“One of the best singletracks in Orange County.
— Dan Oakland
Trabuco Canyon Trail
is travelled in both directions, and is often used to complete loops. The trail is 100% singletrack.
As mapped, the trail starts to the right around a green guard barrier and heads down immediately. Initially the trail will be in deep shade but will alternate between shade and sun. The trail definitely has a "beginning, middle, & end." The beginning is nice - a little loose and occasionally rutted, but mostly fun & easy going with some chances to appreciate the view. At a 90-degree left turn, keep an eye out for the "Christmas Tree" that gets an ornament or 2 around the holidays.
You'll know you're in the 'middle' section when the shale begins and the shade goes away. This section requires a little caution, since the trail traverses sharp gravel and there are a few steeper (~15% grade) spots.
Shortly after the shale ends, you'll come to Trabuco Creek, a mostly dry wide rocky creek crossing. Once on the other side, the grade decreases and the trail is more pleasant (still some rocks and roots through). Another green guard gate marks the end of the trail.