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San Juan Trail

Average Rating:    (4.45 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 56

Fun, technical, dangerous, the best of the Cleveland National Forest
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Latitude
33.53910539867444
Longitude
-117.54959106445312
Trail Directions
I-5 to the Ortega Highway. East on Ortega 8 to 10 miles. Turn left at the Cleveland National Forest Ranger Station. Follow that road back behind the ranger station for about a mile to a canopied clearing. This is the bottom starting place for the trail.
Trail Length
22 miles, (round trip)
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
San Juan Capistrano
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (56 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
February 17, 2012

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: ikki831 ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
This is my favorite trail I've ridden so far! I used to climb this trail. It is allot of work but it is totally worth the brutal climb. Pushig your pace on the downhill to where your feeling alittle out of control all the way down is what makes this trail such a blast and my favorite. It's got fast sections, chunky sections, ruts, tight switchbacks, great views. Such a blast! I've moved to northern cal and am planning a road trip just to hit this trail again soon.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Aliso Woods: Telonics, Red Rock, Lynx



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Review Date
January 1, 2011

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Varaxis ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
AMAZING TRAIL! Best I've ever ridden, coming from FL, NY (Hudson Valley-Catskills), and new to SoCal. Totally worth the trip out there. 1h 30m of straight climbing got me to Blue Jay, just past the San Juan Restoration Trail sign. Took me 30 mins to bomb back down--the most fun I ever had right there, though I admit I was going a bit too fast to really slow down for the climbers. It's narrow and super flowy, with lots of twists and bermed turns with an amazing view. Lots of switchbacks too. I wish I had caught it on film with a GoPro. I once had to use a bush to help stop me and the guy yelled at me. I was all in armor, but was on a HT. You do not need a FS bike for this, at least if you're skilled (I only started MTB this year and had my MTB for 2 months).

Recommended Route:
Highway 74 into the Santa Ana mountains. Turn into Laz-E Ranch and park at the end to pedal up. Not sure which way the shuttles go.



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Review Date
April 20, 2007

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: bikerneil ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Absolutely beautiful and awesome single track trail. Parking at bottom and riding up is the way to go. 12 switchbacks at the start then it gets better. The grade up is very moderate - very easy to ride up as far as you want to go - the reward is the ride DOWN!

Recommended Route:
The directions to the trail are a little mis-leading: Take Ortega Highway 12 miles (not 8-10) until you come to the Ranger / Fire Station (there's also a sign to a campground at the turn). Follow that road about 1 mile to parking lot and bathroom at trailhead.
Heads up: take $5 for parking fee.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Whiting Ranch



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Review Date
April 15, 2006

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: CMFICSR20 ,  Downhiller

Summary:
Really fun trail. I shuttle it but that's only cause I ride a 45+ lb downhill pig. And for anyone else riding a downhill, Be Careful!. If you are going fast enough to where you won't be able to stop for a xc riding coming up the hill then your going too fast. Other than that it's a real fun trail some good fast sections some cool little jumps on the way down. Don't slide evry turn it makes the trail all rutted and more difficult than it needs to be to ascend.

Recommended Route:
I chuttle. If you like uphill and have a a xc then pedal it.



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Review Date
August 31, 2004

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 3.00 votes

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Reviewed by: em_dee_aitch ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I live in Austin but am lucky enough to have visited San Juan twice now. I just want to express dismay at all who advocate shuttling this course. You're totally missing the point. This trail is all about climbing -- there's nothing else to it. Though I dwell in the relatively flat "hill country," I suffered all the way to the top of this mother and thoroughly enjoyed the exhaustion and empty camelbak. My OC friends who are "locals" do find us out-of-towners amusing in that they take a mere 55 minutes to climb this beast whereas it takes me dang near 3 hours, but at least we're climbing. Shuttle?? I imagine the DH riders, who I got no grudge against, could find a much more interesting course with some sweet jumps (a la Napoleon Dynamite) or something. This one is totally non-technical, as I don't count erosion ruts in single track as a "technical" item. It's a non-technical climb with an amazing view (I give it a 2 for technicality only cuz of the switchbacks, which will throw flat-landers for a loop). Climb it, don't be a wuss. If you're all about DH, find something more extreme. To make this trail fun as a DH course, you'd have to go so fast as to kill the climbers... Overall a 5 for the sense of accomplishment you'll feel, and the view of course. And because the mountain lions didn't eat me.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (56 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5
 


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