Archive for the ‘San Diego’ Category
This past weekend, I got out into the Cuyamaca Mountains. Main this place has some nice scenery and trails. We started from the San Diego River staging area just off of HWY-79 and took the west side single track up to the visitor center and then took the Green Valley fire road to the Upper Green Valley single track for a climb up to the La Cima trail by Sunrise Highway. We then looped over to the California Riding and Hiking Trail. From there we took Soapstone Fireroad over to Cold Springs trail and then loopback on the west side trail. We were a bit past the greenest time of the year but there were still plenty of blooming flora. Good Stuff!
Steve and Rodney climbing the Upper Green Valley Singletrack
The board members of the Pacific Crest Trail Association were seen out and about in Green Valley.
Plenty of water to cross on the west side trail.
The Cold Springs Trail
Bloom along the entire hillside
Rodney on California Riding and Hiking Trail. This is one of my favorite sections of this trail in the county.
Steve working his way up to the “Oak Trees”.
Lake Cuyamaca has both a upper and lower dam to help keep the “normal” water contained in the south end. You can see the upper dam as the thin line of land in the middle of the picture. There is water in the entire upper valley which is just incredible.
I believe Steve is trying to convey that this trail is the #1/Ichiban Trail 🙂
I am overdue for an update to my Cuyamaca Mountains page. I think I am going to split it up into two different pages to cover several of the routes you can take out here better.
In addition to all of the rain we are getting here in San Diego this winter (Which is a good thing) life has been busy over the month. Nichol and I bought a house and we have been pretty well occupied with closing that deal and then moving in and setting up shop so to say.
Most of rides during this time frame has been what I would categorize as local “maintenance” rides. I have been out to Anderson Truck Trail a few times.
Now MTB Life has not been all about just the same ole same ole. I revisited some old places that have had a new batch of trail gnomes out doing to good things. I’m not a liberty at this point to provide details but don’t be afraid to look around near your own backyard.
There are is plenty of green out and about right now, and so should you. Ride On!
It was nice to get back out to Iron Mountain. I had not been out here since what seemed like ages. It did not disappoint.
Views from the top.
We even managed to get the band back together! Steve back at doing stupid human tricks. The last time I was out there the city of Poway had been doing a bunch of trail work that was sanitizing many sections of the trail. The good news is that they were basically throwing dirt over the rocks and not really “fixing” the water flow issue. The good news in all of this is that after a few seasons all of that dirt has away and much of the trail is back to the way it was.
Hey I can see my truck from here.
I need to work on my trail face.
Brian showing both of us how it is done.
I have been working on getting back in shape after a pretty dismal summer from a fitness perspective. La Costa has been the main trail system in the rotation.
Catalina Island (pictured above) has been easily seen on most of the outings. San Clemente Island has been seen as well.
Ready to head back down the hill. Yep December is tough in SoCal!
Last weekend I managed to get back out to the Santa Ysabel Truck and the Black Mountain near Ramona.
The weather guessers were call in for a storm to hit the area in the afternoon, so I packed up the rain gear before heading out. Typically I do about a 29 mile loop that includes Santa Ysabel Truck Trail, Black Mountain, Pamo Valley and a bit dirt road and pavement interconnects. Today I was going to be doing an out-and-back variant of the ride.
I parked at the east end of the Santa Ysabel Truck Trail near the bridge on Black Canyon Road and headed out west. The climbing is very mild but considering how much of a slacker I had been as of late I could tell there was some rust in the legs. The last time I had here was when I did this as a section of the Coast-to-Crest trail.
Once I hooked up with the Black Mountain Truck Truck, I turned uphill and started the sizable climb.
I was not sure if I was going to go all the way to the top or not. I planned on turning around if the legs cried uncle or if I got caught in a sustained pummeling of rain.
The weather was starting to deteriorate around me as I continued climbing. I could see it raining in the distance on either side of me but my little patch of the world was dry. About 3/4ths of the way up my legs were getting to wank but I was able to keep going. It was also getting colder and the wind was kicking up. I was too hot with the wind breaker on and my chest was a bit cold without it and just the short sleeve jersey. I always keep a bandana in my pack and it came in pretty handy in this case. I unfolded it about halfway and stuff inside my jersey as an additional layer in the front.
Now most of Black Mountain has been covered in scrub in the past put the top of the mountain has some pine trees. These pines were originally planted as part of the ongoing Penny Pines program that started in California in 1941. Some of those pines were burned in the 2007 wildfire but a patch of the them at the very top were spared.
