Southern California Motocross Tracks
by Gary Martini
|Baymare||Hwy 118, Moorepark||*||*|
|Westlake||101 Frwy @ Westlake Ave
|Used for Viewfinders Gran Prix the track Featured a western movie set where the weekly western Gun Smoke was filmed This track hosted a Inter-Am in 1969 the track ran through the barn, and down the main street of the western town||Western movie set was still intact until
when it was finally destroyed for a housing development.
|Deadmans Point||Junction of Hwys 18 247 Lucerne Valley||Local races. Some AMA district 37 MX's||Land is still intact. Track is rumored to still be there. Also rumored to be used a practice track by Rex Staten|
|Muntz Cycle Park||23 Frwy @ Sunset Hills Rd
|Built on a parcel of land owned by housing
developer "Mad Man Muntz" (who also owned a chain of stereo
stores in the 70's
this track was a favorite of the San Fernando Valley locals such as Tom Rap, and Eddie Cole.
|As of 1997, land was still there being used to graze cattle. It is however surrounded by urban sprawl|
|Hopetown||Santa Susana Pass Road at the east entrance to Simi Valley. Also Known As Correginville||An old western movie set. This land was
owned by legendary comedian Bob Hope (as was a big portion of Simi Valley
Malibu area in those days) Home of the Hopetown Gran Prix featuring the famous Hopetown mud hole. This event was one of
the first U.S. appearances of Torsten Hallman, Joel Robert, and Roger Decoster
|Hopetown course is gone. The movie set lapsed into disre pair. Recently new ownersare attempting to make a comeback as a movie set with the rise in popularity of period movies (ie westerns)|
|Castiac||I-5 at Hwy 126 Junction||Not the track located at Castiac Lake today.
Original track was laid out by CMC president Stu Peters and
original partner Calvin Franks
using a rented farmers field. In 1968 this track hosted an Inter-Am whichwas won by Joel Robert
|Exact location of track not clear. Believed to be in between the north and south portions of I-5 No evidence of original track remains.|
|Indian Dunes||I-5 @ Hwy 126 - 2 miles from Magic Mountain||One of the original "cycle parks" which allowed open riding. This park featured two main tracks International, and Shadow Glen as well as speedway, TT, and a separate mini bike track. The park was also used to film action movies. Multiple races each week as well as Gran Prixs with a river crossing jump as part of the track||Stopped operating as a cycle park in Feb
1985 Many local riders and parents launched petition drives to have it
reopened to no avail. Continued
to operate as a movie set until recently.
Once a wooded area next to a river, all evidence of the original
park has been removed including the trees.
Now nothing more
than a field of lettuce plants. Unless you raced there you would never know it was ever there.
|Irwindale Drags||I-210 @ I-605 Irwindale||Part of the famous night MX scene of the
late 60's early 70's. In those days is was
possible to race from Tuesday night through
Friday nights every week.
|In 1976 the city of Irwindale leased the property to Miller Brewing Company for one dollar a year to build a brewery. The main buildings sit on the exact spot the MX track was located. No evidence remains of the track or the drag strip.|
|Ascot Park||I-110 @I-405 @ 91 Frwy Gardena||The most famous and longest lasting of the night tracks. Built as a Flat track in the 1940's, Ascot hosted it's first night MotoCross in 1968. Credited with starting the "stadium Motocross" concept years before the first "Superbowl OF Motocross" in 1972 Ascot was the starting point for the riders that would go on to race the early Supercrosses Note: this was actually the third location for Ascot Park. Two previous locations in the 1930's were closer to down town LA.||Ascot hosted it's last Night Motocross on Nov 2, 1990 and closed for good several weeks later. Development of the property has been delayed by discovery of toxic chemicals in the soil, and the economic downturn of the area. Today, the dirt mound the bleachers were built on is all that remains of the original race track.|
|Lyons Drag Strip||I-405 @ Wilmington Ave
|One of the many drag strips in southern
California at the time, Lyons hosted weekly
|Lyons closed in the late 1970's to become a storage lot for ocean going shipping containers. Small evidence of the original drag strip is visible but no indication of the MX track.|
|Cycle Haven||Terminal Island at the base of the Vincent St
Bridge, Los Angeles Harbor.
|One of the local "Urban Tracks".
run by a local club.
|While the track was popular with the locals, the owners realized they could make much more money by rent the land to store shipping containers. The track and surrounding areas were paved over to make room for containers at the end of the 1970's.|
|Fontana Drag Strip||North of I-10 Frwy Near the
old Fontana Steel Plant
|Yet another of the drag strip moto cross tracks. While never having night MX races, CMC Ran some early Golden State Races there.||Destroyed to make housing developments.|
|Orange County International
|Junction of I-405, I-5 in
|Located at the end of the runway at El Toro
Marine Base, OCIR was the newest of the
southern California drag strips. Thursday
night MX races were very popular with
Orange County locals.
|This track lasted until the early 80's.
