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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I grew up in Orange County, and have hiked Holy Jim Trail many times. I recently got into mountain biking, and as I'm visiting family in OC over the Christmas holiday, I was hoping to ride it. It seems like it's gotten pretty good reviews, and the waterfall a couple miles in means I'll have something to treat my girlfriend to.

But, it's been wet. Has anyone been up the dirt road to the parking lot recently? Is it passable for a Toyota Camry, or do you need a 4WD to steer clear of the mud? We used to do it in a minivan when I was a kid, but I haven't been out there in a LONG time.

Also, is the trail in OK shape? Apparently you can get into the loop via Trabuco trail (?), so if the dirt road is shot, can anyone tell me about how to ride the trail from the other side?

And, if it's just total slop right now, can anyone recommend some good spots to ride? We're both mostly XC riders, and she's getting over an injury, so there are some confidence issues. Bike handling is fine, and I want to take her through something a bit more fun than Whiting Ranch. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
 

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Team Hardcore Cornbread
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San Juan trail is in great shape right now. I rode yesterday and there has already been trail work since the rains. Big thanks to whoever worked on the trail:thumbsup:

I cannot speak for HJ but avoided that trail thinking it would be too wet, at least the lower section. Also, I find it is easier to ride in from Live Oak road vs. drive to trail head. It is only 5 miles and a good warm up for the good stuff. I always find enjoyment in passing the cars that are driving 5 miles an hour:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice. I was hoping for S.J., but I don't know if the girl will be up for the climb - I don't think we're going to be able to set up a shuttle :(. Maybe we'll ride the dirt rode up to the falls - should be some moderately techy stuff, and it won't kill us. Any other suggestions out there? Anyone have any experience night riding HJT?
 

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Team Hardcore Cornbread
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How advanced is your girlfriend? I find the night climb on SJT to be easier than HJ. If you are going to ride to the falls expect the first 5-6 miles on the road to be very bumpy with a moderate climb most the way. Once you hit the HJ trailhead the first 2 miles consist of 4 water crossings with root and rock. I have never riden to the water fall, only hiked. Most of the trail to the water fall is hike a bike. You could always give her a try at riding up further on HJ trail towards Main Divide after the falls.

Oh yeah, it is raining right now in the canyon.
 

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striker!
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I was up there yesterday and the road up to the HJ and Trubuco trailheads has some DEEP water crossings. The raised trucks, jeeps and H2's were doing fine but I wouldn't do it with a car. More importantly, HJ is in bad shape. There are dozens of fallen trees that fell due to the snow weight and make it a royal pain. We got about half way up and were warned by other bikers coming down that there were more trees and ankle deep snow. We aborted and hit up the luge which is in fantastic shape.

S
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, my trip was pretty wet, so I only went out riding one day. Unfortunately, my girlfriend was feeling a little under the weather, so our climb up San Juan lasted maybe a dozen switchbacks. The plus side is, I've learned a lot about the available trails in the area, and I'm going to make a point of coming down for a few days of riding in early spring. Thanks so much for your ideas and information!
 

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There's always Wood Canyon in Aliso Viejo as well, I'd think Mathis being rather rocky would remain an option for climbing, though it is rather exposed. Coyote could still be fun and let her get some confidence back, same with Cholla and the ridge / fire road up top. Plenty of trails to make a day of it and quite a few trees down over the main fireroad.
Been a while since I've been back up there though, it's been raining off and on for a week or so around Temecula.
 

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PlasticBike said:
So, I grew up in Orange County, and have hiked Holy Jim Trail many times. I recently got into mountain biking, and as I'm visiting family in OC over the Christmas holiday, I was hoping to ride it. It seems like it's gotten pretty good reviews, and the waterfall a couple miles in means I'll have something to treat my girlfriend to.

But, it's been wet. Has anyone been up the dirt road to the parking lot recently? Is it passable for a Toyota Camry, or do you need a 4WD to steer clear of the mud? We used to do it in a minivan when I was a kid, but I haven't been out there in a LONG time.

Also, is the trail in OK shape? Apparently you can get into the loop via Trabuco trail (?), so if the dirt road is shot, can anyone tell me about how to ride the trail from the other side?

And, if it's just total slop right now, can anyone recommend some good spots to ride? We're both mostly XC riders, and she's getting over an injury, so there are some confidence issues. Bike handling is fine, and I want to take her through something a bit more fun than Whiting Ranch. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
Still puddly muddly??
 
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