San Juan Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Orange County, California. It is within Cleveland National Forest. It is 13.3 miles long and begins at 817 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 22.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 8,265 feet. Along the trail there are parkings. The trail ends near Sugarloaf Peak.
San Juan Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The San Juan Trail truly is one of the finest stretches of singletrack in SoCal. The trail boasts every feature of an ideal two-wheeled romp, including technical rock gardens, steep bomb runs, kickers, and fast-banked turns, with the picturesque panorama of the Santa Ana Mountains in the Cleveland National Forest as an exquisite backdrop. Switchbacks form the defining characteristic of this playground: more are found on this 8.7-mile stretch than in any other locale—I lost count after ten in the first mile of ascent. Although this ride is recommended as a shuttle run, it is probably best enjoyed ridden up and then down. The throbbing pain in your legs and lungs is hard to notice when there is so much to see and so many obstacles to negotiate. If your bike was built for anything other than downhill duty and you’ve got the time, please abort the shuttling mission. Better yet, ride the whole thing and then shuttle it, because afterward you’ll surely want another slice of downhill indulgence."
--Charles Patterson, Mountain Bike! Los Angeles County (Menasha Ridge Press).
"This ride is located in the Cleveland National Forest, approximately 13 miles from I-5 in San Juan Capistrano. This 19-mile lollipop is a ride to make you feel smug and superior. Starting form Hot springs Road in Cleveland National Forest, begin ascending the switchback-intense San Juan Trail, FS 6W05. It's tricky climbing some of these switchbacks. But soon the trail levels out a bit as you continue coursing toward Sugarloaf Peak. Just below the summit is a sublime place to rest. The views are outstanding, the sandstone makes a great place to stretch out, and if you get bored, you can always sit back and watch bikers climbing and descending on both sides of you. Scenery includes otherworldly rock outcroppings, outstanding views of Cleveland National Forest, and desert and alpine landscapes."
--David Story, Laurie & Chris Leman, Mountain Bike! Southern California (Menasha Ridge Press).
"Located in San Juan Capistrano in the Santa Ana Mountains east of Interstate 5. Highlights: San Juan Trail is regarded as one of the best singletracks in California. If you are a strong biker with good technical skills, you will love this ride. Hazards: Take your pick. Exposed roots, large rocks, steep drops next to the trail. Do not do this ride unprepared. There is no food or water, and you are far from any help. Many Southern California professional racers use this as a downhill training course. Forest Adventure Wilderness Pass."
--Mark Ross & Brad Fine, Mountain Biking Southern California (Falcon Guides).
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