“Best route in Chino Hills State Park; burly ascent, miles of fast and flowy downhill singletrack!”
— Rob Moore
Campgrounds, historical buildings, amphitheater, and Ranger Station.
The park closes for 48 hours after rainfall of 1/4" or more or when high-wind warnings are issued by the weather service. Check the Chino Hills Facebook page before heading to the park, as they post closures there regularly.
This route provides the perfect balance of stamina-building climbs coupled with fast and flowy singletrack. In addition, it offers epic views of southern California geology and abundant opportunities to view wildlife.
Need to Know
Make sure to bring lots of water because it can get hot out there and there aren't a lot of water sources until you get to the Ranch. The Ranch has picnic tables, shade, and clean bathrooms.
An alternative start point for this loop can be accessed from Gas Company Road at the southwest corner of the park. To get to Gas Company Road, there is a horse trail right after Hollow Ridge Ct, that is off of Casino Ridge Road. You can either park in the parking lot near the bottom of Casino Ridge Rd or, if you have someone dropping you off, you can drive all the way up Casino Ridge to the end and jump the fence to bypass the horse trail. Do not leave your car parked at the end of Casino Ridge.
A good alternative endpoint is down Lower Aliso Trail
off of the Rolling M Ranch Singletrack
. This takes you to the Santa Ana River Trail - Green River Golf Club to Prado Dam or the Alluvial Trail
, which can both be used to head south toward the parking area for the Santa Ana River Trail off Hwy 91.
Starting at Lower Aliso Canyon trailhead where it intersects with Bane Canyon Rd., take Bane Canyon Rd. north, then veer left after a bit onto the old Bane Canyon Rd. for a nice couple miles of warm up. At 1.6 miles, turn left and climb the doubletrack for a quarter mile. Stay left at the top as a right turn will drop you down Sidewinder
and you'll miss all the fun. Fasten your seat belt for one of two excellent drops. After the second drop and a brief ascent, cross under the power lines for the fast and flowy section of Bane Ridge Trail
Bane Ridge Trail
drops you out onto Bane Ridge Rd. Turn right and head downhill toward Rolling M Ranch. Hook a left after a short descent, pass up and around the gate, and begin the burly fire road climb section on South Ridge
. After a 1.25-mile ascent, the road veers right, but stay left for the 14% grade up San Juan Hill, the tallest point of the park. At the top, take a breather and check out the spectacular 360-degree view!
This is where the fun begins, again! Get ready for a fast and furious drop down South Ridge Rd. to Bovinian Delight Trail
. The trail is signed, but you'll have to brake fast to make the hard right turn. Continue down Bovinian Delight Trail
for more undulating singletrack fun. Be mindful as there are more people (hikers, bikers, and equestrians) ascending the trail, than descending. At the bottom, stop and take a break at four corners, or blow through, staying to the right to begin an easy ascent up Raptor Ridge
. Raptor Ridge
is the only singletrack option at four corners, and it is signed.
After a short distance, you'll quickly encounter the only true technical bit of the ride. Its a hard left, up and over an outcropping of jagged rock.
Continue on to the power tower and begin another short descent down a short doubletrack, keeping in mind you'll want to be prepared for a quick and hard left. This trail is the aptly-named Faultline Trail
(signed), as it parallels the Yorba Linda tangent/spur section of the bigger, Yorba Linda fault line. You can see where the ground has heaved and slid, and this fast, and often off-camber section, runs right through it. Be careful because you'll hit high speed at the bottom of Faultline Trail
, and the trail veers quickly to the left before dropping you out on Upper Aliso Canyon Trail
doubletrack. Stay right and take this trail down to the Rolling M Ranch.
Veer left once you pass the buildings and amphitheater, staying on the dirt section that parallels the paved road. Again, you'll have a hard left where you'll cross a bridge and head up what Strava refers to as 'Young Magicness.' This trail will drop you out at the equestrian staging area. Stay left and start up Bane Ridge Trail
. Shortly after beginning this ascent, keep right at the fork onto the Spur Connector
, which is just that, a short spur of singletrack that will dump you back onto Bane Canyon Rd. From here, turn right on the paved road and finish up at the Lower Aliso trailhead.
Extra Credit: Upon completion, I like to repeat the beginning of the ride: up Bane Ridge Rd., down Bane Ridge Trail
Another great option is to continue south past the trailhead where you started, and take Telegraph Canyon Rd (left through gate) to Edison Rd (first right). You can climb this doubletrack, then blow back down Faultline Trail
/Upper Aliso Canyon Trail
Both options add a few extra miles, offer good climbs, and top off your day with barreling, downhill singletrack!
History & Background
Originally, the area now encompassed by CHSP, was inhabited by the Gabrielino Indians. The indigenous people utilized the area for hunting game, gathering acorns and elderberries, walnuts, seeds and for other sources for food and shelter.
Once the Europeans arrived and founded Mission San Gabriel in 1771, the Chino Hills were used extensively for grazing by mission cattle. During the Mexican Republic, the park was also utilized for grazing by surrounding Mexican ranchos Santa Ana Del Chino and La Sierra Yorba. Cattle-use continued until 1984 when State Parks and Recreation finally officially declared the area a part of the state park system.
Today, CHSP is considered a premier natural open space containing over sixty miles of fire roads and trails. The Parks 14,100 acres contain prime real estate from the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange. Additionally, the area provides an anchor parcel for the Puente Hills Wildlife Corridor.