First off this in not a race, but a fun ride. This is the start of the first annual Laguna Beach Dirt Fondo. It's a fundraiser ride for the Laguna Beach Interscholastic MTB Team. The ride is designed to cover 25 miles through town, dirt roads, and some singletrack. The terrain in Laguna is steep so although this ride has over 2000 ft. of climbing, the most grueling climbs in the park are left out. There are three aid stations on the course. Register atlagunabeachmtb.org/dirtfondo
At mile 19 there is a section of the trail that should be walked.
From the high school, you'll climb pavement on Mystic to Skyline Dr. This is the steepest climb of the 25 miler. Hang a left on Alta Vista and once at "Top of the World" look for the 1st Aid Station. After hydrating, you'll begin riding dirt and descend the West Ridge dirt road for quite some time.
At the bottom look for singletrack onto Cholla Trail
and enter the canyon of Aliso Wood Canyon. A little ways after a creek crossing, keep an eye out for Coyote Run Trail
singletrack and take that until it ends. Make a right on Mathis Canyon Trail
but do not climb Mathis. Look for Dripping Cave Trail to your left and take that until it ends. There is one steep punchy climb with switchbacks, but it's really short.
You'll then merge with Wood Canyon Trail
again and keep proceeding south. Look for some singletrack just to your right before the pavement called Meadows Connector Trail and take that across and to the pavement. You'll ride the pavement back towards the Golf Course where you'll see Aid Station #2.
Flip around back on the pavement but this time take it all the way to the Alicia Ranger Station. Climb Alicia Parkway and hang a right on Highlands Ave. Look for the Aliso Summit Trail
and take it until it spits you out onto pavement again on Pacific Island Drive. Hang a right on Talavera Drive and get back on the dirt, stopping at Aid Station #3 first.
After Aid Station #3, descend the Valido Trail being careful to walk your bike over the big stair steps. Gain pavement on West St and hang a right on Monterey St following the signs back to PCH. Take PCH north and hang a right on Nyes Place. Be careful on PCH when the bike lane disappears. Do not climb Nyes. Once in the neighborhoods, follow the "sharrows" back into town and follow the signs back to the high school. Well done!
The first family to settle Laguna in 1871 were the Thurstons. Their original house was built right near where Aid Station #2 is on this ride.