Paradise Royale MTB Terrain Park

Paradise Royale MTB Terrain Park

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Paradise Royale MTB Terrain Park

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Hip corner on the medium line. Photo By Allison Lightcap.

The crown jewels of the Paradise Royale Park are the 14-mile-long butter smooth XC loop, the ripping quarter-mile long jump trails in the attached terrain park, and last but not least, the adjacent Tolkan Camground which makes for a killer basecamp. We arrived in the early evening, grabbed a site at the completely empty campground, pedalled no more than 50 feet from our tent and dropped into the jump lines with our night lights on. I was immediately floored by the flow of the skills trails as each of the three (small, medium, large/XL) carved an amazing line to the base of the short slope and even ended in a pump track that included a small wall ride option. To get back to the top of the lines required an easy 8 minute pedal or a 10-15 minute push. The medium line featured floaty jumps about 1-2 bike lengths long and the big line stepped it up to 3-4 bike length jumps with two relatively sizeable money features at the end – a 10 foot tall wall ride and a poppy wood step-up jump. Wooden catepillar stunts started the trails to keep the motos out. I heard veteran Cali rippers like Randy Spangler had a hand in building the lines and it showed. Legit flow no doubt.

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Smooth trails through the dank forest.

The next morning we got after the XC loop. It was a decently hot day but the trail conditions could not have been better as the loop winds through dense and shady forest as it plummets down hillsides and climbs moderate ridges. Supposedly there is 2600 feet of climbing in the loop but you couldn’t tell. The one major climb is extremely well-graded and the trail surface is so damn smooth that it’s fairly effortless to pedal. Occasional sticks and leaf piles are the only obstacles. Ocean views pop up every once in a while and the downhill stretches are a blast as the trail is littered with fly-away natural jumps that have no speed limit. We finished the loop in under three hours and contemplated a second lap. Our mountain lungs had barely been fazed at sea level. The jumps called us back however and we finished the session with a bunch of laps in the gravity park.

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One of the last features on the L/XL line.

The scene at Paradise Royale was impressive because it was obviously built by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. The campground was amazing, the trails were well-signed and the bomber park features were in immaculate condition. The IMBA and the BLM built the trails over three long years in response to the closure of several cycling trails due to new wilderness designations. I don’t know what the deceased trails were like but it sure seems like us riders made out big on the deal, especially since the work isn’t done. Another 16 miles of singletrack are proposed for the area.

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You can't go wrong at Paradise Royale.

Whether you’re road trippin’ north or just up for a destination ride don’t sleep on Paradise Royale. It’s about a six hour drive from Tahoe or three hours from the Bay and it’s worth the gas, for both the trails and the dip in the Pacific that can follow five miles down the road. I’d imagine the trails would be in the best shape spring and fall but the tree cover is pretty dense so you’ll find shade year around. The thick canopy will also ease your mind if you visit in October – harvest season. It’s too dark to grow ganja along the trail so no worries about stumbling into gun-totting locals guarding their patch. Just watch out for momma bears and car break-ins at the trailhead.

Check this link for a Paradise Royale trail map.

Hit this link for a trail review and gps info.

Click this link for an IMBA article on the trail construction.

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