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Aliso and Wood Canyons Tour

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (38) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A classic tour of Aliso and Wood Canyons Park with some demanding ups and seriously-fun downs.


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Map Key

14.7

Miles

23.7

KM

25%

Singletrack

1,000' 305 m

High

95' 29 m

Low

1,539' 469 m

Up

1,539' 469 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Park is open 7:00AM to sunset.

Overview

Aliso and Wood Canyons is one of the top destinations for riding in the area. The majority of the trails are multi-use, covering a range of widths and difficulties, and can see a good amount of traffic from all types of visitors.

This loop gives a great taste of what the park has to offer. Though not easy by any means, the trails covered in this ride should be rideable by anyone who has experience on trail with minimal features and the ability to walk down and around anything that seems out of reach.

In true Aliso and Wood Canyons fashion, there are some grueling climbs that only the most physically fit will be able to clean. Don't be discouraged if you can't get all the way up, as the views make the hike-a-bike that much easier.

Need to Know

Most trails are multi-use. Please respect signage and yield to other trail users.

Description

To access this ride, head southwest on the Aliso Creek Trail as it gradually heads downward for a mile and a half. At the first junction, turn right onto the Wood Canyon Trail. This wide, multi-use path climbs steadily up the canyon, passing a number of singletrack trails that wind down the hills on either side.

After a total of four miles from the start, you'll notice an uptick in grade. Look to the left for one of the popular and difficult trails in the park, Lynx. Continue the climb on Wood Canyon Trail, this time looking to the left for the turn onto the east end of Cholla Trail.

This is a tough, singletrack climb. Featuring rocky, sustained grades and a few obstacles to get over, expect to walk sections here, especially after climbing over 4.5 miles from the parking lot. At the top of Cholla Trail, hang a left and finish the first of two major climbs on this ride using the West Ridge Trail.

At the 5.5-mile mark, you've made it to the start of the first awesome descent. Continue down West Ridge Trail and look to the left for the start of Rock-It Trail. This is a classic DH with some tricky sections on slickrock-like tread. Be aware of other trail users and always yield right of way.

After just under 1.5 miles of white-knuckle descent, the trail will bend to the left (north) and come out to the Coyote Run Trail. Continue the more-gradual descent turning right onto Coyote Run Trail and look for the start of the next big climb on Mathis Canyon Trail.

Turn left onto Mathis Canyon Trail and begin the last major climb of the ride with a relentless uphill grade back to the top of the ridge. After a mile of climbing, the trail will bend to the left (west) with a great spot to stop for a breather and to *try* to enjoy the views.

A few hundred yards further, you'll pass the expert trail, Car Wreck, and then join back with the West Ridge Trail for the final push to the Top of the World. There is a parking area here, so shuttles are an option with multiple vehicles.

From the Top of the World, head southeast on Alta Laguna Blvd. for a brief connection on pavement, with a final right turn onto Sommet du Monde. This street will end and the ride will continue onto the Aswut Trail toward a beautiful viewpoint and the top of the Meadows Trail descent.

This is one of the most popular descents in the park, and for good reason. There are rarely any folks climbing the trail, but it still possible so keep that in mind. The trail is well-maintained with hard pack and minimal features to throw you off the switchbacking flow. Descending for over 1.5 miles, this singletrack will bend to the left (north) as it flattens out, before coming to an intersection with the Wood Canyon Trail and Aliso Creek Trail.

Turn right onto Aliso Creek Trail and head back the way you came, reveling in all the work you put in which was eclipsed by the insanely fun descents down two of the classic runs in the area.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 38 votes

#289

Overall
  4.3 from 38 votes
5 Star
53%
4 Star
34%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
3%
Recommended Route Rankings

#36

in California

#289

Overall
352 Views Last Month
17,801 Since Oct 20, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

3%
0%
61%
3%
32%
0%

Photos

Bluebird Canyon -Laguna Beach, CA 
<br>
Photo by Bill Freeman
Jan 24, 2015 near Laguna…, CA
A beautiful patch of nature hides relatively untouched within the LA mega-metropolis.
Dec 15, 2016 near Aliso V…, CA
The sun peeking through the trees with morning mist on Coyote Run Trail.
Jan 12, 2018 near Aliso V…, CA
Racing down Meadows Trail on the first downhill stretch on the route
Oct 31, 2014 near Aliso V…, CA
A rider wheelies a buffed section of the Cholla Trail in Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park.
Dec 15, 2016 near Aliso V…, CA
Meadows- A little overgrown
Jun 14, 2020 near Laguna…, CA

Weather


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Check-Ins

Jul 11, 2020
Jorge Diez Salinas
14.7mi
Jun 6, 2020
Christian Druan
Jan 5, 2020
Jason Seieroe
14.5mi — 2h 25m
Aug 7, 2019
Jim Drogo
Jul 20, 2019
Connor Rich
Totally tubular dudes
Jul 7, 2019
Graham Bogda
Jul 5, 2019
Abe Demcho
18mi — 2h 30m
Jun 25, 2019
Ron Lelakes