It was a bit chilly up on the summit and the wind was whipping pretty good. I typically enjoying hanging out up here and enjoying lunch but the wind made it pretty uncomfortable so after snapping some shots I made my way over to spot back along the trail that offered some shelter from the wind to have my lunch. While taking those pictures, it came pretty clear to me that my luck with the rain was going to run out soon. I hurried up with the snacks and then headed back down the mountain. It was quick work back down to the Santa Ysabel Truck Trail. There is some climbing to be done on the way back along that truck trail and my legs were pretty shot at this point. With about 15 minutes left in the ride a steady light rain started. My windbreaker/raincoat was doing its job quite nicely and I spun my way back to truck. About 30 seconds after I was all packed up and sitting in my truck the “bottom fell out” and a pounding rain last for most of my drive back into Ramona. I felt pretty lucky to have snuck in a ride before the storm and was happy to get back out this little corner of the county. A great day to be out on a bike!
I have an ongoing project of personally surveying the California Riding and Hiking Trail throughout San Diego County. I have a page up on my site with an interactive map of San Diego’s counties’ GIS data on where the trail is/supposed to be. I have been adding my notes on the actual placement and status of the various trail sections. You have to point and click to see much of the pop-up data, comments and some pictures. Its pretty much my online notes. Last month after doing a ride out in the Cuyamaca Mountains I took the long way home that included some of the further out bit sections I had not looked at yet. The first stop was to drive up to Julian and down Banner grade road to pick up the Chariot Canyon truck trail and then over to Rodriguez Canyon. This is part of the Oriflamme Canyon loop route that I describe on my site.
What I was looking for was the CRHT north of the Rodriguez Canyon truck trail. I found it but is was not where the county GIS data said it was. It was actually about a 1/10th of a mile west. It appears that at some point in the past the trail was rerouted to avoid going through private just to the east the current actual trail. The trail has seen little use but it well defined single track. Once it rejoins the original track it looks to be an old fire road from my visual from across the ridge.
The section of the CRHT just north of Rodriguez Canyon Truck Trail.
Next I made my way back to Banner and then down into San Felipe Valley to scout where the trail crosses Banner Grade Road. This area is part of the San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area managed by the CA Department of
Fencing Fish and Wildlife. This wildlife area encompasses around 17,800 acres. The CDFW has established that the only appropriate recreation activity out here is wildlife viewing by foot traffic only, shooting the heads of quail and killing deer. Evidently there is no room for equestrians or mountain biking to enjoy the historic CRHT that passes through this area.
I was able to find the trail south of Banner Grade Road but it is getting a hard to follow. The CRHT crosses Banner Grade road and proceeds across the valley on one of the dirt ranch roads. I did find a wood CRHT makers just north of the Banner grade road and just south of the ranch road. (Its at CRHT-142A if you are following along with my CRHT page.)
I then drove down to Scissor’s Crossing and went up San Felipe Road (County Road S2) to pickup the CRHT where it intersects this road. I did find a post that should be a CRHT marker based on its location but the top of the post had been cut off so there was no distinctive yellow painted “cap” on the post. This side of the property had a CDFW Wildlife area “No Trespassing” signage. So even if you wanted to enjoy the CRHT as a hiker you would have a perplexing problem of you could enter from the south but somewhere along your northward journey you would be trespassing. Along the north side of San Felipe Road, I quickly found CRHT marker posts paralleling the road.
These posts were typically about 30-50 feet north of the road. There had been a wildfire through here some time ago and I was having a tough time picking up and following the trail. This section is also part of the San Felipe Wildlife area with the same foot traffic only or no trespassing access management scheme. After about a couple of miles of heading northwest along the road I was unable to find any more posts.
A few more mile up the road I started seeing the newer style CRHT markers right of the side of the road and those continued at quite regularly until where the CRHT turn away from San Felipe Road (This is at CRHT-161A on my map) and heads up an old dirt road. I believe this trail starts off as an easement through a bit of private property as it is well signed and easy to follow. I did not proceed much further up the trail from there. I will have to assess those bits further north at some other time. The next significant road crossing is supposed to be near the junction San Felipe Road and Montezuma Valley road (County Road S22). On a previous outing I had looked for the trail in this area but came up empty. I came up all blanks this time as well from the truck. Next time I’ll be out with the bike and explore in from the south were I know the trail exists. I have done the trail north of the road junction before out through Warner Springs so that was it for this recon outing.
While I still have some miles left to look at in the county and I have not crunched the numbers yet, there is a convergence of threats for this trail developing. It looks like the number one threat for public access and preservation of the CRHT in San Diego County is the California State public land management agencies. Let that ruminate in your melon for a while!
This past Saturday I went out to the Cuyamaca mountains to check out the new(ish)ly rerouted Cold Springs Trail. I started out at the Sweetwater trailhead/parking lot and took the West Side singletrack up to the connector to the Park Vistor Center. From there I turned from usual route and took the Cold Stream Trail north.
The trail was pretty featureless but pretty through here until it got to a big oak tree on the edge of the meadow right at the junction with the singletrack connector trail over to the Green Valley Fireroad.
