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Crystal Cove SP, California

A Destination for a day of riding trails or a multi-day Tour

Rail & Trail Thanks to Poseidon Bike ( for sponsoring DWR. Their support allows us to bring you articles such as these.

The California State Park features a collection of trails that serve as training grounds for many local trail riders. What isn't known by many of the enthusiasts that cross the wilderness of 'El Moro' are the multiple campgrounds tucked into the trails. They are limited in provisions, no water is available, but doesn't that sort of add to the excitement of a bike-packing adventure? Words and Photos By Chris Reynolds


djacent the emerald beaches of Newport Coast, and tucked away within the ridge that separates the coast from the heart of South Orange County, a protected state park offers wilderness a world away from the hustle and bustle just on the other side of the jagged and wind-beaten coastal hillside. The collection of trails are popular for mountain biking, and relatively well-known as a destination in its own right. The opportunity for disconnecting and sleeping under the stars only gets more rewarding when the adventure to camp is considered. Multiple entry points exist, either from the South, along Pacific Coast Highway at the El Moro turnoff, the West via the Bomber Ridge Trail West Entrance (see page 12 for our experience) or the South-East, via Laguna Canyon Road. The Moro Campground sits at the base along PCH and offers year-around camping for those going the distance along the California Coast. For those looking for a bit more adventure, the Deer Flats, Upper Moro and Lower Moro grounds require a minimum 3 miles of trail riding to enter. With 1000 feet of vertical climbing between the base and the top, route selection is key, especially if packing bags. With the number of trails and campgrounds nestled within the 2,400 acres of wilderness, a day-trip, weekend overnight or multi-day deep dive in the Crystal Cove experience are all available and on offer. What will you come up with? â–˛

Crystal cove, California Orange County, California, USA

Nearby Parking

Moro Campground Entrance (Not Free - Supports State Park) N Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Coast, CA 92651 Coastal Peak Park (Free) 20403 E. Coastal Peak, Newport Coast, CA 92657

Local Provisions

Newport Coast Shopping Center 21181 Newport Coast Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92832 Crystal Cove Shopping Center 8086 Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92657

ABOVE LEFT Choose-your-own-adventure takes new meaning in the 2,400 acre state park, nestled along the California Coast. Buffered by the sea air, the area keeps temperatures in a range that makes four seasons of exploration possible. Jonny (J Dawg) Morphis of Costa Mesa, CA makes the morning charge up Moro Ridge with the Parra brothers, and Luis 'OC Brakeless' running sweep. Read the full story on page 12. ABOVE RIGHT Moro Ridge extends the length of the preserve and the site of two of the four campgrounds in Crystal Cove. 10 | Issue 156


Profile for BICYCLIST

BICYCLIST Magazine #156  

#156 | DWR: Crystal Cove, CA, ISOD: San Diego County, The 24-Hour Overnight, SDMBA Profiled, Gear Patrol: Behind the Curtain at CADBA, Race...

BICYCLIST Magazine #156  

#156 | DWR: Crystal Cove, CA, ISOD: San Diego County, The 24-Hour Overnight, SDMBA Profiled, Gear Patrol: Behind the Curtain at CADBA, Race...