Saddleback Park Remains One of the Legendary Tracks in MX History.
Suicide Mountain, the Matterhorn, the Magoo Double Jump, Banzai Hill, the Wedge – mention these to any motocross fan of the 1970s and early ‘80s and they’ll instantly know you’re talking about the iconic motocross track Saddleback Park. For the decades of the 1970s and ‘80s Saddleback was the center of the American motocross racing universe. The track had a major impact on the sport of motocross. It hosted great races and racers throughout it’s time of operation and is still considered one of the all-time historic venues of the sport even though it’s been over 30 years since races were held at the facility.
Cycle World magazine’s Joe Parkhurst, along with partner, dune buggy maker Bruce Meyers, leased land from the Irvine Company in 1967. One of the biggest reasons the pair were able to lease the land for off-road use, was the fact that Parkhurst was a businessman who knew and socialized with members of the Irvine family. He convinced them that since the land bordered a landfill, it was basically useless for development.
The prototype for open riding parks, at first Saddleback was to be primarily for dune buggies, but business was slow Parkhurst convinced the Irvine’s to allow motorcycles, reasoning that it would help eliminate the riding on vacant lots near large tracts of housing developments.