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Level: Intermediate
Length: 15 mi (24.1 km)
Surface: Other
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +869/ -832 ft
Total: 106 riders

Mountain Biking Crystal Cove State Park

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#121 of 1,005 mountain bike trails in California
#1,802 in the world

Crystal Cove State Park has 3.2 miles of beach and 2,400 acres of undeveloped woodland, which is popular for hiking and horseback riding. The offshore waters are designated as an underwater park. Crystal Cove is used by mountain bikers inland and scuba and skin divers underwater.

The 15-mile bicycle route described here includes most of the trails open for mountain biking inside the park.

From the TH, ride north on "No Dogs Trail," which becomes "No Name Ridge" (don't blame me, I didn't name the trails!).

At mile 1.37 turn right on "Mach One" trail (which is also the W. Cut Across). (Yes, you can get going way too fast down Mach One.)

At mile 2.0 take a brief right on El Moro Canyon then take the first left onto "I Think I Can Trail" (which is also the "E. Cut Across"). Don't assume the name "I Think I Can" is associated with a technical trail. It's just a long, drawn-out uphill double-track segment - great for doing hill intervals ifyou're in training.

At mile 3.2 the trail forks; stay left.

At mile 3.25 turn left on Moro Ridge. You will pass a campground entranced on your left part way up the ridge; stay right.

At mile 5.16 turn left onto the "Missing Link" singletrack. (Note: If you go straight you will connect to Bommer Ridge Road which you can use to connect to the trails in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.)

Go past the first downhill trail to your left ("Elevator") and take the second left ("Slow 'n Easy") at mile 5.84.

At mile 7.11 turn right down El Moro Canyon.

At mile 8.55 turn right up "Mach One." Yes, you've been here before, but you probably won't go as fast uphill.

At mile 9.18 turn right up "No Name Ridge."

At mile 9.96 turn right onto an easy-to-miss singletrack ("Ticketron/Deer
Canyon"). Go past the Deer Canyon campground and climb to the top of the ridge.

At mile 11.06 turn right onto Red Tail Ridge Trail (which will become the "Rattlesnake Trail"). This trail can get tight and overgrown and has an ugly, eroded and rocky descent with no good line to follow. If you are a gentleman mountain biker, you might consider turning left up Red Tail Ridge to Bommer Ridge Road and find another route down.

At mile 13.13 turn right onto "Mach One." Yes, you've been here before. Twice, in fact. Blow down the hill to vent your frustrations from Red Tail Ridge.

At mile 13.58 turn right onto El Moro Canyon Trail. Bear right and you will pop out on the road just south of the El Moro Visitor Center and parking lot.

At mile 15.25 you will complete the loop.

First added by norski on Apr 29, 2011. Last updated May 8, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Crystal Cove State Park is located off Pacific Coast Highway between Corona
del Mar and Laguna Beach. Turn inland off PCH at the El Morro School (just
south of the Reef Point Entrance) and park at the El Moro Visitor Center. The
TH is off the upper end of the parking lot.
System trails (14)

Crystal Cove State Park Trail map

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Rider questions

Q: Do i have to wear safety gear?
A: always wear safety gear. bashing your head or knee on a rock can end your MTB days for good so don't take the risk.