Sky Park review

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by dustyyoungblood, Sep 21, 2017.



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  1. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    Sky Park (AKA Santas Village)

    This was my first day here. The day started out with a 9:00 am carpool meet up in south OC for a group of 4 riding buddies. We were all amped to get riding and the 1.5 hr drive up to Sky Park went by quickly.

    Arriving at 10:45, I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few cars in the parking lot. We made Our way inside to get passes and the process was quick and easy. We suited up, some of us with knee pads ready for battle.

    The pedal "upline" is an enjoyable forrest double track with a moderate mellow grade and snaking into some switchbacks near the top.

    Staff was watering down the very dry powder soil on the top of the hill and spraying several corners on each trail for the first couple hours.

    The top serves 4 seperate descents all originating right next to each other.

    First for a warm up, Sliegh Ride to Playground.
    "Sleigh ride" and "playground" are beg/intermediate descents. Highly groomed flow trail made for pumping rollers, manualing the straights and slightly boosting a couple features. Not a rock or root in sight. Fun, but not without consequence. Getting to fast or trying to double the rollers will get you bucked.

    Next up was Arrow.
    "Arrow" is a wicked fun run that is black diamond. Starts with a couple rollers into a huge banked wooden corner. Then some 8' long table jumps that anyone can clear. And a 3-4' drop with appropriate landing. Loved this run did it 3 times. All the jumps can be rolled or cased on this no problem, but there are real doubles that should be boosted. It's also got a wooden bridge with a very steep long backside, that it you flew off at speed you would get wrecked hard. So, like all trails at sky park there is like a certain perfect speed were it all works. The bottom has some loose silt single track that challenging to, but 80% of trail is groomed. After my second run on arrow I went and bought some Fox googles at the adventure shop, grabbed my full face helmet and elbow pads and was ready for trying to clear all the jumps.

    "Comet" is a double black diamond. It's a longer trail, and has several punchy uphill sections also. This one does not have man made jumps. But it's got actual rocks and loose silty chutes and techy corners. Another rider called it "90's DH", while still another rider called it "an All mountain trail, but with ladder bridges". The main features of comet are Ladders. There are 3 or 4 I can't remember. Some freaky crazy ladders. One of them I should not have ridden but I made it. There are P lines, but hard to see which way to go untill it's to late. One of our group felt safer walking several sections on this trail. Definantly more consequence to a missed line on comet. Comet also has super fun drop (5-6')to a steep long landing then a huge step up. The entry is a stupid eroded left hand corner between to trees then boom you are launching!!!! That was a highlight and easy and fun.

    "Neverland jump line"
    Double black diamond jump trail. This one has doubles with lips. You can still roll or case just about every feature on the trail if you have to. First pass down I hated it and cased every single jump. It hurt. And I though they were to big for my jumping experience. It's been a long time since I've seen a lip, and I was never confident boosting anyway. Always preferred natural terrain.

    But, the bottom half had a set of 3 tables followed by a step up that looked wicked fun. So we walked back up and ran that section 4 times and cleared them all. It was awesome. And a huge confidence boost. Shred. The lower 3 jumps along the fence all worth the price of admission. Just take the hands off the brakes and fly. Then try to clear the step up.

    2 more passes and I'd clear the whole trail. Next time :)

    What's my take away?

    1. It's all good fun. Worth the drive and $$
    2. Great place to take a mixed group of skill levels. Want to learn to jump. No better place. They have intense rentals and shop/mechanics to
    3. Food is good. You'll need a $20 for lunch or dinner at either restaurant. It's a great atphosere to chill out in the village. They often have live music at night, so plan on hanging out.
    4. I don't know Sh!t about riding park. I'm 42 and broken. But sky park was just my size. You'll get tired before you get bored.
    5. Sky park is pretty small on a map. But they really packed in a lot of fun riding in a small area. There is some XC stuff we never rode, but that would give rides more options than jumps if they wanted. You will get tired before you get bored, that's for sure. Lots of upper body work pumping everything and jamming corners.
     
    Grego, MattB, bvader and 19 others like this.
  2. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    Really wishing them the best... a lot of time, $$$, and love went into that set up!
     
    kioti, Tom the Bomb, PATKOUG and 7 others like this.
  3. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    Thanks for the great write-up @dustyyoungblood and I'm glad you had a great time. :thumbsup: Sounds like just the ticket for me to become a better jumper. :sneaky:
     
    Sidewalk, kioti, Tom the Bomb and 4 others like this.
  4. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
    I thought it was only open weekends?
     
    Tom the Bomb likes this.
  5. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    Report from last Sat. I thought they were open Th-Sun. If you are serious about wanting to go during the week pm me.
     
    Tom the Bomb and Cornholio like this.
  6. SoCal_Rider

    SoCal_Rider Member

    Location:
    Temecula/Murrieta
    Name:
    Ryan
    I completely agree with @dustyyoungblood 's review. I've been to Skypark 5 times since they opened in July. I suck at jumping and am ground-friendly. My first time there I started with trying to clear the tabletop jumps on Arrow. I got those and then started to put all the features together on Arrow.

    From Arrow I progressed to casing just about every double on Jump Line. I agree that totally sucks. But my last time there something clicked and I finally felt comfortable enough in the air to not hit the brakes and I began clearing most of the doubles. Landing on the backs of the doubles makes jumping so much more fun. My last couple of runs I even sacked up and tried the wood "whale tail." That was all mental.

    I think I can say today that I can now jump. I really give props to Skypark for building good progression in their trails and allowing me to build up my confidence without fear of killing myself.
     
    Grego, MattB, Sidewalk and 14 others like this.
  7. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    Been twice now, and I was an instant fan.

    I cleared all, or near all the jumps on Neverland on the second run (run one was for sighting). Though I was with a friend who loves to jump, so we fed off each others enthusiasm a bit. The jumps get better every run.

    Arrow is deceivingly fun. Everything there is the right size to get decent air, but not feel like you will pay (hard) for a mistake. Good spot to practice. Though I found that I prefer to skip the bottom half and go right back into the climb.

    Comet is my favorite. Only obstacle I think I have missed so far is a narrow beam wood feature drop not far before the drop to step up. I've only got three runs on it, but I think I could ride it for hours. My type of trail!

    What was missed in the review was the small obstacles not on the downhill trails. There is a bunch of trials type obstacles in random places, with the biggest I found at the end of Comet. Good place to practice trials type of skills between runs. We would goof off on them for a few minutes between runs before heading back up.

    From my understanding, the cost of entry for the bike includes all the other attractions. I'm tempted to go earlier next time and maybe take a break half way through and try the rock wall and other stuff for a while.
     
    Grego, MattB, bvader and 13 others like this.
  8. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Awesome reviews, Guys... I hope they are successful in the long term, as it sounds like a pretty cool place.
     
    kioti, Tom the Bomb, PATKOUG and 4 others like this.
  9. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    Oh, and they are planning on staying up YEAR ROUND. If snow hits, put on your +/fat tires and you can still go up! In addition, they are planning MORE trails, this was just there first attempt! I'm hoping for maybe a pump track in the least.
     
    kioti, Faust29, Tom the Bomb and 6 others like this.
  10. MrGreedom

    MrGreedom Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Name:
    Ryan
    Current Bike:
    BH Lynx6
    So when is the Sky Park IMTB takeover?
     
    DangerDirtyD and Cornholio like this.
  11. Cornholio

    Cornholio iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    OC
    Name:
    B
    I so want to go here.. gonna see if I can sneak up Sunday. My wife has a function and she said my MIL might watch our toddler but I have to see about duration.
     
  12. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic, Stumpu and Enduro
    Been there 3 times and next weekend will be my 4th. I am not a good jumper but have progressed. Arrow helped that. Jumpline is my next target. This place is a hoot. I am bringing some beginners next week to give it a go. I am positive they will enjoy it. I spoke with a rider the 1st time there. He said Jumpline has the best flow of any line in socal, take that for what it's worth.
    Head up there take your family's the kids will have plenty to do if they don't ride. The family who brought this place back to life deserves something for it. It's a gem.
     
    Grego, MrGreedom, MattB and 9 others like this.
  13. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic, Stumpu and Enduro
    Like to add a couple things that came to mind. The forest this place resides in is beautiful. Ferns and all.
    They also have a couple XC style trails called Dark Forest and Deck the halls. Deck the Halls has some good challenges and some features. They added an XC loop complete with signage. Wasn't there 2 visits back.
     
    MrGreedom, herzalot, kioti and 8 others like this.
  14. riiz

    riiz Member

    Location:
    Redlands, CA
    Name:
    Eric
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Heckler/Killmaleon
    I want to try Skypark pretty badly, but that damn $30 fee for a liftless bikepark is hard to swallow when I can go another 20 minutes further and ride lifts or not and spend nothing. If they ever revise their fees for bike only access, I'll be there.
     
  15. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    That's the problem they are going have getting people to try it. It's not snow summit and never will be. In some ways it's better. After going and trying the $30 felt fine to me. But a $10 early am or afternoon access bike only pass would get me up a couple more times :)
     
  16. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    I understand your point, but this sounds like it was a labor of love for an individual or family, so paying back to recoup costs seems fair. Perhaps they could drop it a bit to find a price point that entices the right number of riders, thus increasing their "payback" while not exceeding capacity. I'll bet a fee of $20 would net them more $$$ in the long run. Perhaps they could even have a "contributions" box for appreciative customers.

