Top 7 Mountain Biking Trails in Los Angeles

So you’re looking to bike in the City of Angels.

You’ll probably just end up doing laps around the city, visiting all of the different parks. All pavement stuff, right? Actually, not so much. Because of Los Angeles’ close proximity to both the coast and, more inland, the desert, choice mountain biking trails are a plenty.

1. Aliso Woods

Located just south of Los Angeles in Laguna Niguel, this 3900-acre park has some of the better nature preserves in the area. There are over 91 species of birds, and rich geological formations scattered all along the trailside. There are different runs for all levels of riders.

2. Backbone Trail

This trail, located in Topanga State Park, is notoriously difficult riding. There are lots of steep climbs and downhills as the Backbone Trail takes you 67 miles around the crest of the beautiful Malibu Mountains.

3. Chino Hills State Park

This trail is located inland from Los Angeles but is well worth the drive. It is a moderately difficult trail accented by all of the creeks and mashes that run through its red rolling hills. There’s plenty of wildlife lurking around. Er, including mountain lions.

4. Crafton Hills Loop

Crafton Hills has similar scenery to Chino Hills, but it is a bit more accessible. Beginners can try out the Fire Trail for a nice leisurely ride through Yucaipa National Park. Or, more advanced riders can try to climb Zanja Peak for a breathtaking view.

best mountain biking trails los angeles

5. Gabrielino / Arroyo Trail

Located just north of Los Angeles in Angeles National Forest, this trail is great for riders who like to get a little bit muddy. There are plenty of little creeks and tributaries running through the trails, not to mention a few waterfalls.

6. Santiago Oaks Regional Park

A lot of people don’t tend to associate Orange County with nature. But then again, a lot of people don’t know where to look. Lying in east Orange along the Santiago Creek, Santiago Oaks is home to one of the last existing orange groves in the city. This trail offers an extremely unique view of the city of Orange and a breathtaking view of the Orange Hills.

7. Parker Mesa Overlook

Located in Topanga State Park, this breathtaking overlook is one of the best ways to see the coast. It is a leisurely climb up to the overlook from the trailhead, with only a 900 ft. elevation gain over 5 miles, but the trails are well maintained and the coastal vegetation is quite beautiful.

parker mesa mountain biking

Alan Perlman
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