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The Luge Loop

Difficult
 4.5 (75) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An OC classic, this night-legal ride features a scenic climb over the OC, and The Luge descent.


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Map Key

7.7

Miles

12.4

KM

65%

Singletrack

2,302' 702 m

High

1,117' 340 m

Low

1,227' 374 m

Up

1,203' 367 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

The iconic bar and grill, Cook's Corner, is protective of parking for its walk-in customers, so please respect their parking requirements for mountain bikers.

Overview

Once on dirt, this ride is one of the good ones. The climb is a rocky doubletrack with crazy good views of the OC and sunsets. The descent is a steep, twisting, cliff-exposed singletrack, more like a carved half-pipe, that snakes to the final paved downhill.

Yes, there's a good amount of riding on pavement, but at least some of it is 40mph downhill... er... huh-hum... actually officer, I was going the speed limit of 35mph, I swear.

Need to Know

All of the dirt on this ride is US Cleveland National Forest and, unlike state/county parks, does not close for rain or darkness (night riding!).

Description

From Cook's Corner, find a good gear and go right (northwest) up Santiago Canyon Rd. Pound out the 1.2 miles of mildly steep pavement and bear right onto Modjeska Grade Rd, a much steeper, paved, first gear grinder. About a 1/3rd of a mile of pain later turn right into a dirt staging area behind a rusted, iron trail gate. This is the start of Santiago Truck Trail (STT).

The single/doubletrack climbs mildly through rocky terrain for 2.5 miles. Be careful not to ride off the trail when distracted by awesome views, especially at sunset. Descend for about 3/4ths of a mile to a rounded hilltop with a flagpole on its crown. This is the official start of The Luge.

An insane rush, this skinny, carved half-pipe plunges steeply down the side of a cliff face, turning and dancing right on the edge. There are a number of 6"-12" drops along its length, sometimes within the turns, sometimes one on top of the other. The trail ends at Live Oak Canyon Rd where you turn right and enjoy the 35-40mph downhill rush back to your car.

Contacts

Shared By:

Dave Gregg with improvements by Nick S

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 75 votes

#104

Overall
  4.5 from 75 votes
5 Star
57%
4 Star
37%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#15

in California

#104

Overall
276 Views Last Month
40,862 Since Jun 6, 2015
Difficult

0%
1%
14%
7%
77%
0%

Photos

Video of the Luge Down hill shot by DPCAero.com
Feb 10, 2016 near Trabuco…, CA
Riding The Luge
Dec 22, 2015 near Trabuco…, CA
Down the Luge. Shot by DPCAero.com
Feb 10, 2016 near Portola…, CA
The scenery from The Luge Trail. Photo by DPCAero.com
Feb 10, 2016 near Trabuco…, CA
My first time riding ‘The Luge’ cautiously.
Nov 26, 2017 near Trabuco…, CA
Looking southeast during the way up.
Dec 14, 2017 near Portola…, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 60 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Mar 18, 2022
Mac Kristin
Mar 18, 2022
L A
7.7mi
Feb 5, 2022
MTBr Of Socal
Always fun, flowy and fast. It's changed over the months and years so it feels like something new every so often.
Jul 10, 2021
Beth Harrington
No shade so bring lots of water and go early. Long fire road climb, I almost collided with some motor bikers so watch out. Super fun down hill it 7.5mi — 1h 30m
May 23, 2021
John Asuncion
7.9mi — 8h 11m
Apr 24, 2021
Dave Gregg
The Santiago Truck Trail climb has been made back into a fire road. The Good: it's easier. The Bad: it's boring. 21mi — 3h 00m
Mar 28, 2021
Maxx Byerly
Mar 14, 2021
Ty Chen Kuo
8h 37m