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  1. #1
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    Camping at San Elijo in June...

    I’m going to be camping at San Elijo from the 13th through the 18th (Sunday to Friday). I have ridden Los Penasquitos once before and wouldn’t mind doing it again. Is anybody going to do any night rides (or daytime for that matter) during that time there or anywhere nearby? One or both of my kids would probably like to go too. We’re not fast, but as I remember, the ride is not especially hilly.

  2. #2
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    We the people ...

    Well, depending on your kids, the Main Trail on the south side of PQ might seem "hilly" to them, because there are 4 climbs between the west end and the waterfalls at the 3-mile mark. The eastern side of the Main Trail is rolling, but really pretty darn flat.

    Now, if you want to climb around PQ, that can be provided, too. Not on the scale of Irvine rides or actual mountains, but probably more than most kids would be up for. Since you last rode in PQ, most of the trails on the north side of the creek have opened to bikes, and those include some fun singletrack. Also, the mesa above, and several singletrack or fire road ascent/descent trails are open to you and you can easily patch together a 14-18 mile ride if you'd like to.

    Check out: http://members.cox.net/garyfox/ for some ideas about local rides. All of those are "open" if you want to jump in, of course, and you should look at both PQ and the Del Mar Mesa rides to get a better picture of the whole area around that canyon park.

    After you take a look around, post what you're interested in. Several locals read on this board.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply E.

    My kids are pretty hardy, if not fast, when it comes to mtb. My son rode the DH course at Castaic at 8 (he's 13 now). My daughter has been most places I have been and can finally outclimb me at this time (she is almost 18), however I do still smoke them on the way down . They both went with me the only time we rode Penasquitos about six (maybe more) years ago. We rode from the west end to the east end and back (about 12 miles as I recall).

    The area looked to have potential, but the climbs were not that long or technical at that time. Maybe it will surprise me. It was fun and kids always like to encounter a waterfall along the way.

    If anybody can suggest a fun route It would be appreciated. We don't mind if it's it isn't super technical, just fun and scenic (fire road is OK, but prefer singletrack) is what we are looking for. We don't have to ride Penasquitos, I just don't know of anything else in the area. My usual rides are Los Robles Switchbacks, Pt. Mugu (Sycanore Canyon), Castaic Lake, Sisar, Big Bear, etc.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj
    We don't have to ride Penasquitos, I just don't know of anything else in the area.
    From San Elijo, it's a quick drive inland on Palomar Airport Rd to Flightline. Flightline is a good place your kids might enjoy. Lots of twisty single track, some jumps, bridges. Lots of fun for a 1-2 hr ride. Mtn Bike Bill's website has maps and descriptions. The entire area is really only about 1 sq mile so it's really impossible to get lost, yet has a lot of really fun riding.
    http://www.mountainbikebill.com/ go to San Diego and then Flightline.

  5. #5
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Mike's idea about Flightline is a good one, and here's a suggestion for a loop in and around Los Pen you might really enjoy with your kids...and I'll set it up with the most singletrack.

    Trailhead at the west, Sorrento Valley side, using the maps on the Gary Fox website I posted above. Ride east on the Main Trail, south of the creek, which is a fire road. After the last of your four mild climbs, you'll come to the sign marking the Waterfalls, which is the three mile mark. You can stow your bikes in the wood racks there, and walk 75feet down the trail there, to the water and the cascades, which run all year. Good place for a snack.

    When you get back on, continue east on the fire road (skip the singletracks marked closed to bikes) for another mile until you come to a fork in the trail with the main trail being the right fork, and Carson Crossing being the left...which you'll take. You can easily ride the second of the two water crossings here (all of 6" deep) and should go north, out from under the shade trees, taking a right when you hit the T right after the water, and then head North on a fire road that leads uphill past a 4-way intersection. That fireroad climb will take you to the top of the mesa, and when you come to a T, go left/westerly on it. When you get up on top of the mesa, continue west on the fireroad until it comes out onto pavement. Then, continue west on the pavement to the Tee, hang a left and go straight south on the pavement onto the fire roads on top of the mesa.

