8.8 miles
Distance
1,400 ft
Climb
-1,383 ft
Descent
1,548 ft
High Point

A black mountain route that includes fun trails like Santa Luz/Artichokes, Miner's Loop downhill and Lilac trails.

Extend the ride with Knoll Downhill and east ridge trails like Manzanita and Roadrunner.

Add another fun downhilll and about 500ft of climbing: Black Widow on the way down from the summit and then head back up the service road.

Detailed Description
Black Mountain: Santa Luz, Miners, Lilac & Ahwee is a 9 mile popular intermediate route located near Black Mountain California. This mountain bike primary route can be used one direction and has a moderate overall physical rating. This route includes 29 trails. This route climbs 1,400 ft with a max elevation of 1,548 ft then descends -1,383 ft.
Local Trail Association
Local trail association
San Diego Mountain Biking Association (sdmba.com)
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70 Reviews & Comments

  • + 0
evanrls (Feb 3, 2023 at 10:13)
Miners could use a little love. There are some deep ruts from the big January rain. Totally rideable but some sections where it gets a little sketchy.
[Reply]
  • + 0
evanrls (Feb 3, 2023 at 10:13)
Miners could use a little love. There are some deep ruts from the big January rain. Totally rideable but some sections where it gets a little sketchy.
[Reply]
  • + 1
LaffingStock (Jan 28, 2023 at 14:31)
Just so people who just transitioned into the "intermediate" phase of the hobby, this might be one of the harder blues in this area of SD due to the amount of chunk you have to go through at grades >10%.

As you can see from the comments, a lot of people have varying definitions of a blue trail, and some are definitely way easier than others. This is not one of them, haha.
[Reply]
  • + 1
coachzed (Jan 27, 2023 at 12:34)
Trail Black Widow
Well-built trail and fun features that aren't common on other trails in the area. Note that there are 3-4 rock-gardeny sections that have become pretty chunky and a ~4ft rock roll. The lack of any ride-around bypasses for those features makes this a black trail in my book.
[Reply]
  • + 1
coachzed (Jan 27, 2023 at 12:34)
Trail Black Widow
Well-built trail and fun features that aren't common on other trails in the area. Note that there are 3-4 rock-gardeny sections that have become pretty chunky and a ~4ft rock roll. The lack of any ride-around bypasses for those features makes this a black trail in my book.
[Reply]
  • - 1
bocomtb (Sep 22, 2022 at 23:22)
Trail Black Widow
Really well built trail. The grade reversals and flat sections are a little annoying but well built rock sections and plenty of optional hits make up for it. Easy to get a bunch of laps in since the fire road is a fast climb.
[Reply]
  • - 1
bocomtb (Sep 22, 2022 at 23:22)
Trail Black Widow
Really well built trail. The grade reversals and flat sections are a little annoying but well built rock sections and plenty of optional hits make up for it. Easy to get a bunch of laps in since the fire road is a fast climb.
[Reply]
  • + 0
bocomtb (Sep 22, 2022 at 23:17)
Steep, very wide, loose rocks. Typical double track for the San Diego area. Boring as a descent but a nice cardio (and shifting) challenge as a climb.
[Reply]
  • + 0
bocomtb (Sep 22, 2022 at 9:48)
Not great, not terrible. Riding CCW from the Lilac connector would give you the highest fun factor. I’d agree with the Black rating. There’s a lot of tough climbs and a couple of downhill rock gardens that are more technical than anything on Black Widow.
[Reply]
  • + 0
C4SEM4N (Jul 31, 2022 at 11:15)
No fun.
[Reply]
  • + 0
C4SEM4N (Jul 31, 2022 at 11:15)
No fun.
[Reply]
  • + 0
C4SEM4N (Jul 31, 2022 at 11:15)
Very difficult blue. Very rocky
[Reply]
  • + 0
JGiovanni (Jun 17, 2022 at 16:09)
This trail is 100% a black trail. Especially in rougher conditions .
[Reply]
  • + 2
patrickohalloran (Mar 3, 2022 at 9:52)
Trail Black Widow
This is currently my favorite trail in San Diego. It's so much fun as an intermediate mountain biker. I still walk a couple points of it, but the trail work is phenomenal!
[Reply]
  • + 2
patrickohalloran (Mar 3, 2022 at 9:52)
Trail Black Widow
This is currently my favorite trail in San Diego. It's so much fun as an intermediate mountain biker. I still walk a couple points of it, but the trail work is phenomenal!
[Reply]
  • + 1
Donikimi (Feb 8, 2022 at 13:03)
Trail Black Widow
Recent trail work made it better. I sometimes fear that I might puncture my light casing tire.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Donikimi (Feb 8, 2022 at 13:03)
Trail Black Widow
Recent trail work made it better. I sometimes fear that I might puncture my light casing tire.
[Reply]
  • + 0
fpecan (Dec 23, 2021 at 16:43)
Trail Black Widow
Rode today from out of town. Sick trail. Some annoying little uphill kickers up top and half way through but it’s well built and has some interesting rock features. Lapped it thrice and had a great time.

