10.5 miles
1,202 ft
-1,219 ft
337 ft
High Point

Let's establish one thing straight away: this ain't Moab. The route herein is nothing like The Whole Enchilada. If anything, it's more like The Whole Tortilla Chip. You won't find miles of pristine singletrack through alpine forests or epic descents through open backcountry. Nor will it be nominated for an IMBA Epic anytime soon. What you will find is singletrack and doubletrack connected with fireroad and pavement in an urban environment.

But if you can accept it for what it is, then riding in Balboa Park has a lot to offer. There aren't many places where you can find a decent ride in the center of a city with over a million people. And the core of the Park is stunningly beautiful. (There's a reason it's visited by 15 million people each year.) It's also conveniently located and easily accessible by freeways and surface streets. Plus, if you're so inclined, even in the remote corners of the Park, you're never more than a few minutes from coffee-shops and eateries to keep you fueled for riding. Yeah, Toto, it ain't Moab, but it ain't too bad either.

This route stitches together the dispersed riding found in the Park. You'll start at Grape Street Dog Park, roll along Switzer Canyon Expressway, then make your way along surface streets to the northeast corner of the Park. From there, it's a downhill run to Florida Canyon, where the greatest concentration of trails lies. You'll cruise through some fun trails like Schittz Creek and Florida Canyon Downhill. You'll do a steep climb up the start of SD Zoo Downhill and pop out at the core of the Park. From there, it's a quick ride on pavement to drop into Bridle Trail and head north beside the 163 freeway. Cross over the freeway on a footbridge (wave to the cars passing underneath) and drop into Marston Canyon, where a bit of single and doubletrack awaits. From there, it's surface streets back to Florida Canyon for some more fun trails. Work your way back via trails and surface streets to finish at the dog park. Then grab an enchilada from a nearby restaurant and pretend you're in Moab!

A few things to note:

1. The route is suitable for intermediate riders and consists of trails rated green and blue. The route's black trails are really blue if a bit of prudence is used.

2. A bell should be considered mandatory. The trails are crowded (remember, 15 million people!) and multiple-use. Please be cautious around blind corners. Even with a bell, many hikers have earbuds in place and may not hear you. Assume that someone will be standing in the trail when you turn a corner.

3. The route skirts the most congested areas, such as The Prado, but please use extra care in the Park's core. It's filled with sightseers, most of whom are captivated by the Park's beauty and not watching for cyclists. Go slow, be courteous, and yield right-of-way.

4. Do NOT cross Park Boulevard at Morley Field Drive. Cars turning left onto Park from Morley Field Drive cannot see you because their windshield pillar blocks their view. They will steer directly into you. This is not a joke. Instead, cross at Upas Street, as the route indicates.

5. All the trails are sanctioned and legal.

6. There are other parts of the Park not listed here, including some fun urban obstacles. (Avoid the off-limits areas described here). Fuel up at a nearby coffee-shop and go exploring. Have fun!

Local Trail Association
San Diego Mountain Biking Association (sdmba.com)
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  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
  • Route Type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Physical rating
  • Ridelogs
More Stats for Toto, We're not in Moab Anymore mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    99 ft
  • Altitude start
    235 ft
  • Altitude end
    220 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    5 miles
  • Distance down
    5 miles
  • Distance flat
    1 mile
Avg: 3 (1 votes)

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374 | 1 faves
Balboa Park MTB
Balboa Park MTB
22:40 | 28 | comments: 0 | favs:
Jul 13, 2021
Balboa Park MTB
Balboa Park MTB
22:40 | 19 | comments: 0 | favs:
Jul 13, 2021
Balboa Park MTB
Balboa Park MTB
trail: West Climb
22:40 | 12 | comments: 0 | favs:
Jul 13, 2021

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

Oct 9, 2021 @ 1:38pm
Oct 9, 2021
SD Zoo Downhill
Oct 9, 2021 @ 12:43pm
Oct 9, 2021
Florida Canyon downhill
Oct 9, 2021 @ 12:43pm
Oct 9, 2021
Pershing Climb
Oct 9, 2021 @ 12:43pm
Oct 9, 2021
Schittz Creek
Oct 6, 2021 @ 9:08pm
Oct 6, 2021
Recent rain left a trench at the beginning of the creek. Caution as it's a spot you'd typical carry speed through and there poor sight line to it.
more reports »
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