    Once you cross over the gravel and onto the dirt, you'll pass onto another fire road that I suggest you take westerly across the mesa. On your right, you'll see singletracks that you're going to come back on. Take the fire road until you come to see some cut, but undeveloped house pads, at the bottom of the very last Vee just before those cut lots, hang a northerly, downhill right down the fireroad that exits the bottom of the Vee. About 200 feet down the fireroad, where it bends, there's a singletrack that leaves to the right/east which you'll take up a gentle climb to a Tee intersection on singletrack--turn left.

    Now, you're on the network of singletracks that you bypassed as you rode west on the fire road, and you can just follow and take every looping one of them. The go out to the points on the mesas, and there are a few spots where you can show off to your kids as your ride down drops, and then they continue looping back to the east. The second-to-last-one pops you back onto the fire road, and the last is just up on your left as your ride north on the road. After you ride the last one, which goes right along the fenceline of a nice home at one point, go straight across the fireroad when you exit the trail. Take that road width trail due east to the trees, then bear left on it to go north. 300' up, just before the road turns west at the fenceline to another development going in, the Cobblestone trail (unmarked) leaves down to the right. Take that singletrack. Just around the second corner, you'll see a Kiosk, and that singletrack descent will be really fun. Keep an eye on the signs --there are some side trails closed to bikes, but the main singletrack is open to you all the way back to the Penasquitos Canyon floor--and you'll get some whoop-de-do's on the way.

    When you come out at the very bottom, take the singletrack southerly toward the pointed rock pile --that's the Waterfalls area you came in at, and you've got about 11 miles so far. At the north side of the waterfalls, hang a westerly right turn, go about 150' and take a left on the singletrack that forks off the fireroad ascent. Now, you're on Bridges Trail, and it's a fun roller coaster that will take you along the north side of the creek to recconect with the fire road going west. The fire road will devolve to double track and will roll up and down a little before you pass a sign for "Wagon Wheel Crossing". If you're tired, take Wagon Wheel to the south side, hang a right and you're just about where you came in.

    If you continue straight past wagon wheel , the trail goes back to singletrack...you can take that westerly all the way to a fire road then another half mile to where it pops up onto a street: turn left and ride the sidewalk south over the bridge, then another hard left onto a paved singletrack that goes back easterly along the back of a business park. Just keep going easterly until you have no choice but to hit the sidewalk...and you're in the Cantina Lot marked on the Gary Fox maps. If you parked here, you're done, if not---ride easterly on the road up around the corner to the big parking lot.

    15 miles, probably, and I left out the sketchier descents and harder climbs, so if you liek what you find, you can mix-n-match: it's very easy to reconnoiter and figure where you are around there.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies. Not certain, but I think we'll try Flightline since we've been to Penasquitos. The when we come back in August we'll choose which one we like best and ride that. Which way in to Flightline is best? I'll be coming from the south, but I know where Melrose is because my wife's aunt lives off of Melrose by the county buildings and would not mind going around that way if it's a better place to ride from.

    Also, thanks for the link to Mtb Bill's site. It is awesome. I wish more areas had that kind of site to help out.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj
    Thanks for the replies. Not certain, but I think we'll try Flightline since we've been to Penasquitos. The when we come back in August we'll choose which one we like best and ride that. Which way in to Flightline is best? I'll be coming from the south, but I know where Melrose is because my wife's aunt lives off of Melrose by the county buildings and would not mind going around that way if it's a better place to ride from.

    Also, thanks for the link to Mtb Bill's site. It is awesome. I wish more areas had that kind of site to help out.
    Personally, I like the east entrance best. Directions:
    East on Palomar Airport Rd
    Left on Business Park - from Palomar Airport Rd once past El Camino Real, you can see the Flightline area just to the north.
    Left on Park Center (Park Center is the 5th stoplight).
    Park Center all the way through the stop light at Melrose and park at the dead end (FYI - Park Center changes to Faraday once you go past the stoplight at Melrose). The county buildings are several miles north on Melrose from where you'll be riding from at Flightline. I gave directions assuming you'd be coming in from San Elijo.

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