Generally well maintained with the exception of some rock gardens that have been ruined by people riding around them.
[Reply]
  • + 0
fpecan (Dec 23, 2021 at 16:43)
Trail Black Widow
Rode today from out of town. Sick trail. Some annoying little uphill kickers up top and half way through but it’s well built and has some interesting rock features. Lapped it thrice and had a great time.

Generally well maintained with the exception of some rock gardens that have been ruined by people riding around them.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Chesty-LR (Nov 26, 2021 at 11:35)
Sometimes rough/rocky double track/fire road, not a lot of corners. Ok descending but not particularly exciting.
[Reply]
  • + 2
coachzed (Oct 23, 2021 at 11:30)
Very challenging trail for the Intermediate rating.
[Reply]
  • + 1
josephtorres84 (May 10, 2021 at 23:43)
Trail Black Widow
Great spot to ride !
[Reply]
  • + 1
josephtorres84 (May 10, 2021 at 23:43)
Trail Black Widow
Great spot to ride !
[Reply]
  • + 3
BenLow2019 (May 9, 2021 at 11:16)
If you're going to actually use the IMBA rating system then this trail is a double black diamond based on maximum trail grade alone as many sections are over 15%. I'm just sayin'
[Reply]
  • + 2
brianpetry TRAILFORKS (May 10, 2021 at 7:39)
Well, >15% for some sections is ok for black. And average grade is just over 15%, so yes could be double-black, if barely.
[Reply]
  • + 0
lqLvl5 (May 1, 2021 at 15:17)
How is it downhilling the west side? Any fun? I’ve only done the East
[Reply]
  • + 1
brianpetry TRAILFORKS (May 1, 2021 at 16:42)
West side down is a good bit slower than the east side, owing to the tight switchbacks. But still fun and worth a trip.
[Reply]
  • + 3
mattyj2001 (Apr 25, 2021 at 17:49)
Trail Black Widow
Be sure to pick a good line and look ahead. I munched it twice on this trail because I was concerned more about the few drops and didn't look ahead to the landings. D'oh! This trail is not forgiving to those of us that don't pay enough attention. Ha ha.
[Reply]
  • + 3
mattyj2001 (Apr 25, 2021 at 17:49)
Trail Black Widow
Be sure to pick a good line and look ahead. I munched it twice on this trail because I was concerned more about the few drops and didn't look ahead to the landings. D'oh! This trail is not forgiving to those of us that don't pay enough attention. Ha ha.
[Reply]
  • + 3
mattyj2001 (Apr 18, 2021 at 23:47)
If you like dodging rocks as big as your head, drops into loose gravel and dirt, and branches constantly whacking you in the face and arms, then you might enjoy this loop.
[Reply]
  • + 2
Donikimi (Mar 2, 2021 at 12:19)
Maybe a good trail if you are looking for challenging climbs. The descend is not worth the climb.
[Reply]
  • + 1
brianpetry TRAILFORKS (Mar 2, 2021 at 13:37)
The most popular route is to climb the service road and descend Miners on the east side, which is counter-clockwise on the Miners loop. For looping Miners, also more popular counter-clockwise, so climbing the switchbacky side (still challenging).
[Reply]
  • + 1
Ryanh4CtSA (Feb 27, 2021 at 11:41)
Do-able on a hardtail, just pick your lines carefully
[Reply]
  • + 1
currymtb (Feb 16, 2021 at 21:44)
A very fun trail if you know your lines!
[Reply]
  • + 2
Outdoorsd (Jan 8, 2021 at 13:27)
Trail Black Widow
Hats off to the SDMBA trail crew for this one. Nice mix of terrain, the paver turns are a blast, the tech sections are fun, and there are a couple nice let loose straight line sections. Two thumbs up.
[Reply]
  • + 2
Outdoorsd (Jan 8, 2021 at 13:27)
Trail Black Widow
Hats off to the SDMBA trail crew for this one. Nice mix of terrain, the paver turns are a blast, the tech sections are fun, and there are a couple nice let loose straight line sections. Two thumbs up.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Outdoorsd (Jan 8, 2021 at 13:22)
Blue? Black? Who cares. Bombing the drops on the right side of the loop is so much fun. For the record, though, I vote hard blue. Nothing as technical on the trail as Nascar or other blacks.
[Reply]
  • + 2
IsaiahSimon1406 (Oct 11, 2020 at 14:06)
Yes this is seriously a black even tho it is a connector
[Reply]
  • + 0
firepigmtb (Aug 12, 2020 at 16:38)
Fun flowy trail, not very difficult but a good time. Couple little jumps and one slightly bigger one that is easily bypassed but a lot of fun to hit.
[Reply]
  • + 0
firepigmtb (Aug 12, 2020 at 16:38)
Fun flowy trail, not very difficult but a good time. Couple little jumps and one slightly bigger one that is easily bypassed but a lot of fun to hit.
[Reply]
  • + 5
cosborne74 (Aug 1, 2020 at 14:53)
Trail Black Widow
Actually super fun trail. They did a good job. One of the better downhills in the county. Could use some jumps though. Outside of the top steps section on miners, I feel this has a little more tech. Comparing this to ratings of other trails in SD, I’d call this a black diamond trail. Not Whistler black, but SD black.
[Reply]
  • + 5
cosborne74 (Aug 1, 2020 at 14:53)
Trail Black Widow
Actually super fun trail. They did a good job. One of the better downhills in the county. Could use some jumps though. Outside of the top steps section on miners, I feel this has a little more tech. Comparing this to ratings of other trails in SD, I’d call this a black diamond trail. Not Whistler black, but SD black.
[Reply]
  • + 2
NFLPhD (Jul 19, 2020 at 19:25)
