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Santiago Oaks is one of the better mountain biking spots in all of Orange County.


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Map Key

7.9

Miles

12.7

KM

90%

Singletrack

1,045' 319 m

High

508' 155 m

Low

1,294' 394 m

Up

1,294' 394 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

32%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

Santiago Oaks is one of the better mountain biking spots in all of Orange County. With a lot of technical, rocky descents, this place is geared more toward the downhill crowd, but fun will be had by all bikes regardless.

Up in the hills there is something for intermediate and advanced riders alike, but there are also a lot of beginner trails down in the flats for those looking for a little easier ride.

Description

From Irvine Regional Park, pick an entrance to the Roadrunner Loop (aka: Blair Witch), and make your way north to Chutes. Blair Witch is a system of single tracks around the main trail, weaving through bushes and trees in a flat, sandy, flood basin. Try not to get lost.

At a kiosk, the trail drops steeply into a dry creek bed. On the other side is the beginning of Chutes. Right away you'll see a trail split to the right, this is Chutes Ridgeline, and is a technical downhill trail. DO NOT CLIMB! Stay left. Some tight switchbacks and a few short, steep, slopes later, the trails cross, putting Ridgeline on your left (scout the gnarly sections for later). While climbing, if you're lucky, you may get to watch someone bomb a tough downhill.

At the top, an easy doubletrack, Barham Ridge, crosses left and right. Go right. Pass the downhill entrance to Cactus Canyon on the left, and climb the slightly rocky, but wide, Barham Ridge for a half-mile. The view of the bowl-shaped hills, and all their trails, is awesome along here.

On the right you'll see Deer Trail, a really fun, intermediate singletrack. Although most riders descend from here, this trail connects to Weir Canyon Loop, so expect occasional two-way traffic. Deer reaches a low point in the canyon and begins its climb out with a series of tight switchbacks.

When the trail merges with another, make a hard left, almost a u-turn, this is Anaheim Hills Trail. Follow the trail up a few switchbacks, then try to stay in the saddle while climbing a few challenging rock-falls. When you reach Barham Ridge again, turn left and head uphill.

Pass the entrances to Coachwhip, and Deer Trail, retracing the earlier route to Cactus Canyon and turn right, downhill. Between the bushes the trail weaves a few times, then a few easy rolling jumps. Soon the easy, banked, quarter-turns start, one on top of the other, getting you into a rhythm. Near the end, there are a few switchbacks, then into the slot at the canyon bottom.

Climb Bumble Bee to a wide trail convergence above. Bumble Bee is similar to climbing Chutes with switchbacks and short, steep slopes to power over.

At the top, turn left on Grasshopper for about 100 yards, then turn left on Hawk. Hawk is a singletrack that tumbles down a number of rock falls. It's steep, loose, and can be intimidating, but very satisfying when done right. No shame in hiking the hard stuff.

Stay left on the dirt road at the bottom of Hawk, then on the next dirt road, make a left on Santiago Creek Trail. Immediately on the left, you can't miss the entrance to Mountain Goat Enhancement Trail, so start climbing. On a north facing hill, it twists and turns through more vegetation than other trails here. Similar to Chutes and Bumble Bee, this trail also has a few tight switchbacks and short, steep slopes. You may get a peek at the steep, downhill companion trail, Mountain Goat, along the way.

At the top, Mountain Goat merges with Barham Ridge again, and now it's time to head back down Chutes or Chutes Ridgeline to the car.

Chutes Ridgeline starts immediately opposite the top of Mountain Goat, and right away drops down a tough rock-fall (to bypass, start down the easier Chutes and look for a small connector back to the Ridgeline). As the trail balances on the ridge there are a few jumps, more rock-falls, and a few steep, loose slopes before ending with a series of rough, banked turns and some rollers.

Cross the creek again into Blair Witch and make your way back to the car.

Have fun!

Contacts

Shared By:

Dave Gregg

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 29 votes

#485

Overall
  4.6 from 29 votes
5 Star
66%
4 Star
28%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#72

in California

#485

Overall
84 Views Last Month
35,171 Since May 14, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
8%
31%
8%
54%
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Photos

Total corner destruction. This kid has his cutties on lock!
Sep 15, 2016 near Villa Park, CA
Really fun huck-spot on Chutes Ridgeline!
Dec 20, 2017 near Villa Park, CA
Entrance to Hawk
Oct 17, 2022 near Villa Park, CA
The Log that lets you know you have found Chutes.
Jun 5, 2023 near Villa Park, CA
Scary drop on Hawk!
Dec 20, 2017 near Villa Park, CA
The iconic dry creek bed crossing that marks the beginning of Chutes.
May 27, 2014 near Villa Park, CA

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