The meadow must be the typical “tour” turn around point from the visitor center as the Cold Stream trail immediately became must more narrow and interesting beyond that point.
I had not been on this section of the Cold Stream trail before and I have to say this was a nice bit of trail.
While stopping to check out this little spot.
I had some locals come through. There was somewhere between two and four of them. It was hard to tell with them zipping in and out.
Shortly after this spot I went by several junction. The first was the connector over to the West Mesa parking area and the second was the junction of the Cold Stream Trail and the Cold Springs Trail. The Cold Stream trail north of her was marked “No Bikes” but the route for today was the Cold Springs trail. Pictured above is some the trail goodness along the Cold Springs trail.
The original Cold Springs Trail was 1.2 miles, not open to bikes and was a pretty heinous hike. The new trail is 2.25 miles long and connects with much further up the Stonewall Creek fire road than its predecessor. This is a most excellent replacement/reroute of the old trail. I climbed the last bit of Stonewall Creek fire road and the at the junction with Soapstone Grade fire road I hung a right (east). Just before I would have to drop down the grade into Green Valley I hung a left (north) onto the California Riding and Hiking Trail.
That Oak tree in the middle of the picture on he meadow ridgeline was my destination for the day.
I refer to this group of trees as “The Napping Oaks” because you take a break here, you may find yourself doing just that.
A wider view of today’s turn around spot.
While kicking back here I heard some thunder and looking over my shoulder I see that some storm clouds had developed or moved in just on the other side of the ridgeline. Rain was not on agenda today so I thought it was pretty cool to have a little bit of weather with me on the ride. No rain ever materialized but it was not long before got rolling again. I pretty much retraced my path back the way I came all the way to the West Mesa parking lot connector where I crossed the road and picked up the West Side trail and took it south back to the Sweetwater parking lot. I was a great day to be out enjoying some trails. I spent the rest of the day doing some recon work with the truck for some of the beleaguered and neglected sections of the CRHT out in this area of the county. But that is another story…
This weekend I joined Chip, and crew out in the Laguna Mountains for some good times in the dirt. We started at the top of Redtail Roost and dropped the singletrack down to near the meadow. We then climbed up Aqua Dulce to the top of Los Gatos. After taking Los Gatos down to the meadow we looped back up to the top of Los Gatos via Chico Ravine. After descending Los Gatos a second time, we took a lap around the meadows before climbing back up to the Redtail Roost. Good times!
Here a few pictures of the dirt hulligans on this outing.
Chip and Roger
The crew at the top of the Meadow. (Photo by Chip)
Jason and Amy
Chip playing with his new bike
At the top of Los Gatos with Jason, Jason and Tony
Me with Mr Gopher Snake (Photo by Chip)
First: This from San Diego City Parks and Recreation Department.
Please be advised that the trails approved by the City Council on Carmel Mountain and Del Mar Mesa will be open for use tomorrow. Maps will be posted at kiosks.…
On the Del Mar Mesa map, as shown below, trails opened by the Council action are shown in black and white. Trails shown in black and red are NOT open due to private property and/or the need for Coastal Commission approval. Maps will be updated once further clearances are obtained.
For Carmel Mountain, all trails appear the same on the map and all are open.
The Council action also included biological habitat restoration on a number of areas previously used for recreational activities. Ranger staff have installed brush, signs, and fences at the access points to these locations. Please respect these access controls along with the ones installed at the Coastal Zone boundary and report any inappropriate behavior to Park Ranger staff.
Now a bit of opinion from me: While this progress is the culmination of a lot of work by a wide array of folks working quite diligently it also shows off some of the bureaucratic buffoonery that is all to common when multiple agencies have to work together. It better than it was but this trail plan is a setup to foster undesired behaviors. Where are the loops? Tunnel 4 is the only legal ingress/egress into the tunnels and then you can only go out and back on the Deer Canyon Trail. The California Department of
Fencing Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is the primary players who would not allow for a trail to create a loop to get back from the eastern end of the Deer Canyon trail back to the Eucalyptus Grove. This failure to manage the flow of trails users will most likely lead to undesired effects such as trail users figuring out their own way to create a loop with those trails which will further challenge the management of this area. You can bet that when a group of folks do this they will be demonized by the very folks who help create the problem in the first place. You know people, particularly trail users, are fairly predictable. In many respects people are much more predictable that the array of critters these intelligent conservationist are trying to protect. You would think they would have figured this stuff out by now.
Now my recommendation: Like the city is asking, PLEASE do not go around any barriers, remove any of the brush, debris or tamper with the “access controls” (What do that have squirrels with lasers attached to their head?) that has been put up to close off the existing trails that are not going to be part of this trails system on the mesa. I believe this would be exactly what some of the ANTI-BIKE ANTI-ACCESS folks/agencies would love to see happen. DON’T TAKE THE BAIT! I’ll be updating my page on this trail system in the coming weeks