It has since been bulldozed to make a high tech business park and
interchange for a new freeway that also ran through what was once
|Osteens Cycle Park||Near junction of I-57, I-10 and 71 freeways in Pomona||Owned by professional baseball legend Claude Osteen, this track featured a natural terrain out door track including a long off camphor section laid out in a bowl shaped valley.||The park closed after only a few years of operation. It is now a housing tract. The land was so altered to make houses, the untrained eye could find no evidence of the track ever being there.|
|Rialto Cycle Park
(AKA Glen Helen)
|Junction of I-15 and I-215
Freeways in Devore
|In the same basic location as the modern
day Glen Helen, this early, much smaller
version featured a well laid out track kept
moist with water from a natural springs on
|Located near a medium security prison, the park was closed for a number of years. Legend has it that the prison complained about the noise|
|Junction of I-15 and I-10
freeways in Ontario
|This all new racing faculty was built as a
work of art in the late 1960's. It
an oval track, road course, drag strip, and Moto cross track. With 80,000 seats the
track hosted Indy cars and a Varity of events including Sunday Moto Crosses about once a month.
|A victim of the economic down turn in the 70's this faculty closed after only a few years of operation. It was eventually torn down. Until recently the giant dirt mound that held the seats remained as evidence of the track. This is now also gone. On the site is an industrial complex and the new Ontario Mills Super Mall|
|El Toro Speedway||Junction of I-5 and I-405 Freeways||Located across the freeway from OCIR this
small 1/8th mile short track also hosted Sunday Moto Crosses. The track took
advantage of the natural bowl the oval track was in to feature some sizable hills.
|The area is now a retail center. The track was torn down in the early 1970's, a victim of the urban sprawl that is rapidly consuming much of Orange County.|
|Sunrise Cycle Park. (AKA 395, or Adelanto Cycle Park.||Hwy 395 in Adelanto.||Opened in the early 1960's, the original track had short track and TT's. Moto Cross Was started in the late 60's.||Over the years, the faculty has been operated by a number of different lease holders. The land and the track are there today, but at the current time, the faculty is closed.|
|Huntington Beach Cycle Park||One block north of beach Blvd at Gothard in Huntington Beach||Originally a TT track, one Sunday a month was a Moto cross using a long, but flat track. Mostly a local track, the regulars were hard to beat there.||Closed in 1973, the site is now a trailer park|
|Elsinore Raceway||I-15 @ Railroad Canyon Road in Elsinore||A TT Scrambles track for many years, in the late 1960's an occasional Moto Crosswas run.||The faculty was closed in the late 1970's for racing. The TT track is still there in good condition. The track is used as an access road for a shooting range for the gun club that now owns the land.|
|Hwy 74 aprox 2 miles from I-15 near Elsinore||On the same road that leads to Perris, this
challenging track featured several water
crossings, many hills and big rocks.
|Several CMC races ran there in the early 70's the faculty closed after being in operation for only a short time. While the track itself is gone, the land it was on is still undeveloped. The locals still ride there.|
|De Anza Cycle
|I-60 east of Marino Valley
Near Banning Pass
|This park also featured open riding. Laid out in several steep valleys. The track was on the side of a hill and not very accessible to spectators, nor were the pits easy to get to.||The faculty opened and closed numerous times
through out the 70's and 80's. Recently
operators attempted to get state funding to improve the faculty and
operate as a "Green Sticker" park.
Their efforts were mired down by local and regional politics.
Amid scandals and charges of bribery, the park closed for good,
some of the acreage being taken for an
ever expanding land fill.
|Trojan Speedway||I-710 @ Florence Ave||Built in the heart of East Los Angeles industrial area in the 50' and 60', this was a short track that had some night MX. While never as famous as Ascot and others it was part of the weekly So-Cal night race circuit||Land was sold in the mid 1970's. Track closed property is now a self-storage business. No evidence of the original track|
|182nd Street @ NormandeAve. Gardena||Here is an unusual one.
