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