San Juan Trail (Mission Viejo, CA)
Lauded by many as one of the best mountain bike trails in SoCal, the San Juan Trail puts the mountain in “mountain biking” with about 3,500 feet of climbing if you ride it as an out-and-back. Other route combinations in the Singletracks database put the climbing as high as 5,700 feet of gain with a 40-mile route. But the amount of challenge that you bite off here in the Cleveland National Forest, on the southeast side of Orange County, depends solely on your personal appetite.
“Could be the best singletrack in SoCal. Awesome set of switchbacks to start the ride then some rocky sections requiring short bursts of power. There are some exposed sections commanding all your attention. The DG or decomposed granite makes the riding surface very slippery (like marbles on a tile floor) so careful on the way back down. There are a few washed out sections in some turns but overall the trail was in good shape. I used to do night rides here in the mid 90’s. A must do.” -david_darling