1960's MX legend Gary Baily's brother, Bob bought an entire
operating golf course with the intention to have a riding park and Moto
Cross track. The course was laid out, races were scheduled, but at the
last minute the city refused to issue operation permit.
that ran in Cycle News asked "have you ever dreamed of riding on a golf course".
|The faculty never opened for business. To this day this remains the only example of land use in this fashion. Bob Bailey was forced to sell the property. The area is now houses. Note: While no one ever raced at the track, some locals were rumored to have broken into the faculty and practiced on the newly constructed track at night.|
|Corona Raceway||Junction of I-15 and 91 Fwy in Corona.||Famous for the Corona Gran Prix using a seven mile track. The night races used a bowel originally designed for flat track and TT Races. The night races were notorious for poor lighting. Spectators turned their car lights on the track to help racers see. This track was enormously popular with the Orange County, and Riverside area locals.||This faculty lasted until the mid 1980's. When Saddleback closed in 1984, the operators of the
popular "Saturday Saddleback" races moved these events to Corona
for a short while until this faculty also closed, a victim of increasing
land values and worries over liabilities.
The land is now a large housing and light industrial complex. No
the original track is left although the locals swear they can point out certain sections of the track.
|Irvine||91 Frwy @ Green River Anaheim Hills||Thought to be one of the first "Moto
tracks in the country. Although called "Irvine" location was what is now Anaheim Hills. Races were run by ACA. Track consisted of river bottom sand. Poster advertising 1966 races recently surfaced, map to location used only roads and "expressways" as this was before the interstate system carved up southern California.
|Area has been so completely developed, no traces remain of original track or surrounding area.|
|Sea Breeze Park||I-5 near the junction of the Pacific Coast Highway in San Clemente||This natural terrain Moto Cross track was laid out on a rolling hill side over looking the Pacific Ocean. Several CMC races ran there in the early 70's. Riders liked the fact that the ocean breezes kept the tempitures down in the summer (unlike Carlsbad) and that they could be at the beach five minutes after their last moto.||Noise complaints from a church some distance away spelled the beginning of the end for Sea Breeze. The rapid and prolific development of south Orange County in the mid 1970's sealed the fate. Today in the area there are thousands of tract houses and no evidence that Sea Breeze was ever there.|
|Riverside Raceway||I-60 @ I-215, Riverside||While not a MotoCross Track, this area was famous for the Riverside Gran Prix.||Today the Property is a shopping mall. Nothing remains of the car track or off road course.|
|Perris Raceway||Hwy 74 in the town of Perris||Started life in the 1950's as a half mile and TT tracks. CMC started racing Moto Cross there in the late 1960's. Featured in the original "On Any Sunday" movie, the scene where the racer on the Sachs throws away his "$ 30.00 prescription glasses. Legend has it that racer in the movie is Honda's Eric Crippa||One of only two tracks that remain today from the original tracks of the 60's and 70's, this faculty holds weekly events. Rumors of the track closing for good come and go. Although the track is just yards from houses, operations continue as of this writing.|
|Saddleback Park||Santiago Canyon Road Irvine.||The prototype for open riding parks across
the country, Saddleback is possibly the most famous and photographed track
in the sport. Often called
the "mecca" of Moto Cross, more national stars emerged from
Saddleback than any other track in the country.
One little known story is that the original MX track was far from
the location of the track that most people knew.
The first track was laid out in 1967 by Joel Robert. The location
was further down the hill near
the city of Irvine. Those that rode the first
track state it was far superior to the more famous track. Noise complaints from the
town forced park operator (Joe Parkhurst)
to move the track to it's more commonly known location.
|Saddleback Park closed in July 1984. There are many legends and stories as to why the park stopped operations. Disputes between the leaseholder and the property owner, the giant Irvine Company initially closed the park. Over the years there have been many efforts to reopen the track both from within the MX industry, and by private individuals. The Irvine Company was, at one time, supposed to have had over 300 million in unsettled liability lawsuits pending, making a reopening very unlikely. Today, a new freeway has removed most of what was once the pit area. Most of the track is still desirable to any one who has ever ridden there.|
|Carlsbad Raceway||Palamore Airport Road off the I-5, Carlsbad.||The only other track from this era that still
operates today. The drag strip was built in the 1950's. Moto Cross was started in 1966 by CMC. This track is as famous as the Saddleback track, gaining international fame in the early 1970's when a round of the 500 World Championship GP's was held there and televised on Wide World Of Sports.
|The track is still in operation today, although a shadow of it's former self. The property has been sold several times (owners included the owners of the Wimpys hamburger chain). The topography of the site makes development difficult. While once in a rural area, the track is completely surrounded by industrial and high dollar residential development that is right to the fence surrounding the track. As the entrance to the property is being leveled for slabs, the end is rumored to be near.|