Nighthawk connector is very easy at the top but after you make it through the first turn, you quickly understand why this is black diamond. I ride all over Black Mountain and have ridden a lot of trails in Los Penasquitos and its one of the most chunky trails I have encountered. The top half is very technical with about four rocky drops but all very easy for an expert. The bottom half of the trail is very easy...
[Reply]
  • + 4
NFLPhD (Jul 18, 2020 at 11:17)
It's Black if you carry any speed. Blue trail if you on all on the brakes the whole trail.
[Reply]
  • + 2
budgetmtb (Jul 19, 2020 at 15:37)
Yeah, that was what I was thinking. The drops and rock gardens are all rollable, but if you release your brakes, they come in real quick.
[Reply]
  • + 1
NFLPhD (Jul 3, 2020 at 14:49)
Trail Lilac Trail
Very fun trail! Definitely Intermediate as there are some technical rock sections. A must ride if you are at Black Mountain and you can connect to it right after you ride miners loop trail to the paved parking lot on the northeast side of the mountain.
[Reply]
  • + 1
NFLPhD (Jul 3, 2020 at 14:49)
Trail Lilac Trail
Very fun trail! Definitely Intermediate as there are some technical rock sections. A must ride if you are at Black Mountain and you can connect to it right after you ride miners loop trail to the paved parking lot on the northeast side of the mountain.
[Reply]
  • + 2
NFLPhD (Jul 3, 2020 at 14:32)
Trail Black Widow
There are several rocky technical sections and the rest is fairly flowy. Nice ride downhill if you are an intermediate or above. No beginners unless you want to walk through several sections. Access up via the fire road just northeast of Black Mountain Middle School. Great sunset views. Watch out for the hikers!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
NFLPhD (Jul 3, 2020 at 14:32)
Trail Black Widow
There are several rocky technical sections and the rest is fairly flowy. Nice ride downhill if you are an intermediate or above. No beginners unless you want to walk through several sections. Access up via the fire road just northeast of Black Mountain Middle School. Great sunset views. Watch out for the hikers!!!
[Reply]
  • + 4
budgetmtb (May 28, 2020 at 10:04)
Trail Black Widow
I wouldn't say this is a true flow trail with smooth and fast jumps and berms. It has a lot of tech mixed in with some flow. Super fun though.
[Reply]
  • + 4
budgetmtb (May 28, 2020 at 10:04)
Trail Black Widow
I wouldn't say this is a true flow trail with smooth and fast jumps and berms. It has a lot of tech mixed in with some flow. Super fun though.
[Reply]
  • + 1
budgetmtb (May 26, 2020 at 21:11)
The climb is very possible, but definitely hike-a-bike.
[Reply]
  • + 1
currymtb (Mar 7, 2020 at 14:27)
Awesome downhill
[Reply]
  • + 2
budgetmtb (Jan 4, 2020 at 9:05)
Hard trail
[Reply]
  • + 0
brianpetry TRAILFORKS (Feb 21, 2020 at 9:52)
Please take a look at this IMBA trail rating system, and maybe we can agree it's blue (not quite black)?
www.imba.com/sites/default/files/content/resources/2018-10/IMBATrailDifficultRatingSystem.jpg
[Reply]
  • - 1
ewikpark (Mar 14, 2020 at 19:44)
not?
[Reply]
  • + 0
brianpetry TRAILFORKS (Mar 17, 2020 at 11:53)
By the IMBA ratings, I would say it is blue. High blue, but not black.
[Reply]
  • + 0
ewikpark (Mar 17, 2020 at 19:05)
Sorry, I was talking to the other person in the thread. I agree that it's a blue
[Reply]
  • + 1
budgetmtb (Jan 2, 2020 at 17:55)
rocky
[Reply]
  • + 1
Zvernkr (Feb 10, 2019 at 16:06)
Trail Lilac Trail
Agree. For the most part the trail is easy, but a couple rocky sections are hike-a-bike for beginners. A blue rating would be more accurate.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Zvernkr (Feb 10, 2019 at 16:06)
Trail Lilac Trail
Agree. For the most part the trail is easy, but a couple rocky sections are hike-a-bike for beginners. A blue rating would be more accurate.
[Reply]
  • - 1
jeff92104 (Nov 28, 2018 at 21:00)
A fast, technical, fun downhill. Looks like a miserable climb up.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Jnunez (Mar 31, 2018 at 15:14)
Suuuuper loose
[Reply]
  • + 1
Jnunez (Mar 31, 2018 at 15:14)
Suuuuper loose
[Reply]
  • + 3
chainbreaker02 (Jan 2, 2018 at 15:09)
Trail Lilac Trail
Lilac is a fun run that is definitely BLUE! In fact, I'd say there are one or two obstacles on this route that I walk over. I'm not sure how the ratings go but giant rocks with no obvious route is not green. Right?
[Reply]
  • + 3
chainbreaker02 (Jan 2, 2018 at 15:09)
Trail Lilac Trail
Lilac is a fun run that is definitely BLUE! In fact, I'd say there are one or two obstacles on this route that I walk over. I'm not sure how the ratings go but giant rocks with no obvious route is not green. Right?
[Reply]
  • + 1
brianpetry TRAILFORKS (Feb 12, 2019 at 17:46)
Trail Lilac Trail
I changed it to blue. I agree about the obstacles. I bet you could do it with some practice. It took me a few trips to clear them. Here's a good reference for ratings: www.imba.com/resource/trail-difficulty-rating-system
[Reply]
  • + 1
brianpetry TRAILFORKS (Feb 12, 2019 at 17:46)
Trail Lilac Trail
I changed it to blue. I agree about the obstacles. I bet you could do it with some practice. It took me a few trips to clear them. Here's a good reference for ratings: www.imba.com/resource/trail-difficulty-rating-system
[Reply]
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Details

