Trabuco Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in the Santa Ana Mountains. The ride from the street to the Holy Jim parking area is a great beginner ride featuring a gentle climb, a lot of it under the canopy of Oak trees. But once at the beginning of the Trabuco / Holy Jim loop, the terrain becomes a more advanced type of trail. Trabuco is a narrow, steep and rocky climb with cliff edges in some parts that is challenging even to the most fit riders.
There’s an optional hike-a-bike short cut (West Horsethief) but XEN MTB recommends doing the whole route. Once at the Main Divide, a short few miles of fire road gets you to the prize: the Holy Jim trail.
Of course, you could just ride up and back on the Holy Jim trail and skip the punishment of Trabuco, but what fun would that be? Coming down Holy Jim is amazingly fun. It’s technical with plenty of exposure and switch backs to deal with. And there are many sections you can let go of the brakes for a while and just enjoy the cruise.
With an experienced guide like XEN MTB, you’ll know when to push hard, when to ease back and when to fly like the wind!