5.8 miles
82 ft
-88 ft
237 ft
High Point

Official Route of the Ride On Mountain Biking Challenge presented by the County of San Diego

The route starts at the Penasquitos Ranch House Staging Area MAP LINK

The most basic valley loop of Penasquitos Canyon - with a bit of singletrack but mostly wide dirt roads. Starts at the Rancho Penasquitos Ranch House to the Waterfall and back again featuring a couple of bridges at water crossings. Great for beginner mountain bikers and family adventures on bikes or on foot.

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve is beautiful year-round, with an ecosystem unlike any other in San Diego County. It is the most popular trail system in the county so always be courteous to other trail users. Managed jointly by the County and City of San Diego, trails sit on either side of a bubbling creek feeding a dense grove of riparian plants and trees. Fields of native chaparral sit outside the groves, butting up against suburban development – an oasis frequently visited by local hikers, cyclists and equestrians. Trail users can take single track trails near the creek with near-constant shade, or venture out to a wider, sunnier trail and access road. Visitors in the spring may be lucky to see a flowing waterfall at the west end of the preserve where the paths meet.

There are dozens of miles of trail in this 3,700-acre preserve which also connects to an historic adobe ranch house featuring a museum, community garden and a small collection of farm animals

Support restoration efforts by following the signs and staying on designated paths. Be aware that some trails near the river are only open to hikers and equestrains. The preserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Check current conditions by calling 858-538-8066 as the preserve trails are closed during and after wet weather.

Detailed Description
Penasquitos Canyon Valley Loop is a 6 mile popular easy route located near San Diego California. This mountain bike primary route can be used both directions and has a easy overall physical rating. This route includes 3 trails. This route climbs 82 ft with a max elevation of 237 ft then descends -88 ft.
Local Trail Association
Local trail association
San Diego Mountain Biking Association (sdmba.com)
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  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Other Activities
    • E-Bike
    • Gravel Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
    • Horse
  • Difficulty rating
  • Route Type
  • eBike Allowed
  • Bike type
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Physical rating
  • Ridelogs
More Stats for Penasquitos Canyon Valley Loop mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    164 ft
  • Altitude start
    237 ft
  • Altitude end
    233 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    2 miles
  • Distance down
    1 mile
  • Distance flat
    2 miles
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Trail Conditions
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  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Flow (Ridden Direction)
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Trail Popularity ?
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Radar Time
x Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public ridelogs from the past 6 months.
  • mountain biking recent
  • mountain biking (>6 month)
  • hiking (1 year)
  • moto (1 year)
Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public skilogs from the past 12 months.
  • Downhill Ski
  • Backcountry Ski
  • Nordic Ski
Jump Magnitude Heatmap
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10 | 1 comments

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

Carson's Crossing
Jul 23, 2022 @ 7:21am
Jul 23, 2022
Ranch House Crossing
May 20, 2022 @ 11:45am
May 20, 2022
Ranch House Connector
May 20, 2022 @ 11:45am
May 20, 2022
more reports »
  • By spokeswoman SDMBA CAMTB & contributors
  • #35899 - 245 views
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