Cleveland National Forest Mountain Bike Trail Map

Guide to the best mountain bike trails in the Central Region of the Cleveland National Forest including Santiago Canyon and the Holy Jim Trail

Area Summary
Location: Mission Viejo area
Best For: Advanced riders
Suitable For: Intermediates and better
Ground Cover: Chaparral- and grass-covered hillsides and riparian woodlands.
Seasons: Fall through spring. Hot in summer.

Riders looking for amazing mountain bike trails should look no further than the central region of the Cleveland National Forest. Four semi-parallel trails connect the 'burbs of Orange County to the Main Divide Fire Road running along the spine of the range, setting the stage for some tremendous mountain bike rides. Throw in a number of sweet single-tracks, including the Holy Jim Trail and the possibilities are staggering.

The terrain here is decidedly rugged with elevation ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 feet and vegetation consisting largely of chaparral and oak woodlands. The views are often awesome, particularly as you climb toward the Main Divide.

While most riding is geared towards advanced intermediate/expert riders, for less adventurous mountain bikers shorter loop possibilities do exist, though beginners will need to be content with out-and-backs along the main trails. Hard-core riders can use the map to create their own epic adventures.

Cleveland National Forest is just one of the huge variety of mountain biking spots that Orange County has to offer. Discover more great rides.

Cleveland National Forest Bike Trails

Trabuco Trail - Long, not-too-inspiring fire road turns to sweet, moderately technical single-track.

Holy Jim Trail - Big single-track climb from Trabuco Canyon to Main Divide.

West Horsethief Trail - Technical, slippery single-track. Best ridden downhill.

Santiago Trail - Moderate, wide single-track with great views. Good out-and-back for strong beginners.

Joplin Trail - More technical extension of Santiago Trail connects Old Camp to Main Divide.

Harding Truck Trail - Long, graded fire road climbs from Santiago Canyon to Main Divide.

Silverado Trail - Single-track descends from Main Divide to Silverado Canyon Road.

Directions to trailhead(s):
The trailheads in this section of the Cleveland National Forest are reached via Santiago Canyon Road, which connects El Toro Road (at I-5) to the south with Chapman Ave. (at Hwy. 55) to the west. The following direction are from El Toro Rd. at I-5. Trabuco Canyon: El Toro Rd. NE for 7.5 miles, right on Live Oak Canyon Rd. for 4.5 miles, left on Trabuco Canyon Rd. (dirt) for 4.5 miles to Holy Jim trailhead. Santiago Trail: El Toro Rd. NE for 9 miles, right on Modjeska Grade Road for .5 miles. Trailhead is on the right. Street parking is limited. Silverado Trail: El Toro Road NE for 13.5 miles, right on Silverado Canyon Rd. for 5.4 miles to trailhead.

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