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Cuyamaca Grand Loop

Average Rating:    (4.27 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 15

Ride north on highway about 1/2 mile to Japacha Fire Road. Turn left on West Side Trail and ride this about a mile as it parallels the highway on your right. Turn right and cross the highway, entering the Headquarters/Museum area. Follow the "bike trail" signs down into the river valley and proceed north on the Upper Grass Valley Fire Road. Stay on this fire road, bearing right at the intersection with Stonewall Creek F.R. Continue north as the fire road turns to singletrack, ignoring the pavement going up and to the right. Make a hard left onto Soapstone Grade FR, grind up the hill, then continue on the rolling FR/singletrack as it bears NW. Turn right when you hit pavement and follow this road to Hwy 79. Ride north (right turn) on the highway for about 1/2 mile, then turn left onto the dirt road where the Boy Scout Camp sign is. Bear right (upper gate) onto the Milk Ranch Road for a few hundred yards, then make a hard right onto Middle Peak FR. Follow this until it tops out then turn hard right and then hard left to stay on the bike legal trail as it zooms down the back side of the mountain. Down in the valley, stay left and climb back up Milk Ranch Road until the saddle, then turn right onto Azalea Springs FR. Follow this as it crosses a paved road and turns into Fern Flat FR. Continue southbound and make a hard right onto the West Mesa FR, which will eventually turn into Japacha FR. Turn right on the highway when you get to the bottom and pedal past your car about a mile to the entrance to the Green Valley Campground. Ride past the entry kiosk, down to the right, then up past the picnic area to the Arroyo Seco Fire Road. Follow this NW and take a hard left on the South Boundary FR, which will take you back to the highway. Cross the highway and pick up the East Side Trail which will take you north (left) back to your car.
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Latitude
32.92804889511867
Longitude
-116.55983448028564
Trail Directions
Take I-8 East to Hwy 79 exit and follow signs north to Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Park at the Sweetwater River Staging Area (large parking area on right of highway just past mile marker 4).
Trail Length
26 miles
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Alpine
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (15 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
April 2, 2007

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

Visitors rate this review
4.50 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: ibike4fun ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This is an ok trail, not great. However it is probably the best in San Diego. I ride it because I have not found anything better within 100 miles of San Diego. There is one steep section, but it is short. If going in the winter, make sure there is no snow. The trail can get real mushy and slimy when wet. Take two bottle of water. In the summer it can get very hot. The best time to ride is in the early moring or late afternoon.



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Review Date
January 29, 2006

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Lawrence ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Fire roads with some singletrack along 79. Roads range from smooth and graded (Upper Green Valley, Milk Ranch) to rough and rocky (Soapstone). Most fire roads in the park are level or lightly-graded, so climbing is very doable. Only Soapstone Grade and Middle Peak fireroads are a real challenge to climb (assuming you do the loop counterclockwise).

Recommended Route:
Grand Loop (taking Milk Ranch instead of Middle Peak). Upper Green Valley, Soapstone, Milk Ranch are about as usual. Azalea Springs had been graded last fall - no great loss, I suppose, since it smoothed out an otherwise rocky uphill, but it did make the climb more dull. Far worse, however, was that sometime since Sept. last year, the rangers decided to grade Fern Flat from the Cuyamaca Peak road to West Mesa. The whole damned thing, practically. Lots of powdery dirt sections. What used to be a pretty fun rocky, singletrack-ish downhill is now just another crummy dirt road. A crummy dirt road through a burned-out forest, I might add. What in hell were they thinking? Adding injury to insult, several trees and large limbs have fallen across Fern Flat and West Mesa fire roads. So - the East side trails are OK (I'm assuming Stonewall is OK; didn't ride it this time), and East Mesa/Oakzanita/Granite Springs is worth a look, but the west side trails, for now, I'd stay away from. Pity.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Noble, Big Laguna, Lake Hodges, Elfin Forest, Daley Ranch



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Review Date
September 9, 2004

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Big Nasty ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Just rode this for the first time since the fires...there are a lot of soft spots due to the silt from the fires. Also, there flat stretch after soapstone grade was overgrown and covered in tumbleweeds...really annoying to have to pull those things out of your bike (and had to have a doctor pull one out of my leg!!!).

I had forgotten how great the Soapstone and Middle Peak climbs are...but the trail is really suffering from the effects of the fire and I have to downgrade it on my personal list of favorite rides.

Recommended Route:
There are a couple of other variations in the park. One is to ride up past the fire station on the east side of the park (head East on the trail about 1.5 miles from Park HQ)...go past the fire station and then cutback and climb up to the top of the rider (hike-a-bike) along the top of the ridge (incredible scenery here) to Sunrise Highway (there's a little tunnel you go through), blast down the single track that meets up with the Grand Loop Trail right at the bottom of the SoapStone climb. It's also possible to make an epic out of this and link it to the Noble Canyon trails.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Noble, Elbon (riding up Noble) and Lake Morena (a newly found favorite)



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Review Date
December 8, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: George Crosland ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
The whole park is closed for an undetermined time due to wild fire damage.

More info check here:
http://www.cuyamaca.statepark.org/



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Review Date
November 9, 2003

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by:  ,  Downhiller

Summary:
AS you probably know by now San Diego was hit hard by the recent wildfires. Cuyamaca and the East Mesa trail systems were consumed by the fire, The park is closed until further notice.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Corral Canyon ORV at Lake Moreno, about 15 minutes East on I-8



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Reviews 1 - 5 (15 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5