Crystal Cove State Park

3.33 out of 5
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↑ 2,100 ft
↓ 2,200 ft

avg time
Trail Description
About this trail
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.
added by norskiDoubletrack
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions


Q: Do i have to wear safety gear? -Guest

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.

atomic outdoorsman answered on February 7, 2018. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No

Answer | See all 2 answers

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System Trails (14)
System Trails (14)
Gate 9
Fence Line
Missing Link
El Moro Canyon
Moro Ridge
No Name Ridge
East Cut Across
Slow 'N Easy
West Cut Across
Lizard Trail
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Photo & Video Gallery (51)
Trail Photos & Videos (51)
Reviews (7)

Bunny Hop

April 23, 2019
chilas Bunny Hop  
Review: Started at PCH by El Moro elementary school, work my way up and retuned using rattlesnake trail NOT for beginners for sure, take care of you are new to this trails and overall at the end of rattle snake trail, you can find yourself infront of heavy machines cutting Thru the mountain I almost got injured/killed by one of this beast Floral trails with little to non visibility more that 10/15 yards iand suddenly there was a big machine infront of me You can totally hear the heavy noise but you will think they are far away Be carefore out there this week and maybe next week too until they finish their tasks

Granny Gear

October 2, 2016
Review: For shear convenience this gets a 4 for anyone who lives in coastal Orange County hint hint okay I live HB off of pch. Other than that it's wide enough to share with hikers and worth a 3 loop for good workout. The grades are not steep either if your weak ass.

Granny Gear

June 4, 2016
Review: Beautiful state park with rugged backcountry single track that drops into spectacular views of Laguna Beach and the Pacific. Trails are wide, well-marked, and in good condition. Plenty of room for the numerous bikers and hikers on weekends. Beware of significant elevation changes in certain portions of the park. The route I chose ascended - and then descended - nearly 1,000'' in a little over 1 linear mile. The climbs were gnarly and descents hair-raising! Study the topo map and choose your route carefully. Then have fun - the diverse terrain and coastal beauty of this park trumps all.

Bunny Hop

October 19, 2015
Review: Fairly good single trail if you look for it. There are a lot of unpaved fire roads in the area as well. Fun ride for the view. If you ride around enough or take a ride up the road a ways you can gain access to the Pelican Hill golf course. During the day you might get run off but if go towards the end of the day you can check it out. Just don't ride around on the greens.

Granny Gear

June 18, 2014
Review: This is a very well managed trail network that sits just east of the Pacific and is bordered by the PCH.

It requires a usage fee of $15 a day which you must pay regardless of how long you use the park but it gives you access to day camping, a semi-private beach and tons of trails.

The trails are mostly fire roads but the elevation and exposure makes for a very good cardio challenge. I started on El Moro Canyon which is tame for about the first 1.5 miles but then includes some pretty severe climbs, most of which I was able to clean on my lowest gear but a couple that required me to dismount. As you climb Moro, there's an option to hang left on to Poles which is a severe climb to No Dogs which offers a friendly descent. I actually missed the turn off on the way up so ended up ascending about 3 miles and turned back as time got away from me being about an hour in. The descents were not very technical but the elevation and incline will definitely keep you on your toes and feathering your breaks- I believe Mach One made me consider larger rotors on my Epic.

All in all a great park despite mostly fire roads but I hear there are some single track options as arteries to the main trail system.

Next time I have a full day in SoCal, I'd love to make a day and do the full loop.

Granny Gear

February 5, 2014
svishal Granny Gear  
Review: Did rattlesnale trail on this. Single track for most part. A small section of the trail is rocky which is technical. And a small section is rutted but flat with about 2 feet width.


April 29, 2011
norski Doubletrack  
Review: Great views from the tops of the ridges. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is right next door, so you can combine the two for many miles of coastal chaparral riding.

Similar Trail: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Crystal Cove State Park MTB Trail 3.33 out of 5 based on 7 ratings. 7 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed