Your Guide to the Best Tracks in Southern California
One of the best things about riding MX in Southern California is that you can ride all year long—and that means you’ve got tons of choices. If you’re local to the SoCal motocross scene or you’re just hoping to take a trip here to get in on the action, you’ve got to choose between a tremendous variety of tracks. We’ve put together this list of the best local riding spots with the best of what we know about them right here so you can choose with confidence.
Share this Image On Your Site!
Motocross in Southern California
In Southern California MX season is basically all of the time, because the weather is almost always perfect for riding. There is almost never a day or night that’s going to leave you without options when it comes to a track that is prepped and ready to go.
The other hallmark of motocross in SoCal is choice. There are tons of riders here, and lots of professionals, because so many big name manufacturers are nearby.
On any given day or night at the track you will see anyone from peewees giving it a shot to old school riders from way back, to today’s stars out for practice runs.
The best Southern California motocross tracks
Without further ado, here are the best motocross tracks in SoCal and all of the details you’d want about each of them.
Address: 12799 Highway 76, Pala, California
Hours: gates open at 8:00am daily and close at 6:30pm daily, with the main track closing at 5:00pm and other tracks closing at 6:00pm; open to the public every day except Wednesday and Thursday.
Facility highlights: Pala Raceway features full-size MX tracks for every rider ranging in experience level and difficulty, including tracks for PeeWees. Pala is expanding at an ongoing pace, adding facilities and new tracks, so expect surprises if it’s been awhile.
Number/type of tracks: Pala offers five MX tracks, three for full-size bikes and two for smaller bikes. Of the full-size tracks, the Upper National and Vet Motocross tracks are best for beginners; the Lower National Motocross track is for everyone from novices to pro riders.
The two smaller size tracks are the 80cc and the PeeWee. Pala also features a Quad track that is wider than a traditional MX course to allow for quads to pass each other safely, with big jumps and natural elevation changes.
Things to know: cost varies depending on the track and whether you’re a member.
What the experts say: “Pala has the best dirt out of all the Southern California tracks and has a great flow to it with fast sections and decent size jumps to have fun on. The best tires to use would be the Pirelli Scorpion MX32.
The way the dirt is there, the Pirelli MX32 will give you the most grip and hook up the best. Suspension wise, it just depends on personal preference. The track doesn’t get too rough or rutted, and I like to run a stiffer set-up at this track.” – Benny Bloss
Address: 50100 Highway 371, Anza, CA 92539
Hours: Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9:00am to 3:00pm (unless the track calendar says otherwise)
Facility highlights: Rolling hills and decomposed granite soil make for great natural-terrain-style tracks. Not too many technical jumps. This track gets rough and is a good suspension test.
Cahuilla Creek is a trek from almost anywhere, but most riders find it worth the drive.
Number/type of tracks: Three: the main or pro track tests the skill of any rider at any skill level; the vet track is designed for beginners and still offers lots of fun jumps; and the 65/85cc track for smaller bikes. There is also a quad track here.
Things to know: cost is $20, military discounts available; facilities include portable toilets; track personnel include flaggers. The only negatives to Cahuilla are the location which makes for a long drive and occasional misses with the watering when it’s hot that leads to puddles in some places and dust in others.
What the experts say: “One of the best open tracks in Southern California, Cahuilla Creek MX allows you to open up your bike! The track flows up and down the natural terrain of the hills that give this track it’s character which makes it a favorite among the local riders. The dirt here is on the softer side with a harder base underneath, which makes this the ultimate track after it rains. I recommend the Pirelli MX32 or the Dunlop MX3S tires for this track. As the day progresses, the track gets choppy, so set your suspension up accordingly.” – DocWeedon
Lake Elsinore MX Park
Address: 31919 Cereal Street, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Near: This park is on the south side of Lake Elsinore, and it is also close to Bundy Canyon.
Hours: Every day except Christmas, 8:00am to dusk
Facility highlights: This is one of the biggest and most famous MX courses in the world, and about 10,000 riders hit the tracks here every month—many of them visiting from all over the world. All of the tracks here are professionally maintained every day, so you’re going to have a good experience at Lake Elsinore.
Number/type of tracks: There are nine tracks here: one main track for all levels, a racing track, two mini tracks, a PeeWee track, and other tracks for those at beginner or intermediate levels which are especially useful for busy days when the main track gets busy and competitive. Not all tracks are open every day, but you can see which are open on the website. There is also a separate quad track here.
Things to know: cost is $20, membership is required to ride.
What the experts say: “Elsinore is one of the trickiest tracks in California. It can be super hard packed some days or good ruts can develop on other days. Because of the soil, the track gets super slippery in the morning when it’s wet. As it starts to break in, the track actually has good traction! I like to run a Bridgestone front tire because it is more trustworthy on the slick soil. For the rear, a Dunlop MX3S is a good choice here.” – Tallon LaFountaine
Address: 1205 Burton Road, Perris, CA 92570
Hours: Different every day of the week, see the calendar here: http://perrismx.com/events
Facility highlights: Perris Raceway offers a nice combination of excellent tractions and some elevation change, and the layout is changed regularly. The overall effect is a track that caters to the pro riders without leaving the average MX enthusiast out in the cold. And since dust restrictions are a factor here, you can count on tracks staying well-watered. Bonus: if you come here regularly in the mornings you’ll stand a great chance of running into big-name pros.
Number/type of tracks: Two: the main MX track for all levels and a PeeWee track.
Things to know: cost is $25 for the main track, $15 for the PeeWee track.
What the experts say: “The oldest track in Southern California, Perris is an easy track to ride and has a lot of hard packed outside turns. Depending on the prep, Perris can develop good tacky ruts. I like to run a Bridgestones X30 on the front and an X40 in the rear. While the track doesn’t develop big bumps, it does get smaller, choppier bumps. For suspension set-up, I like to run a couple clicks stiffer here.” – Tallon LaFountaine
Glen Helen Raceway Park
Address: 18585 Verdemont Ranch Road, San Bernardino, CA 92407
Near: This park is part of the Glen Helen Regional Parks and Recreation Area and is minutes away from Route 66.
Hours: Practice hours run 8:00am to dusk Thursdays; 8:00am to 1:00pm Saturdays without race conflicts; some Sunday practice hours are listed; check website for confirmation.
Phone: 909-384-3942; information line: 909-880-3090
Facility highlights: Located on 256 acres of mostly rugged country, the track at Glen Helen offers natural elevation changes because it is up against a hill. This track is home to the Glen Helen National and hosts races on an almost weekly basis, as well as endurance and grand prix events.
Number/type of tracks: Three. The main AMA National MX track features tough uphills, doubles, and table-tops, as well as varying hard-pack and sandy surfaces. The shorter MX REM/Vintage track is also a great option, as are the Grand Prix, the newly designed PeeWee, the Husqvarna Supercross, and the StadiumCross tracks.
Things to know: cost is $20; there are concessions, bathrooms, grandstands for main track, camping for RVs, and a bike wash area; there are no track personnel.
What the experts say: “Glen Helen is tough. For tires, I love the Pirelli Scorpion MX32 Pro because it’s better on the fast, square edges that Glen Helen gets. For suspension, the trick is to speed up the rebound and go in a bit on the compression to help for later in the day. That track is tough to master and changes so much. Being able to adapt to Glen Helen is huge and will make you a winner there!” – Andrew Short
Address: 12685 Holly Street, Riverside, CA 92501
Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 9:00am to 7:00pm, Saturday and Sunday, 8:00am to 4:00pm, closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Facility highlights: The Milestone Ranch MX Park covers 55 acres with multiple tracks and an MX pro shop.
Number/type of tracks: Five, including the main MX track for intermediate and pro riders, the Vet track for beginners, an entry level track, a PeeWee track, and an SX track.
Things to know: cost is $25.
What the experts say: “Milestone fun for any rider. They have an 6 different tracks suited to all different riding levels, from beginners to pros. So if you ride a dirt bike Milestone has something for you. The dirt at Milestone can be hard packed or loamy but it depends on how they prep it for the day. While there is no natural terrain elevation changes, you will want an all-around balanced bike from front to rear. I like to run a soft compound tire, I usually use the Dunlop Geomax MX3, front and rear. Milestone is a good place to ride during the week, just don’t go on the weekend unless you have a race or you have to. It is always super packed on the weekends I went.” – Tyler Enticknap
Los Angeles County
L.A. County Raceway
Address: 7010 East Ave T, Palmdale, CA 93552
Near: This park is obviously close to everything that Los Angeles has to offer, including Disneyland which is about 22 miles away from Palmdale.
Hours: In summer, Wednesday night practice, Saturday night races. In winter, Saturday practice, usually either 8:00am to 1:00pm or 9:00am to 2:00pm, and Sunday races and practice, same hours.
Facility highlights: This is a fun track for those looking for some real sand racing and cool elevation changes, including some serious uphill jumps on the steep pit sides. Here you’ll get lots of speed and plenty of challenges.
Number/type of tracks: One main sand track.
Things to know: cost is $30 per rider; there are facilities including a bike wash area, concessions for parts and food, grandstands, portable toilets, and tables. There are EMTs and flaggers onsite.
What the experts say: “A pure sand track in Southern California! Located in the High desert town of Palmdale, LACR mixes sand, big jumps and elevation changes for one of the most unique tracks that riders have in California. Tire choice would be a soft terrain tire such as Dunlop’s MX3S tire front and back.”
Zaca Station MX
Address: Zaca Station Rd. Buellton, CA 93427
Website: https://www.facebook.com/zacastation.mxpark (private)
Hours: Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 9:00am to 2:00pm
Facility highlights: The Zaca Station MX Park is 1.3 miles of classic outdoor motocross laid along a hillside. That means awesome downhills, uphills, and big rolling jumps for riders.
Number/type of tracks: One main track.
Things to know: cost is $20 for members, $35 for non-members. You must call ahead to ride here.
What the experts say: “Zaca is the best central California track we have and here are a few tips to rip some fast laps. Show up right around 9:30am, as the track has already been broken in and it’s not too muddy. Zaca only waters BEFORE everyone starts riding track stays pretty wet until 1:00pm. After that the track gets pretty blown out. The bike set up that works well is a stiff front end with the forks extended out and a low stiff rear end. The best tires for Zaca are a soft terrain tire, I recommend the Dunlop Geomax MX3S front and rear. Always prepped well, I have fun riding there anytime I go. Since it is a ‘private’ track, you will have to call ahead and get your name on the list.” – Tyler Enticknap
Address: Sherwin Creek Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Near: Mammoth Lakes, California
Hours: only during race times in June, see schedule here: http://www.mammothmotocross.com/racer/practice-info
Facility highlights: The home of the Mammoth Motocross event every summer, the oldest continuously running motocross event in the United States.
Number/type of tracks: One main track.
Things to know: All practice days are pre-sold and limited to 400 riders per day; there is no open practice. Practice passes are non-transferable, non-refundable, and there is one practice pass per day/ per eligible rider.
What the experts say: “Here is some insight on how I get ready for Mammoth Motocross. Mammoth contains a lot of rocks, a very hard base and the berms are powder. Because of this unique soil, the track gets very rough at the end of the day. The braking bumps get big, big rocks start to come up, and the acceleration holes get sharp. I like to setup my bike plush and towards the back. I run Dunlop’s Geomax MX3S with Moose tubes front and rear. I also run skid plate and hand guards in order to protect my bike and myself from the rocks. The elevation takes away a lot of power from the bike. To counteract that, riders need to bring higher tooth sprockets and if you own a dirt bike with a carburetor bring different jets as well.” – Tyler Enticknap
Have a Great Ride!
We hope you enjoyed this in-depth look at some of the coolest options in motocross tracks here in Southern California. Now it’s up to you to get out there and ride—and when you do, let us know which tracks you liked the best and how the riding was.