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Oso Loop in Caspers Wilderness Park

Intermediate
 4.3 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A beautiful scenic loop through the furthest reaches of Casper's Wilderness Park


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Map Key

12.5

Miles

20.1

KM

25%

Singletrack

1,600' 488 m

High

376' 115 m

Low

1,417' 432 m

Up

1,418' 432 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Allowed

Overview

A beautiful scenic loop through the furthest reaches of Casper's Wilderness Park that should provide enough technical challenge to make an intermediate rider remember this as "epic".

Need to Know

Definitely Lion Country out here. Bathrooms available at the Windmill parking lot.

Description

This popular loop takes you from the car and Harley noise of Ortega Highway (SR-74) to the complete silence of the back reaches of the OC wilderness. The overall technical level is intermediate with the descent coming down Oso Trail to Bell Canyon being the most technical part.

The ride starts on San Juan Creek Trail in Casper's Wilderness Park (not to be confused with the "real" San Juan Trail starting at Blue Jay Campground). This is basically a 5 mile doubletrack connector along SR-74 to the beginning of Oso Trail. The trail is pretty but the over-all experience on this leg is impacted by the traffic.

As you start the climb up Oso Trail to the summit, you quickly leave the noise behind. The steady climb will test your aerobic capacity to climb it non-stop. But take the time to stop and enjoy some of the great views back to SR-74. At the summit you can see the Pacific Ocean on a clear day. You can also see beautiful views to the North and East toward old Saddle Back. Don't be surprised if you see no one else on this stretch.

The descent to Bell Canyon is the most technical section (Intermediate) with some longer, steeper descents but no drops or significant exposure. Just amazing views.

There are a few alternatives to get to Bell Canyon including Cougar Pass and East Ridge. But as mapped, this ride continues to Bell Canyon Trail. From Bell Canyon it's a pretty easy ride under the cover of ancient oak trees to the Windmill parking lot. From the Windmill, it's just an easy ride on the paved service road back to the start. Just remember to make a left at the stop sign.

Contacts

Shared By:

Mike Muncey with improvements by Pete Cunningham

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes

#2168

Overall
  4.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#271

in California

#2,168

Overall
65 Views Last Month
2,804 Since Apr 3, 2020
Intermediate

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Photos

Tijeras Creek- Arroyo Trabuco Trail Loop : Part 2
Jul 6, 2021 near Coto De…, CA
"Old Ranch" on Caspers Park Road before Bell Canyon Trailhead.
Jun 13, 2018 near Coto De…, CA

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Jun 1, 2022
Emilio Rivera