Despite Saddleback Park’s closing in 1984, you can still see signs in the landscape today of what was once America’s Best Motor Playground. From the original entrance at Peter’s Canyon Road (Red Star), to the small track (Aqua Star) where a lot of riders learned to ride their first bike to the famous National MX Track (Orange Star) near the Main Entrance Gate (Yellow Star) off of Santiago Canyon Road.
These recent Google terrain photos show the last bit of remains of the very popular 400 acre motor playground and the 241 toll road that divides the park. As you can see below, the land is still undeveloped prime real estate adjacent to Irvine Lake. The hillside between the park and lake is an active county landfill.
Saddleback Park maybe closed but the world famous motor playground left an indelible mark behind on the landscape and more importantly, in hearts of many off-road riders and race fans whom had the opportunity to enjoy the unique motor playground.
Truly, a worthy group of racers whom shaped the World of Motocross.
TRANS-AMA CHAMPIONS – SADDLEBACK PARK Vintage MX Motocross Short-Sleeve T-Shirt >BUY DIRECT
The historic 1970’s Trans-AMA series was the greatest motocross series with the best racers from all over the world racing at Saddleback Park, Carlsbad Raceway and other famous American mx tracks. This tribute t-shirt has the famous Saddleback Park Finish Line Banner graphic with all the series champions’ years on the back. The classic Saddleback Park logo is printed on front to make this unique moto shirt your new favorite.
1970 Dave Nicoll United Kingdom BSA
1971 Sylvain Geboers Belgium Suzuki
1972 Åke Jonsson Sweden Maico
1973 Adolf Weil West Germany Maico
1974 Roger DeCoster Belgium Suzuki
1975 Roger DeCoster Belgium Suzuki
1976 Roger DeCoster Belgium Suzuki
1977 Roger DeCoster Belgium Suzuki
1978 Bob Hannah United States Yamaha
Oh, the amazing history of America’s 1st Motor Playground. This is a flyer from the 70’s telling everyone Ride Saddleback Park for all day fun for the whole family. World class motocross track, trials, off-road trails, TT scrambles, hill-climbing to dune buggy hills. A Motorcycle Paradise. Only $2.50 per bike!
Over the years, Saddleback Park has had many versions of it’s entry sign but the core design elements of the blue-green rolling hills and knobby sun symbols next to the bold Saddleback Park title have always been there. These large entry signs were made of solid wood, hand carved and hand painted to last many years out in the arid climate.
Main Gate Sign at Saddleback Park
Sign saved at different location
Remastered Version of Entry Sign (Primm collecton)
Just think of all those great racers whom have passes through these gates to the greatest motorsport playground in America. And the countless amount of amateur riders & racers that would pass through 7 days a week . . . All greeted by this familiar sight.
As a tribute to the last version of the Saddleback Park entry sign, Wheelspin Racewear.com has created a fresh graphic of the iconic entry sign for everyone to relive the glory days of riding & racing at Saddleback Park with each sip of your morning coffee with this unique moto mug. The same iconic Saddleback Park entry sign that greeted you each time you past through the gate to the greatest motorsport playground in America. Ride on!
More Saddleback Park and other unique MX themed apparel & gifts are available at
Unique Saddleback Park Apparel & Moto themed gifts any racing fan will love.
Show off your MX heritage by wearing a Saddleback Park T-shirt letting everyone know YOU raced at the famous Saddleback Park. Beware, your friends that didn’t have the honor of racing at Saddleback Park might be a little jealous . . .
A big debate over who was the first racer to jump Saddleback’s infamous Suicide Mountain was been circulating since the event in 1983. I was there in the middle of the uphill jump with my trusty Canon AE-1 w 50mm lens and captured, who I believe is the first racer to make the blind leap. Tom Carson #57 on a factory support Honda CR 250 hit the uphill double pinned in probably 3 or 4th gear to make the seemingly impossible double.
This photo was on his second leap, because after seeing him do the first I knew I had to get the shot of him making the uphill double.
Tom Carson #57 Honda – First to jump up suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
On the next lap I was more prepared to get Tom all the way across to jump. Too bad the weather was overcast in the morning.
Tom Carson #57 Honda jumps up suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Tom Carson #57 Honda jumping suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Tom Carson #57 Honda landing suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Shortly after seeing Tom hit the uphill double, all the factory guys knew they had to make the leap.
Goat Breaker #14 Honda Flying up suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Rick Johnson #8 Yamaha jumping up suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Billy Liles #33 Kawasaki jumping suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Bob Hannah#12 Honda jumping up suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Danny Magoo Chandler #22 Honda leaping up suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Phil Larson #25 Honda flying up suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Broc Glover#6 Yamaha flying up suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Goat Breaker #14 Honda flying up suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Warren Reid #10 Yamaha jumping suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Warren Reid #10 Yamaha loses his helmet visor up suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Judging the amount of speed to make the uphill distance was difficult because the landing on top of the second jump was completely blind to the riders. As the motos wore out the peak of the take off, the more dangerous the leap became. Some guys were casing the top edge of jump hard.
David Bailey #11 Honda perfect landing atop suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Goat Breaker #14 Honda hitting the top (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Warren Reid #10 Yamaha hitting the landing on suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Broc Glover#6 Yamaha landing on suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Bob Hannah#12 Honda lands suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Dave Hollis #45 KTM climbing up suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Mike Bell #18 Yamaha climbing suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Rick Johnson #8 Yamaha hitting hard on top of suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Bob Hannah#12 Honda flat lands the face of suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Billy Liles #33 Kawasaki hitting the deck (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Broc Glover #6 Yamaha landing on top of suicide mountain (C) TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM
ALL IMAGES, PHOTOS ARE THE PROPERTY OF TIM MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY.COM ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.