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Wood Canyon to Cholla to Mathis Canyon Loop



10.9 mile 17.5 kilometer loop
5% Singletrack


Ascent: 790' 241 m
Descent: -790' -241 m
High: 796' 243 m
Low: 99' 30 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)


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Trail shared by Glen Howell

An XC loop of Aliso Creek for hardtail, XC, or more novice riders.

Glen Howell

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


This is a fun loop of Aliso Creek Canyon on a hardtail or XC bike and is compromised of the Wood Canyon Trail, Cholla Trail and Mathis Canyon Trail.

Most of the descent trails in this park require a full enduro bike, such as Rock-It Trail or Car Wreck. If you tried going down one of these trails on a hardtail, you would probably be airlifted out. This loop is a way to enjoy the park if you are not DH equipped.


Start at the parking lot or street on Awma Rd. Ride out on Aliso Canyon Rd. The Aliso Canyon Rd is a paved road, however, after about a mile, there is a wide singletrack dirt trail that runs adjacent to the road. Make a right turn onto the Wood Canyon Trail at the Aliso Canyon Rd gate.

Wood Canyon Trail is a fire road. The surface is hard pack, however, at the beginning of the trail, there is quite a bit of sand and loose soil.

The Cholla Trail is a fairly steep and technical singletrack with a few rock gardens to navigate. Better to walk through these sections than end up in a cactus if you are a beginner. Once you reach the top of the Cholla Trail, make a left onto the West Ridge Trail. This trail is a fire road that offers some nice views of Orange County and the ocean. The road is mostly hard pack with a few smooth rock sections and a few sandy sections. There is one steep uphill section of this trail just before the left turn onto Mathis Canyon Trail.

The downhill section on Mathis Canyon Trail is also a fire road descent. Watch for hikers and other mountain bikers coming up the trail. From Mathis Canyon, make a right back onto Wood Canyon Trail and finally, a left onto Aliso Canyon Rd.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed, History & Background


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May 24, 2020
Levi Chapman
Apr 30, 2020
Andreas Pettersson
Oct 26, 2019
Cholla is very steep and plenty of loose dirt. Ended up walking most of the hill as I could not hold traction. 10.8mi — 1h 45m
Sep 26, 2019
John Rhone
10.8mi — 10h 00m
Jun 22, 2019
Noriaki Yamamoto
May 24, 2019
Trevor Tompkins
Apr 15, 2019
Michael Lindner
The ride up the Cholla trail is very difficult. Had to walk the bike a few times. Next time try meadows down. 10.8mi — 1h 45m
Aug 12, 2018
Alan Corcoran
Out on Aliso & Wood, back on Cholla/Ridge/Rock-it/Coyote Run. 11mi — 2h 12m

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 6 votes


  4.0 from 6 votes
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in California


294 Views Last Month
2,144 Since Aug 1, 2018



A beautiful patch of nature hides relatively untouched within the LA mega-metropolis.
Dec 15, 2016 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
Just keep spinning!
May 22, 2015 near Aliso V…, CA
Coyote Run - Nice.
May 22, 2015 near Aliso V…, CA
All of the intermediate trails at Aliso
May 24, 2019 near Aliso V…, CA
Greenshoots after the fire
Aug 3, 2018 near Aliso V…, CA


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