Nichol and I went back up to Cuyamaca State Park this past weekend for another ride. We started at the staging area by the San Diego River and went up the west-side connector trail to the Visitor Center
From there we took the Green Valley fire road up through the valley to the bottom of Soapstone Grade.
Instead of making the left hander and going up Soapstone Grade fire road which is part of the Cuyamaca Grand Loop, we continued straight onto the Upper Green Valley Trail and climbed up to the La Cima trail that roughly parallels Sunrise Highway. This section of trail was fairly rocky which extracts some additional energy out of you beyond what the grade would tell. As you near the top of the trail you leave Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and enter the Anza Borrego State Park.
We then took the La Cima trail west and enjoyed some sweet flowing mostly downhill singletrack for a couple of miles.
When then turned south onto the California Riding and Hiking Trail (CRHT). This a is really nice section of singletrack that offers some great views of Lake Cuyamaca and the surrounding grasslands.
For the first half of this section you are doing some mild climbing before the trail transitions into mild descending with good flow.
Just before the CRHT joins up with Soapstone Grade fire road at top of that fire road’s steep climb you leave the Anza Borrego State Park and reenter Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. From here we turned east on Soapstone Grade fireroad for about a mile of flat land cruising.
We then took the Stonewall Creek fireroad south from here which shed off elevation fairly quickly back down into Green Valley. There are both some rocky and sandy sections on this fire road that if not handled well, can lead to an unplanned dismount at speed which could be hard to stick the landing. Stonewall Creek fireroad connected back to the Green Valley fireroad where we retraced our route back to the truck. This was a little over a 17-mile lollipop shaped route that had a little over 1,800 feet of climbing involved. This was Nichol’s longest and hardest ride to date that offered some new technical challenges for her. To celebrate a ride well done that did not include any blood letting we sampled some of the offerings from Nickel Beer Company in Julian before chasing down some Mexican food. It was a good day to be on a mountain bike.