4 Great Trails for Mountain Biking in San Diego
If you love experiencing nature from off-the-beaten-path locations, if you enjoy a challenge, if you get your thrills through physical tests of endurance, you’re probably a mountain biker or someone who would love the sport.
Luckily for any mountain biking enthusiasts, San Diego has a strong and thriving mountain biking community. Websites like MountainBikeBill.com and SDMBA.com (San Deigo Mountain Biking Association) have extensive trail listings, maps, tips, and insider info on mountain biking in San Diego and the surrounding areas.
Here’s a sampling of trails to consider if you want to go mountain biking in San Diego. And considering the incredible landscape and unparalleled weather, we don’t know why you wouldn’t want to go mountain biking in San Diego!
Just 8 miles from downtown San Diego, off Mission Gorge Road, Mission Trails Regional Park is an outdoors enthusiast’s one-stop shop. The scenery is outstanding, and the trails attract runners, hikers, and mountain bikers. The trails here offer the whole range of what’s possible for mountain biking in San Diego, from flats to climbs, hard riding and easy.
You can expect to experience pristine wilderness on this mountain trail of San Diego’s east county. It’s definitely a bit of a hike–metaphorically, that is: it takes about an hour to drive there–but it’s rugged, it’s backcountry, and it’s incredible. This ride is the perfect introduction to the pristine wilderness of San Diego’s east county.
SanDeigo.org gives helpful directions:
Head east on Interstate 8, exiting an hour later on Buckman Springs Road. Follow the signs to Lake Morena, then follow the signs to the trailhead. The ride itself is about 10 miles long, but plan on being out there a solid 2 hours. The lake will be close enough to see, but that’s as near as water will come to this ride, so carry plenty. The trail features almost 70% singletrack, with a smattering of fire roads and paved road providing the access. If you like a good climb, this is the ride for you. Lots of nontechnical singletrack climbs and stellar views of the lake. The ride finishes up with a 3-mile downhill jaunt back to the parking lot.
If epic mountain biking in San Diego is what you’re after, look no further than te Cuyamaca to Noble Canyon ride. The International Mountain Biking Association has literally classified it as an “Epic” ride.
Not for beginners, this 30-mile trails takes you along the spine of the Santa Rosa Mountains. The ride begins in the heart of the Cleveland National Forest, about 50 miles east of downtown San Diego.
Again, SanDiego.org offers an epic description:
Soothing pine forests and sun-baked high desert canyons, once the home of Kumeyaay Indians, offer some of the most stunning ride terrain anywhere. The trail itself is composed of fire roads and single track. Look for patches of snow in winter and carry extra water to battle the dry desert air. Descend Noble Canyon into the historic mining town of Julian, treat yourself to a slice of Julian’s signature apple pie.
Daley Ranch is located in Escondido, in northeast San Diego, offers 20 miles of trails. The main mountain bike path is a 12-mile loop on fire roads, with a bit of single track mixed in. This is one of the most family friendly places to go mountain biking in San Diego and is suitable for bikers of all levels.
SanDiego.org paints a bucolic scene of Daley Ranch:
It’s a ride for enjoying with a friend, making conversation and enjoying the sweet smells of sage and eucalyptus. Escondido’s inland location means warm temperatures year-round, so make sure to top of your hydration system before setting out.
The trails winding through the eucalyptus forest on the University of California at San Diego are not technically demanding, but the serenity of the thick grove and its soothing aroma makes for a rejuvenating mountain bike ride. Many have compared it to a spa treatment on wheels.
The Daley Ranch website offers helpful info:
Daley Ranch offers some of the best mountain biking experiences in San Diego County. With trails for beginning, intermediate, and advanced riders, exploring Daley Ranch on bike is family-friendly, and a great way to get some exercise and experience the natural beauty of Southern California.
You can also download trail maps and DaleyRanch.org
Whichever trails you choose, we hope the last trail you take while mountain biking in San Diego is back to one of 710 Beach Rentals properties. We can help you find the San Diego getaway of your dreams!