“A great short ride from Laguna Seca with fantastic views and a good bit of climbing.”
— Darius Rike
Fort Ord National Monument trails are closed from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.
Great views, fast fun singletrack and a hard climb out make this a fun fairly challenging ride for a short ~5 mile loop. On a hot day the climb out can be pretty rough.
Need to Know
There is a day use fee ($8 cash) for parking at Laguna Seca or you can buy an annual pass.
Park in the dirt lot across from the bathrooms on the north side of South Perimeter Rd as you drive toward the Grand Prix campground.
In the spring there may be sheep (and sheep dogs).
From the dirt parking lot ride up the pavement into the Grand Prix Campground. Follow the road up and go right at the first T. At the second T, turn left and go to the end of the campground. You'll see a gate and a BLM Public Lands sign. Drop into the Trail 47 here (it is a bit steep and loose).
As you hit the trail, go right and start the ride down. As you head down you'll go around one big turn/switchback and then be heading fairly straight down a ridge. You can get a lot of speed here and there's pretty good visibility.
Watch for a carsonite post (Trail 47). Keep going straight and you'll be on Trail 48
for a short distance until the trail starts to climb and Trail 47 comes back in from the right (a nice little loop if you want some extra riding and climbing). Crest the hill and wind around one hill climb to another and then finally start the descent all the way to the bottom of Couch Canyon.
When you cross the dry creek you'll be at the bottom. The initial climb is a bit steep but then things even out and you even get a little downhill as you make your way up out of the Canyon. After climbing awhile you'll hit "Hurl Hill" named for the feeling you have at the top (some will push their bike here).
After "Hurl Hill you'll hit Guidotti Rd (you'll see a bench to your right for a break and a nice view) turn left and then you'll hit SkyLine Rd. Turn left again and when you see the trail go left from the road climb a bit more (you are on Trail 47 again). At the top of the hill you'll go through some trees and look for Trail 47 to split off to the left (if you go straight you'll hit the racetrack at the top of the corkscrew). Head down Trail 47 for a fun flowy downhill section. After a bit you'll do a little more climbing through a wooded area and then see the trail back up to the campground. Ride back to your car or head out for another lap.
History & Background
Trail 47 that makes up most of this ride has been used for various races including the Sea Otter Classic, 24 hours of adrenalin and the NorCal high school league races.