    All I know, is I REALLY need to go there.
     
  17. kioti

    kioti iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    Current Bike:
    ibis ripley
    I think I believe in Santa Claus again!
     
  18. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    the flow factor on some of the trails at sky park contain at least 25% more flow per linear foot than the "flow trails" at demo forrest SC. Albeit the descents are much less in vertical feet, don't let that detour you. The short laps are really interesting and a welcome experience. Enduro park, broduro, hoot city, high fives, stoke, gears and beers, BBQ and boosting.
     
  19. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic, Stumpu and Enduro
    $15 after 3pm. Guessing that will change with the time change.
     
  20. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic, Stumpu and Enduro
    You won't be disappointed.
     
  21. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    This place is much more attractive to the more mellow crowd, or the enduro crowd that wants something family friendly. A less skilled rider can come here and not feel like they are going to die like SS. The expert riders can still enjoy it too.

    Personally, I just have a tough time getting motivated to do lift services. I like to RIDE my bike, I don't like shuttling, this place accommodates by giving my a place I can pedal up, and do some cool flow lines down. I don't have a problem with shuttlers (except in an enduro RACE event :)), but it isn't my type of riding.

    Something @LLPoolJ and I have talked about is how you can make a big day out of riding Rim Nordic in the morning, then Skypark in the afternoon enjoying the mountain weather. Or like we did a few weeks ago, ride Skyline, eat some lunch, then head down to round the day off with Skypark.

    SS will always attract more DH people, and people who prefer to shuttle.
     
  22. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    Plus, a DH bike would be overkill at skypark. Much more set up for short travel bikes
     
  23. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    Yep, nothing there you can't run on a 120mm bike just fine, with a 140-150mm probably being ideal. There were a few drops and such that were more long travel friendly, but I can't think of any that weren't optional.
     
  24. SoCal_Rider

    SoCal_Rider Member

    Location:
    Temecula/Murrieta
    Name:
    Ryan
    I just got back from another day at Skypark. A cool, fall day up there. Almost chilly. Nice for a change. I took my wife. She loves Arrow and will ride it over and over. It's perfect for her skillset. She did her second run on Comet today and was much more comfortable than the first. We rode it before lunch so she wasn't to gassed this time.

    Another plus I noticed about Skypark: no/minimal gnats. I typically ride Idyllwild or Big Bear when it's hot. The gnats can get annoying. And most of Skypark is under shady tree cover. I've been seeing 20-30 deg cooler temps than San Berdoo below.
     
  25. SoCal_Rider

    SoCal_Rider Member

    Location:
    Temecula/Murrieta
    Name:
    Ryan
    Agree. I've ridden everything there on my 120mm Ripley LS with 140mm fork. When I was casing Jump Line I wished I had more, but now that I've got the flow down I'm fine.

    I've seen everything there from hardtails and XC bikes to a couple of DH bikes.
     
  26. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
    oh right, thurs-sunday. Usually my day to ride is Wed but may be able to pull off a thurs at some point. Im not much of a jumper tho, unless the takeoffs/landings are forgiving and not -dare i say it- "lippy".
    Comet sounds more my kinda thing. Itd be fun to do exploration trail in the am and hit skypark after.
     
    LLPoolJ, MrGreedom, Sidewalk and 4 others like this.
  27. scan

    scan iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Thinking of going up there friday, anyone interested??
     
    trmn8er and Cyclotourist like this.
  28. scan

    scan iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Finally made it up there today, couldn't pass up the 10$ special by mentioning SDMBA. Super cloudy down at home, then above the clouds it was super sunny/blue skies, warmer than forecasted!! Ken (termn8r) and I went when they opened at 10AM, and it was really busy, but surprisingly not bad on the trails. Fairly short climb up. Did several ups , did Arrow couple times, sleigh ride to playground couple times,dark forest,treeline, deck the halls. Beautiful scenery, lots of shade, hero dirt. Rear brake needed to be bled after the 1st run, waited half an hour at their bike shop.
    Really liked it, although I'm not really into jumping.
    Met an amazing guy who had an adapted trike (he had a spinal cord injury, para). I'll put up another post about this, and 1 pic on this thread.

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    Cyclotourist, mtnbikej, kioti and 9 others like this.
  29. Obsidian

    Obsidian Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Costa Mesa
    Name:
    Obsidian
    Current Bike:
    2017 Intense Tracer
    Badass. I am looking forward to checking this place out very soon.
     
    Cyclotourist and trmn8er like this.
  30. mtbMike

    mtbMike iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Ibis HD5 & Ibis Ripley
    maybe somebody with some "Administrator Juice" could call up to the powers that be at SkyPark and organize an *imtbtrails.com* day!! They just had an SDMBA weekend where it was only $10 for admission.
     
    Cyclotourist, scan, kioti and 4 others like this.
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