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Best Mountain Biking Trails In LA, Orange County & The Inland Empire


If you're looking to get close to nature on your ride while getting off the beaten path, strap your bike to your bike rack and hit the road to the best mountain biking trails in SoCal. Tired of sitting in traffic? Want a quick escape from the city? Great mountain biking trails for beginners and advance mountain bikers are all around us.


Aliso Woods and Canyon Park
28373 Alicia Parkway
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(949) 923-2200

This trail is one of the most popular trails in Orange County offering beginner and advanced runs. For beginners, the Sycamore run is the best, but if you're looking for something more advanced, try the Cholla trail which is for more experienced riders. Rich in history with many geological formations, marine fossils and plants, there are also over 91 species of birds that can be observed within the 3,900 acre park. Easily accessible parking with restrooms at the beginning of the trails makes this one a popular destination. This trail is not only the best place to go mountain biking, but also perfect for hikers or equestrian riders.


Peters Canyon Regional Park
8548 Peters Canyon Trail
North Tustin, CA 92705
(714) 973-6611

Mountain bikers can enjoy a beautiful water front view of Peters Canyon reservoir and creek on many of the graded roads and trails within this park. Home to many wild animals that are attracted to the many creeks and willows that flow throughout this park, don't be surprised if you see a deer, bob cat, coyote or even the occasional mountain lion as you ride through the park. The East Ridge View trail will also offer mountain bikers a panoramic view of Peters Canyon.


Santiago Oaks Regional Park
2145 North Windes Drive
Orange, CA 92869
(714) 973-6620

Feel like riding into the woods on this unique Orange County treasure? Nestled right within the community of the city of Orange, Mountain Bikers are offered a unique chance to see many different species of trees along this trail. Among the many offerings, the park features great mountain views, creeks and the most majestic view of Orange Hills. Santiago Oaks Regional Park is also home to one of the few remaining orange groves in Orange County.


Laguna Niguel Regional Park
28241 La Paz Road
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(949) 923-2240

Bring your family to enjoy a full day at the park after your bike ride at Laguna Niguel Regional Park. Along with a large lake with ducks and local birds, there are also playgrounds and picnic areas throughout the park. There is a paved road that runs throughout the park, for bike riding along with some small hidden trails to discover as well.


Backbone Trail
Topanga State Park Trailhead
20825 Entrada Road
Topanga, CA 90290
(310) 454-8212

The advanced rider, who is in search for some bragging rights, will want to attempt to master the backbone trail in Malibu. This lollipop shaped 67 mile trail takes riders around the crest of the Malibu Mountains. There are a lot of steep hills and downhill rides throughout this trail. The trail is a favorite to LA mountain bikers; however riders will still see a lot of hikers. Be careful when taking a break from riding because this trail is also home to many snakes.


Gabrielino/Arroyo Trail
Angeles National Forest
North Windsor Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91001
(323) 405-7326

Whether you are an advanced rider or a beginner, this trail has it all. There are plenty of grades, streams, rough and smooth trails to enjoy and it is an exceptionally scenic trail with waterfalls and wildlife for riders to enjoy. If riders like to get a little muddy while riding, try hitting this trail after a good rainfall. Take the 210 Pasadena Freeway and exit the Windsor/Arroyo exit. Following Windsor until it becomes Ventura, the parking lot will be on the left prior to the intersection where the street name changes.

(credit: flickr)

Chino Hills State Park
4500 Carbon Canyon Road
Brea, CA 92823
(951) 780-6222

Mountain bikers can follow this moderate trail along a creek that leads to the head of Telegraph Canyon. There is plenty of wildlife along this trail, including the occasional mountain lion. The trail can get quite slippery after a local rainfall due to the many mashes and creeks that run throughout the trail. The park can be a little hard to find though, but can be located west of highway 71 between the Riverside and Pomona Freeway. Parking in the Carbon Canyon parking lot is just a small fee, and you can also park at Chino Hills parking lot.

(credit: flickr)

Crafton Hills Loop
Craft Hills Community College Trailhead
11711 Sand Canyon Road
Yucaipa, CA 92399

Excellent for the beginner or advanced riders, this trail allows beginner riders the chance to enjoy a leisurely ride along the fire trail and more advanced riders the chance to challenge themselves on Zanja Peak. When attempting some of the high elevation trails riders might find themselves having to carry their bike to get through some of the narrow trails. While riding, visitors will get some marvelous views of the Yucaipa National Park. The park location is right off the 10 freeway in Yucaipa.

Shelby Barone is a local freelance writer in Orange County. She is a Mom to three young children and spends her free time doing volunteer work in her community. She is passionate about health, nutrition and helping people to live with food allergies. She currently writes at Glitterful Felt Stories.
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