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  1. #1
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    Looking for trail suugestions around Carlsbad and surrounding areas

    I will be in carlsbad for a week coming up soon and I am looking for some trail suggestions from local riders. I have tried to do my own research in the CA forums but some of the reviews are so old that it is hard to know what is still open or good riding anymore besides the fact I don't really know the area and what is close by etc..
    I am from Az and a pretty decent rider. I would like to check out some good XC singletrack. Not really looking for chunky techy stuff because that is most of what we have here in Az, so I am looking for a nice change-maybe some flowy buff single track with nice views.
    Ultimately I would love a trail suggestion close to the coast with ocean views! That would be as good as it gets for me.
    I will be bringing a new rider with me on some of the days that I ride so some stuff without a lot of climbing would be nice to take her to.

    I am willing to drive a bit into SD or whatever but nothing over 50 miles. I appreciate any suggestions and advice. I am really looking fwd to some cool weather and great riding!

    PS~how about a good mtn bike shop recomendation in Carlsbad in case I need something while I am there.

    Thanks in advance for the help!

  2. #2
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    You could check out Aliso & Woods Canyon in Aliso Viejo for ocean views (up top after climbing to Top of the World via Cholla, Mathis, or Meadows). Some steep climbs and rocks, some smoother trails with flow, etc. Nice variety.

    For easier stuff, it's a bit inland, but Lake Hodges might do the trick, or something like Penasquitos Canyon. I know there's Calaveras Lake and La Costa in that area as well, but it may be harder to find "routes" or directions for those.

  3. #3
    Beer Please!
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    MountainBikeBill's Mountain biking Trail Reviews, Videos and Pictures

    We really need a Sticky Thread on this board for people who are visiting and looking for places to ride. Seems like there is a new Thread each week about it.
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

  4. #4
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    If you're up for a medium length drive, you want ocean views, but want to avoid the techy chunk, check out San Clemente Single Track. You'll need to do a bit of exploring. As previously mentioned, Mountain Bike Bill has good reviews.

    Another nice option, but with a little bit of techy stuff in the middle, is San Juan Trail. A lot of people will shuttle it but, it's perfectly rideable as an out and back. If you plan on riding San Juan Trail, bring a bear bell or other noise maker for your bike - lots of blind turns. And pick up an adventure pass for the day ($5) at just about any sporting goods store chain (sports chalet, sports authority) for parking.

  5. #5
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    Palomar Mountain? I haven't been there, so I don't know what it's like.
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  6. #6
    Crop Dusting Magistrate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Palomar Mountain? I haven't been there, so I don't know what it's like.
    Not much on Palomar except for a very short Observatory Trail (2 miles maybe).
    Or if you want to climb take Nate Harrison Grade from Valley Center to the top...all fire road and some long steep pitches. Think it's about an 8-9 mile grind up.
    It wasn't me

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the suggestions!

  8. #8
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    Cavaleras

    Quote Originally Posted by miss rides a lot View Post
    You could check out Aliso & Woods Canyon in Aliso Viejo for ocean views (up top after climbing to Top of the World via Cholla, Mathis, or Meadows). Some steep climbs and rocks, some smoother trails with flow, etc. Nice variety.

    For easier stuff, it's a bit inland, but Lake Hodges might do the trick, or something like Penasquitos Canyon. I know there's Calaveras Lake and La Costa in that area as well, but it may be harder to find "routes" or directions for those.

    I watched some Utube videos of the lake Cavaleras area and it looks like fun and is close to the area I am staying in. Can anyone give me directions to the trailhead from Carlsbad and Canyon Rd?

  9. #9
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    Calavera is the closest place for you but is "different" than most areas that have designated routes/trails/loops, etc...we have a route we take but it's easy to adjust and wind your way all over the place. The front side in Carlsbad is smoother, easier stuff (off Skyhaven Drive) while the trails on the south end are chunkier, ruttier and 10X more fun.

    Lake Hodges and Daley Ranch are over in Escondido, 15-20 minutes east of Carlsbad. Hodges is the go-to beginner place with a loop that goes 3/4 of the way around the lake and then most people come back the same way, though there is a "high' line and a "low" line. Daley is "mostly" fire roads but has some fast, flowy stuff and a few nice 7 fast singletrack type trails took. There's plenty of chunk too once you leave the fire roads.

    It's outside your 50 mile range but the best place to take your friend is the Big Laguna Trails (BLT). the climbs are pretty mellow and the meadow loop is probably the most scenic ride in San Diego County.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzKennedy View Post
    I watched some Utube videos of the lake Cavaleras area and it looks like fun and is close to the area I am staying in. Can anyone give me directions to the trailhead from Carlsbad and Canyon Rd?
    Skyhaven lane abuts the open space on the north side of Calavera and is where many ride from. From Carlsbad go east on Cannon, hang a left on College, go up and over the hill, right on Lake and right on Skyhaven till it opens up to the trails on the left and condos on the right. The official trails only extend a little south of the obvious hill standing above the 'lake'. To the south, beyond the k-rail are some additional trails that are officially off limits-though many hikers, trailrunners, birdwatchers, nature lovers and mtbers enjoy the narrow trails and diversity of wildlife on offer there. Checkout dirttreaders.com as there is usually a Sat and/or Sun morning group ride out there. If you go it alone, be prepared to explore, backtrack, get lost while knowing exactly where you are, and simply have fun cuz it's a fine mess of awesome trails with a bit of everything.

    For a more standard 'route/loop' experience check out the Rancho La Costa Preserve trails. I don't think the newest additions, Whiptail and Copper Creek, are on the City's official maps yet; I know there's a map floating around on the interwebs that includes them. Maybe someone else will post it....

  11. #11
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    Here's a map for La Costa Preserve(the red planet) with the newest trails, some pretty fun stuff though I think I prefer Calavera especially on my SS bike.

    Looking for trail suugestions around Carlsbad and surrounding areas-la-costa-preserve.jpg

  12. #12
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    Meant to add there's a Mountain Bike Warehouse and a Performance Bike Shop real close to Calaveras off of College and Plaza Dr, about the only bike shops good or otherwise near there, where you'd have a chance of finding anything.

    Below is a close-up google map of a portion of Calaveras, due to the trail density I think a trail map would be difficult, just explore as said good stuff everywhere. If you follow the map North you can find Skyhaven, I prefer to park off of Tamarack just to the SW near the dam when I come in from that side. Also if you follow the map where it originally pointed to due West you see a construction site for a new high school(now complete) I've been parking at the corner of College and Cannon as have others, just follow the tracks along Cannon.

    https://maps.google.com/?ll=33.16064...15063&t=h&z=17

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