 miles in either direction. From where the dirt begins it is a steep five miles, climbing almost 4000ft, to get to the ridge. Even on the ridge roads the steep ascents and descents along with erosion will keep you fiom traveling quickly by bike or truck. Watching the sunset from any number of vista points is spectacular, but really only possible if you can drive or spend the night. There is no water on the ridge, so backpackers should bring their own, if they choose to do this hike as an overnight. Permits are required for camping.Along the ridge there are several good single track trails which should all reconnect to the same road they left from.
Call to be sure that the dirt mad system is open to motor vehicles (there are fire closures). This system of mountain roads connects to Trabuco Canyon backpacking trip.
Edited by (in order): OTL Staff
Last updated: 05/25/2009