4,059 ft
35 ft
-418 ft
Avg time

Mesa Trail Details

  • Riding Area
    Cowles Mountain
    San Diego, California
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Trail Type
  • Bike Type
    DH, AM
  • Trail Usage
    Biking Primary
  • Direction
    Both Directions
    Popular in reverse
  • Climb Difficulty
  • Physical Rating
  • Season
    It's San Diego, you'll be fine.
  • TTFs on Trail
  • Ride in Rain
  • Global Ranking
    #13762 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    65 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking

I parked on Mesa Road (right near Grossmont College) down at the end of the street where you will find the main gate. The trails have clearly marked signs telling you where to go for what trail. This is useful because some of the trail heads look like small clearings off the path. Lots of hikers on these trails so bring a bell if you can. There are a decent amount of bikers here so people are very kind and let you pass.
The climb up Mesa Trail can be challenging especially on a hot summer day. There is some shady parts but it is pretty dusty the whole way up. From the top of Mesa trail you can connect up to Cowles Mountain from the Fire Road, ride a technical chunky downhill (very fun but rough) to Big Rock Park, or you can go right back down Mesa Trail to enjoy all the features you saw on the way up and thought "man if i was only going the other way".
Mesa Trail down (or mesa trail DH as its known on strava) is a flowy. more mellow version of the ride down to Big Rock Park (sorry the name of the trail escapes me). There will be people on the way down like i mentioned earlier but this track isn't particularly fast so it is easy to spot people and vice versa.
About a 20 min walk up (not ride) and about a 5 min downhill for just Mesa Trail Up and Down. Connect with Cowles Mountain for a goodwork out, you can also link up to Mission Trails!.

Access Info

Mesa Road Near Grossmont College. Park near the end of the street just past the apartments.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Mesa Trail bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -383 ft
  • Altitude min
    497 ft
  • Altitude max
    882 ft
  • Altitude start
    881 ft
  • Altitude end
    497 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    497 ft
  • Distance down
    3,379 ft
  • Distance flat
    182 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Nov 17, 2016
Avg: 4.65 (3 votes)

view (158)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Difficulties
  • Access Road/Trail
  • White
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Double Black Diamond

Trail Report Status
  • Clear / Green
  • Minor Issue / Yellow
  • Significant Issue / Amber
  • Closed or Major Issue / Red

  • Land Owner Overlay
  • Wilderness (typically no bikes in USA)
  • BLM (public)
  • USFS (Wildlife sanctuaries darker than usfs)
  • State land
  • Indigenous
  • Military
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
  • Map Markers
  • trail Trail Head
  • photo Photo
  • place Directory Listing
  • region Riding Area
  • Parking Parking
  • Viewpoint Viewpoint
  • Information Information
  • Warning Warning
  • Directions Directions
  • Water Fountain/Source Water Fountain/Source
  • Sight Sight
  • Restrooms Restrooms
  • Gate Gate
  • Camping Camping
  • Trail Sign Trail Sign
  • Table or Bench Table or Bench
  • Other Other
Directions to mesa-trail trailhead (32.820240, -117.021560)
update trails status or condition

Mesa Trail Trail Reports

Nov 17, 2016 @ 6:50pm
Nov 17, 2016
view all reports »


more »
16 |
Oct 22, 2017 @ 9:04am
Oct 22, 2017
Mesa Trail, San Diego
16 |
Oct 22, 2017 @ 9:00am
Oct 22, 2017
Mesa Trail, San Diego

1 Review & Comments

  • + 0
flag CamPow (Nov 23, 2018 at 21:18)
 Usually take this up. It’s a tough climb lots of railroad ties and rocks.

Post a Comment

You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login


no videos have been added for Mesa Trail yet, add a video.
  • subscribe
  • flag
  • login to download gpx or kml files.