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18 miles in Aliso Woods: Lynx, 5 Oaks, Rock-It Trail, Car Wreck

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816' 249 m


205' 62 m


2,553' 778 m


2,577' 785 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (20°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Not Allowed


Mountain biking over 3,000 vertical feet in Aliso Woods. We start with a warm-up run on Lynx, then head over to the much more demanding 5 Oaks Trail. After 5 Oaks Trail, we head up Cholla Trail and back down Rock-It Trail.

After Rock-It Trail, we head up Mathis Canyon Trail. Just before we get to the top and we turn down Car Wreck. Car Wreck is the most difficult, legal and marked trail in the park. It takes a little less than three hours and we are beat!

Need to Know

There are lots of hikers and other wildlife in Aliso Woods. I have seen snakes, deer, and bobcats to add to the fun.


We park on Canyon Vistas by the park, then pedal through the neighborhood to the top of Cholla Trail. This is a nice warm-up and I did a little extra pedaling before my friends were ready.

From the top of Cholla Trail, it is a short pedal to the top of Lynx. Lynx is a short (less than two minute) trail with some rocky sections that keep you on your toes. With an enduro bike you can plow straight down it, but with an XC bike you'll need to make a few line choices.

After Lynx, we head back to Canyon Vistas and ride (and push) our bikes to the water tower at the top of 5 Oaks. 5 Oaks Trail is a much chunkier trail than Lynx with a few places to catch some air. At the bottom, there is a very narrow bridge that will test you handlebar width. Next, we pedal to the bottom of Cholla Trail and grind our way up the nice singletrack trail in granny gear.

From the top of Cholla Trail, it is a short pedal to Rock-It Trail and we bomb down it. There is a short rock garden (less than 30 secs at our pace) that scares the pants off most people. A little after the rock garden there is a 2+ foot rock to climb that many people go around, then walk.

At the bottom of Rock-It Trail, we head over to Mathis Canyon Trail and pedal up for 10+ minutes to get to Car Wreck. Car Wreck is a combination of Lynx and Rock-It on steroids. After the initial rock, there are no real stand-out features. It is all just pretty chunky. I tried it the first time on my hardtail and had to walk most of it.

On this ride, one of our friends clipped a branch and fell directly into the car. We had a great laugh, then finished the trail at the bottom of Mathis Canyon Trail. From here, we pedaled back to the cars.

History & Background

There is a rusted-out car at the bottom of Car Wreck.


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Trail Ratings

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  3.5 from 6 votes
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Mar 27, 2023
debbie calvillo
Jul 16, 2022
Douglas Rodriguez
Feb 26, 2021
Jason Azuma
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Oct 24, 2020
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