It came to my attention some time ago that the segment of the California Riding and Hiking Trail that I used as part of my Otay Mountain Loop has gotten horribly overgrown.
It was pretty faint in spots back in 2008. I have updated my page to reflect that riders may want to go around on the road. Or better yet, check out this route and take some pruning gear along on you. 🙂
Yesterday I managed to pull off a mid-week epic that I think I’m going to call the Otay Loop. Boy what a doozie. I started at the Marina at Otay Lakes and rode along the southwest corner of the lake and then cut through Lower Otay County Park down into the Otay Valley and climbed out of the valley to the south on a fireroad. I then worked my way over to the the Otay Mountain Truck Trail.
I had a nice big climb up Otay Mountain. My GPS did had a couple of blips early in the ride but I had already registered something like 3,900+ feet climbing . The Truck Trail took me up to the intersection of the Minnewawa Trail at an area known as “Doghouse Junction”
The descent from there down the Minnewawa Trail was mighty darn zippy and seemed to be over way too quickly. The trail dumps you out right at the 1,000 Trails RV Park Otay Lakes Rd (HWY 94).
I crossed the road into the park on the other side of the road and proceed west through the RV park. At the end of the RV park I picked up a segment of the California Riding and Hiking Trail (CRHT). This area was burned in the 2007 Firestorm. The rate of regrowth was pretty amazing forcing me to use “the force” to follow the trail in some sections. In some of the steeper hillside sections, rocks had erroded down onto the trail make it technical in spots. Combined with shin-high grass over the trail and things got really interesting.
I followed the CRHT for a couple miles until Otay River crossed under Otay Lakes Road. I hopped on the pavement for about 1.5 miles or so until I hit the eastern entrace to the Otay Lake Park.
I cruised out to a point on the lake on a bit of old pavement. Once out at the point I picked up some nice pretty buff singletrack heading north up the east side of the lake. From here the navigation was pretty darn easy. Take any left you like and don’t go in the water. I must have ridden at least 6 or 7 miles of single track as I worked my way back around the north and west sides of the lake to get back to my truck.
Once I strighten out my GPS tracks I’ll know for sure but it looks like this was about a 35 mile adventure with about 4,000 feet of climbing. I really dug this ride and I need to do some more exploring around Otay Lake with the Bonita Bikers crew.
Look for a full review on the site in the coming weeks.