Trail begins at dirt parking lot and ascends up a rough uneven fireroad for 2 miles, after reaching the top, a singletrack begins just past the fence on the left, trail becomes a great tree covered smooth flowing ride for about 1.5 miles, it then begins down the open canyon through river crossings into a technical section covered with shale rock,(loose and twisty sections),for another mile or two, the trail descends further into a riverbed crossing, great place to stop, pass through and head left,(East Horsethief Canyon begins to the right back up to the main divide, steep and not recommended for climbing), so head left along a fun smooth singletrack for 1\4 mile making a right at a the first split, trail goes back into tree covered, fun, fast singletrack for another1.5 miles to some great technical river crossings,(easily walkable for those not inclined), the trail then weaves through other creek beds for the next mile or so back to tree covered singletrack. The trail encompasses about 7 miles of fun dh riding exiting to the Holy Jim Canyon fireroad,( 1 mile north of the Holy Jim Trailhead),which goes for several miles ,mostly downhill or flat to the main entrance of Oneal Park in Rancho Santamargarita. Either have cars there for shuttle back to the top via Ortega, or turn around and climb back,( a challenging climb)
From Orange County take the 5 freeway south to Ortega Highway, head North to Los Pinos Campground turnoff( about 15 miles), turn left until it deadends, stay right to the top,(start of San Juan trail), go approx. 1 mile further uphill on paved road until you reach a large dirt opening on left at top of hill with metal bar fence,(the main divide) and park.
Summary: Trabuco trail is not to be confused witht he long flat rocky raod that leads up to it. That is indeed a road and not a trail (genius) Thre trail itself is a technical uphill trail and in my opinion one of the best downhill trails in Orange County.
Recommended Route: Start on the OC side (at the bottom) and go straight up it to the top and turn around and go down it. If you like switch backs then go up either Holy Jim trail or Horse Thief then turn right at the top until you loop back onto Trabuco. If you ride in OC and have not taken this trail then you are missing some of the best riding there is.
Review Date February 8, 2001
Overall Rating 3 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a year
Reviewed by: pablo
, from OC for years
Summary: the best way to enjoy all of "Trabuco" Canyons(not holy jim)trail network is by driving up that miserable canyon to Holy Jim, and looping around by heading up West horsethief, or Trabuco trail, and back down Holy jim, or vice versa .....
Recommended Route: HELL OF A WEAK ASS SHUTTLE RIDE..... WHO IN THERE RITE MIND WOULD START AT THE TOP, ONLY TO HAVE TO CLIMB BACK UP AT THE END OF THE RIDE. MAKE SOME SENSE PEOPLE......
Other recommended trails in the same area: Trabuco Canyon Road is a flat, rocky, crowded, piece'o'crap for bikes, avoid it at all costs...
Review Date January 16, 2000
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Please Select
Reviewed by: Hymie
, from Riverside, CA
Summary: great for all skill levels, beginners can take it slow, advanced can rip. for a new dimension, make it a night ride. ride time is 45 min (advanced) to 3 hours (beginner).
Recommended Route: same
Review Date February 24, 1999
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a month
Reviewed by: DAVE
, from Laguna Hills
Summary: The trail is a great one for several reasons, very few people on it, everybody can get down it, can be a downhill shuttle or a great climb and descend. The trail has various types of terrain and levels for a great ride.The canyon is very scenic and full of suprises, warning: Don't ride this trail after heavy rainfall, Holy Jim Canyon tends to get very water logged. Enjoy
Recommended Route: Email me with any questions on getting to or riding this trail, we have open invitation rides to anyone , email for specific ride dates.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Aliso Woods Park, best enclosed trail riding anywhere, something for all.