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Old 12-25-13, 05:38 PM   #1
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Road bike on Crystal Cove State Park Trails?

I'm in the area for the week and was hoping to get in some hardpack riding on my road bike. Are the (non-singletrack) trails in crystal cove park suitable for a road bike (25c tires & disc brakes)? I have some dirt riding experience and am OK with a bit of a 'challenge'.
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Old 12-25-13, 10:32 PM   #2
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In a word, no. Crystal Cove and its neighbor Laguna Coast have a lot of steep fireroads and steep rutted singletrack.
From Ridge Park off of Newport Coast staying on the ridge "might" be OK.

Blackstar I've seen done on road bikes, and Maple Springs as well. Blackstar would be the easier one.
Woods Canyon Rd in Aliso Woods might be OK, but some sandy stretches.
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Old 12-26-13, 10:09 AM   #3
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Rumble knows the trails well... There is nothing in El Moro/Crystal Cove that is suitable for a road bike. I suppose people do it but you would need wider tires and something preferably with a knobs.

Bommer Ridge (the top of El Moro/Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is harder packed as long as you stay on the main trail (Bommer Ridge) but like all dirt trails it can be rutty, sandy and in places, rocky, better suited for a mountain bike.

If you are looking to ride a designated bike trail and stay off the road... check out the Back Bay Trail. You can park at the Bonita Creek Park or along EastBluff to access the route - you can take the San Diego Creek Trail all the way up the foothills and back. Beautiful ride this time of year...

Hey Jim was that you I saw riding Coal Canyon two weeks back??? You were coming down (if that was you) as I was struggling up...

Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.
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Old 12-26-13, 01:38 PM   #4
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For dirt riding, check out Blackstar Canyon. From the trailhead, it is a 12km climb. At the top, stay left and you will drop down Skyline drive into Corona after about 8km. You can come back the same way. Toally rideable with a 34x25 and 25mm tires. Skyline is a bit steeper but smoother. There is even a Chevron in Corona a couple of miles away from the bottom of the hill where I get a drink and some mini donuts.
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Old 12-26-13, 01:55 PM   #5
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Black star climb is doable on roadie tires for sure, just watch your lines coming down. You will have to stay seated allot of the climb because of traction, so be prepared for it.

You could also stay on the lower parts of Aliso Wood but might bore you cuz it's pretty short. If strong enough, climb Cholla to the fire road on the ridge, take that to "top of the world park" then drop into Laguna via paved roads. Cholla will be a SOB with that gearing and limit traction, there is a easier way up the back side but never done it so I don't have details either will be a short hike if needed. Once up on the ridgeline, don't even think about coming down any of those singletrack fingers. None of it is smooth, it's very dippy and hard limestone, you will likely bend your rim or fork. Stick to the fire road til the top, take some pics of the islands and epic views of the ocean while up there.
Rule #10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster.
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Old 12-29-13, 03:41 PM   #6
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Check out the Traillink page for this area.


There are a number of nice paved trails down in south county. Aliso Creek is the long one, heading towards the mountains. Salt Creek is scenic and uphill - but you can do a semi loop on it. Irvine has 45 miles of Class 1 trails. I like the Peters Canyon Trail out of Bill Barber Park there. You can circle the back bay in Newport and then head up the San Diego Creek trail into Irvine.
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