2 miles
887 ft
-214 ft
Avg time

The Way Up Trail Details

  • Riding area
    Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve
    Escondido, California
  • Difficulty rating
  • Trail type
    Wilderness Trail
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical rating
  • Family Friendly
  • TTFs on trail
    Bridge, Rock Garden
  • Global Ranking
  • Land Manager

This is one of the tougher climbs around San Diego. It starts off steep right from the bridge, and rarely lets up all the way to the top. There are also a number of rock outcroppings along the way that brings the difficulty level up a few notches.

In many areas there is only one good line through the rocks, in other areas there are no good lines through, you just have to get through. There are some pretty good step-ups along the way as well, over both rocks and railroad ties. Some of them can be as high as 10-12 inches.

For me, the most difficult part of the climb is the left hander after the covered bench at about the 3/4 mile mark. This portion is a gnarly mix of steepness, step-ups, no good line, large loose rocks, and fatigue from the climb to this point. This part is not very long, but it's very rewarding if you can make it through.

Access Info

The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is located at 8833 Harmony Grove Road, Escondido, CA 92029. The entrance to the Reserve is located between the 6 and 6.5 mile markers on Harmony Grove Road.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for The Way Up Trail mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    673 ft
  • Altitude min
    500 ft
  • Altitude max
    1,212 ft
  • Altitude start
    508 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,180 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    5,278 ft
  • Distance down
    2,484 ft
  • Distance flat
    582 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on May 19, 2017
Avg: 2 (2 votes)

view (62)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to the-way-up-trail trailhead (33.086650, -117.145160)
update trails status or condition

The Way Up Trail Trail Reports


more »
17 |
Apr 26, 2017 @ 7:44pm
Apr 26, 2017
The Way Up Trail, Escondido
16 |
Apr 26, 2017 @ 7:44pm
Apr 26, 2017
The Way Up Trail, Escondido
23 |
Apr 26, 2017 @ 7:42pm
Apr 26, 2017
The Way Up Trail, Escondido
100 |
May 4, 2015 @ 7:54pm
May 4, 2015
The Way Up Trail, Escondido

Routes with this trail

La Costa/Elfin Forest Loop
21 miles

2 Reviews & Comments

  • + 1
flag dirtchurner (May 7, 2016 at 21:38)
 good miserable cardio ride despite the trail sheepp on their phones paying no attention to their surroundings.
  • + 0
flag Nanner (May 19, 2017 at 19:13)
 Pretty miserable technical climb on a multi-use trail.

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