Newport Ridge and Laguna Wilderness

I’ve been mountain bike riding in Crystal Cove in Newport Beach, California for more than 5 years now and I’ve resigned myself to it being a grinding, rather boring training ride.  Going to Crystal Cove has been good training but fairly sparse in the excitement-and-white-knuckle-butt-puckering-downhill category (frankly, it's been sparse in single-tracks in general).

…until now.  New trail riding buddy David showed a couple of us a brand new trail starting from the top of Newport Ridge.  After a mile-ish ride along Bommer Ridge Road we jogged left and dropped into a sick-and-fun single track that parallels the I-73 toll road.

You can also see the full image and download the Google Earth file.

What the ride is like

This stretch of single track starts out with some moderate drops that will test your suspension and quads, then flattens out into a great slalom-y tight trail.  Watch out for the many, many tree branches grabbing at you like a drunk sorority girl.

…all good things must end, and after about a mile and a half of this the single track ends in couple of sharp switchbacks (unless you can climb like a mountain goat you're probably going to hike-a-bike) and then an easy fire-road climb.  When you get to the top you’ll abandon Crystal Cove and move along into the Laguna Coast Wilderness for about a mile.

Next, you drop off into a steep-but-smooth single-track that lasts about a half a mile. I’m not sure who maintains this trail, but it’s in fantastic shape – smooth and there are cushiony shoulders on every turn to keep you on the trail and out of the foliage.

At the end of this second single-track session you’ll grind through about a 1.75 mile climb to the beginning of the Fence Line single-track.  It’s a fast cross-country single-track of about a mile that finishes out  on Bommer Ridge Road – and you can climb up to where you started again.

Note that I’ll update this page as I learn more trail names.