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14 Places to Go Dirt Biking in California
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14 Places to Go Dirt Biking in California

Whether you’re wanting a thrilling SoCal adventure or a mountain ride in the Bay Area, the Golden State has tons of great dirt biking spots.

California.com

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6 min read

May 06, 2021

There’s nothing like exploring new terrain on a bike. Luckily, the Golden State graces you with all the opportunities. Hundreds of dirt bike areas dot the state, including private facilities and public off-road vehicle paths. Rolling hills, sun-soaked vistas, and lush forest wilderness serve as your backdrop.

Whether you’re on a thrilling South Bay adventure or an epic mountain ride in other Bay Area spots, California gives you no other choice but to throttle it out. So grab your gear, hold on tight, and get ready to go dirt biking in California.

Dirt Bike Tracks in California 

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure few of them are dirt and ride as if there's no tomorrow. When in doubt, throttle it out.

1. Amago Sports Park

If you don’t mind a rough track, head over to Amago Sports Park for a ride to remember. Located in Pauma Valley, the area is perfect for any motorist, no matter the skill level. The 40-acre California dirt bike trail consists of three tracks: main, beginner, and peewee. There are no amenities on site, so remember to bring your own water and snacks.

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2. Baldy Mesa OHV Staging Area

Ever dreamt of riding down Cajon Pass? Make it a reality at Baldy Mesa OHV Staging Area. The two-hour ride is packed with adrenaline, overlooks, and tons of downhill sections. This means you don’t have to be a pro to complete this ride. And if you are, you can always climb up the same route for a more challenging journey. 

Start riding down on Oak Hills Road, conveniently located off of the 15 Freeway. Ride through scenic vistas and lush greenery at Oak Hills—an area that's absolutely flooded with photo ops. Once you pass Oak Hills, you’ll get on Forest Route 3N21 and onto a fire road. This dirt bike track in California is as good as it gets.

They say riding a two-wheeler is not safe, but we say it was not made to be parked in the garage. When life is slow, ride it to make it fast.

3. Ballinger Canyon OHV Day Use Riding Area

The Ballinger Canyon OHV Day Use Riding Area has been popular among dirt-bikers for a while, and we totally see why. Spanning 68 miles of marked and rated ATV trails, the terrain has something for everyone—hard-packed off-roads, twisty sand washes, rugged and steep diamond hill climbs, you name it. If you manage to leave the valley floor and make it to the top of the hills, don’t forget to snap a few pics; the views are truly breathtaking. 

Incredible Dirt Bike Trails in California 

Four wheels move the body, but two wheels move the soul. If you don’t ride on stormy days, you have not experienced the thrill of dirt biking.

4. Mt. Pinos East OHV Trails

If you love open terrain, you’ll find nothing more epic than dirt biking at Mt. Pinos East. Located in Los Padres National Forest, the trailhead is best suited for experts, though there’s no reason for beginners not to have a go. Hill climbs and tight switchbacks fly you through tube-busting rocks, accentuated perfectly by the lush wonders of one of the best forests in California.

5. Penny Pines

Venture out to Penny Pines, where dozens of trails lead you to the beautiful wilderness surrounding Elk Mountain. With three main staging areas catering primarily to experienced riders, the 135-mile area boasts numerous black-diamond trails.

If you’re a novice or just looking to experiment with different tricks, the Middlecreek Staging Area is for you. The paved camping and day-use premises have peewee trails, as well as dry river beds perfect for anyone visiting.

Take care of your bike in the garage and the bike will take care of you on the road. The secret of life is to simply enjoy the ride.

6. Big Meadows 

A mix of beginner-friendly and intermediate loops, Big Meadows is a prime location for those who like to twist the throttle. The moderately challenging trails are a great way to work on your skills. But if you’re an expert looking for a challenge, it’s best to look for adrenaline at the Buck Rock Jeep Trail. Let yourself loose in the gorgeous overlooks of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and head to Buck Rock Campground if it’s looking like an overnight stay.

7. Jawbone Canyon OHV Area

Do you have the power to make it through tough roads while dirt bike riding in California? Head to Jawbone Canyon OHV Area for cross country play, trail riding, and advanced technical hill climbing opportunities. Nestled in the town of Mojave, Jawbone Canyon offers the coolest dirt biking trails in the state you just can't miss. There’s plenty of sand mixed in with challenging hill climbs—it’s an expert dirt biker’s paradise. 

Where to go Dirt Bike Riding in Los Angeles 

If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough. Dirt biking is not just a sport, it’s a way of life, so let the good times roll.

8. Topanga Canyon Loop

Nestled in Topanga State Park, this 10-mile loop trail is a delightful mix of singletracks and fire roads. Starting from the Topanga Creek Outpost, head north on Topanga Canyon Boulevard for about half a mile, then turn right on Arteique Road—a dirt ramp will be waiting for you there.

The beginning of this wood-chip-covered trailhead is all singletrack with a moderate climb. When you reach the middle, an open meadow washed in yellow wildflowers will make the perfect addition to your adventure. This dirt bike riding destination in Los Angeles offers an unforgettable experience.

Dirt Bike Trails in Northern California 

The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you’ve come. Keep your bike high and your head higher.

9. Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area

One of the best dirt bike trails in Northern California is found in Redding. The Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area is delightfully thrilling. Dotted with rustic overlooks and creek crossings, and situated below a massive dam, the off-highway vehicle area boasts steep hills that make for primo jumping areas and berms. Both ATVs and four-wheel drives are allowed to use the paths, provided they’ve obtained a permit. 

10. Clay Pit SVRA

The 220-acre riding area near Oroville was once excavated for clay to construct the Lake Oroville Dam. Now, it’s a fun-filled park suitable for children and novices looking to smooth out their tricks. The Clay Pit SVRA is armed with one jump spot and a marked hazard—the area is lightly trafficked and free to explore. If you want to give ATV lessons, this is the best spot.

If you can still hear your fears, shift a gear. Ride like someone is chasing you because legendary riders roll on.

11. Fingerlake MX Park

Fingerlake MX Park is located in Tehama County’s Red Bluff. Covered in sawdust, clay, and sand, the park offers everything from motocross racing and freestyle motocross, to quad racing and go-karts. Both expert and amateur riders have to purchase a membership to access the park, which only costs $35 per year.

12. Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area

Are you a thrill-seeker looking for extreme adventures? Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area is the place to be. Located in the Gabilan Mountains, this dirt bike trail in Northern California features scenic vistas for days. Lush canyons lead to dizzying elevations, with a number of off-highway vehicle opportunities to try out. At Hollister Hills, you get a “come for the natural beauty and stay for the varied terrain” sort of deal. 

Dirt Bike Trails in the Bay Area 

It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Live to ride and ride to live because life on the road is a lot sweeter than having no final destination.

13. Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area

Nestled in the hills of eastern Alameda and western San Joaquin counties, Carnegie SVRA offers more than 1,300 acres of riding opportunities. This 80-mile dirt bike trail in the Bay Area is dotted with scenic overlooks and stunning landscapes. If you prefer to be off-the-beaten-path, head to the many off-highway opportunities that'll support your motorbike, ATV, 4x4, and side-by-sides.

Dirt Bike Trails in Sacramento

14. Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area

Surrounded by flat, rolling hills, this 800-plus-acre park is a haven for dirt bikers. Operated by the Off-Highway Vehicle Division, the dirt bike trail in Sacramento County offers a variety of interesting terrains for all kinds of ATVs and four-wheel-drive vehicles. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, chances are you’ll find a trail you like. 

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