  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Other Activities
    • E-Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Difficulty rating
    Blue
  • Route Type
    Loop
  • eBike Allowed
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
    Moderate
  • Ridelogs
    31
More Stats for Black Mountain: Santa Luz, Miners, Lilac & Ahwee mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    388 ft
  • Altitude start
    698 ft
  • Altitude end
    715 ft
  • Grade max
    -32.7%
  • Grade min
    26.9%
  • Distance climb
    4 miles
  • Distance down
    4 miles
  • Distance flat
    3,002 ft
Avg: 5 (2 votes)
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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
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  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
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  • Prevalent Mud
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  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route

statustraildateconditiondescription
Maler Dirt Climb
Feb 3, 2023 @ 11:05am
Feb 3, 2023
Almost all dry now
Miners Ridge Loop
Feb 3, 2023 @ 3:05am
Feb 3, 2023
Almost all dry now, a few puddles in the shade
Lilac Trail
Feb 3, 2023 @ 3:05am
Feb 3, 2023
Almost all dry now
Miner's Loop Connector
Feb 3, 2023 @ 3:05am
Feb 3, 2023
Black Widow
Jan 8, 2023 @ 12:22am
Jan 8, 2023
Clear, would be a good time for a bit of repair on the berms.
more reports »
  • By brianpetry TRAILFORKS & contributors
  • #9012 - 2,211 views