I feel like such a bonehead for taking so freaking long to check out the Cowles Mountain - Pyles Peak ride. For a short in-town ride it sure does pack a big punch, climbing 1300 feet in 2.5 miles with 300 of it coming in the last 3/10ths of a mile. The route I took started from Mesa Road in Santee and included about a mile or so on a technical singletrack that included more waterbars than I can count. Once at the top of Cowles, I took the Pyles Peak out and back singletrack which was a real treat. I posted a full description of the ride on my site and here are a couple of pan shots from the ride a couple of weeks ago. Well worth checking out.
A view from the Cowles Mountain Summit
The view from the end of the Pyles Peak out and back.
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Thread: Cowles Mt - Pyles Peak Pics