Daley Ranch - Escondido Trailhead - #DaleyRanch
Daley Ranch - Escondido - San Diego County - #DaleyRanch
To get to the trailhead take Del Norte Parkway off of I-15 at the northern end of Escondido. Head East about 4 miles until you reach La Honda Rd. Take a left on La Honda. You can follow the signs to Lake Dixon from the freeway, since the trailhead is at the lake entrance. Thomas Guide page 1110 C3
GPS: Latitude: Longitude: Elevation:
Rating , Novice, Intermediate
59 Updates0 Trails0 Stories0 Photos
Trail Conditions
Daley Ranch - Rode a big loop this past weekend, and man was it HOT! The first hot weekend of the year, great timing! Despite the heat, the ride was nice - the wildflowers are making their last stand against the summer, and were best at the higher elevations. The trail is starting to get slippery on the steeper climbs, like Hidden Spring. I recommend that you ride Engelman Oak loop COUNTER clockwise! Add in the Burnt Mountain and Bobcat short singletracks and you've got a nice ride. The Crest singletrack is nice too, but definitely not uphill! (i.e., ride it from north to south)...
seaclasper a 99.9 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a A bitchen tricycle from Roanoke, VA
Posted on 04/15/08 Alert moderators of this post
Caterpillar, huh? - I read an article on a web-zine today that claims Caterpillar Inc has made a behind the scenes deal with the city of Escondido to use Daley Ranch as a testing ground for heavy equipment. The site also claims that there are plans in place to pave the park over the next ten years so that it (the park)will be handicapped accesible. I believe the web-zine is called spokemag..... This must be a farce... I hope. Daley is my backyard everyday ride, after searching the web I haven't found anything else on this story. Has anyone else heard of this?
electric03 a 28 year old
Posted on 02/04/06 Alert moderators of this post
Stumpygirl--try Tire Slime. I've used it for 3 years and have only had 2 flats--both pinch flats, no puncture flats at all.
Posted on 01/04/06 Alert moderators of this post
Trails were awesome at Daley yesterday. They were fairly sandy and loose/dusty the last couple times we've ridden, but from the rains last weekend everything was in great shape. There seemed to be a few new rain ruts on the loop after the ranch house, but they weren't bad and didn't ruin the trail at all. As a somewhat novice rider, the packed dirt definitely made things a bit more rideable for me. Was fun for sure. Wish I hadn't gotten 3 flats, though! That was a first.
stumpygirl a 24 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Specialized Stumpjumper 120 Expert from So Cal
Posted on 10/23/05 Alert moderators of this post
Hubby and I took the day off on Tuesday to go ride the trails out at Daley Ranch. I'm a beginniner, so it was only my 2nd ride on my new bike. Was a lot of fun out there. Pretty warm, sunny. Lots of ruts still, but since the trails are mostly doubletrack/fireroad-ish there's plenty of room to choose your line and ride through/around any ruts. The water was out at the Ranch, but otherwise everything was good. LOTS of climbing available out there! We only did about 10 miles, but it was a lot of fun.
stumpygirl a 24 year old riding a Specialized Stumpjumper 120 Expert from So Cal
Posted on 08/25/05 Alert moderators of this post
Daley - Rode almost all of the park yesterday. Now that the rains have dried the trails have some sand patches left over and some sections with a network of carved out ruts. With that said, it was a great ride and the ruts are no big deal for duel suspension riders, just worth taking note. Watch your speed through Boulder Loop, some of the ruts can sneek up on you and will be unforgiving if you hit them wrong!
ICPAYDIRT a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Superlight from Pacific Beach
Posted on 05/30/05 Alert moderators of this post
Rutted but Rideable - The last few days have been dry giving valuable time for the trails to harden. Evidence of the rains are all over the trails in Daley but it's nothing to shy away from. In my opinion, it has actually made Daley a more exciting place to ride. The ruts are plentiful but there aren't any really big ones in the middle of the trails or anything like that. There is enough runoff to get both bike and rider pretty messy so be prepared for that. The ruts presented more challenges but a welcome break from the normally tame and wide type of trails found at Daley. Everything is green and the lakes look cool. We rode from the main parking lot to the far east part of Daley, up to the Old Water Tank, Jack Creek Meadow, up Cardiac Hill, Englemann, down the singletrack, around back to the bottom of Englemann, down Central Valley, and Boulder Loop back to the car. The worst rutting were on the Jack Creek Meadow Loop Trail and the Boulder Loop Trail was a real challenge. Signs and tape were up blocking Englemann to Central Valley, apparently some large trees fell on the trail but they have been removed, and Boulder Loop is roped off saying it is too dangerous to ride. As usual most of the singletrack is off limits due to "sensitive habitat". Today was excellent and I would recommend it to anyone looking for somewhat challenging but rideable trails.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 14 miles Elevation change: 1800 ft
Singletrack=5% Dirt Road=80% Paved Path=5% Truck Trail=10%
ICPAYDIRT a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Superlight from Pacific Beach
Posted on 02/27/05 Alert moderators of this post
Jerks R Us - Could GT Retro be the kind of braindead yahoo who gives us all a bad rep? Hmmmm, let me think about it... Yes, why yes he is! Thanks, buddy!

Hugh Mann a 33 year old Downhiller riding a dh thats way too heavy for my lazy arse to peddle from The Place to Be
Posted on 01/27/05 Alert moderators of this post

Daley All Open - I'll ride when and where I want in Daley. Thanks.
GT Retro a Racer riding a Retrofitted GT
Posted on 01/26/05 Alert moderators of this post
GT, maybe you didn't understand - the singletracks are closed. Don't be an arsehole and get all of us in trouble. SDMBA sent out that e-mail (the message Ebasil posted) for a reason you know....

BTW, the conditions are updated daily, so call the dixon lake rangers and czech if it's cool to ride.

Ride rating: Intermediate
Pickledf a KXx/R^2 year old riding a bike from home
Posted on 01/22/05 Alert moderators of this post

If it ain't a fire, it's rain. Go ride it anyway.

GTRetro a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a GT Revived
Posted on 01/21/05 Alert moderators of this post

Several Trails Closed - Trail Closures at Daley Ranch

Due to the past heavy rains and erosion some trails are closed until further notice. Please call the ranger station at 760-839-4345 for current conditions or if you have any questions.

Rock Ridge is closed.

Boulder Loop is closed from the southern most trail head to Cougar

Coyote Run for condition for condition

EBasil riding a Manitou HT or a Fisher Cake from San Diego
Posted on 01/21/05 Alert moderators of this post

Great time to ride - Today I rode to the entire ranch. It was very clear and the view of the ocean was spectacular. I rode the cougar ridge trail all the way to the corner of the preserve and up around Hidden Springs and around Sage and back to the East Ridge to coast back to the parking lot. The trails are perfect for riding right now. This is probably my favorite place to ride. I go there almost every weekend. It's got some good climbs and some technical downhill grades as well. I know of three single track trails that run between the main trails which are all excellent for riding as well. Great place to condition for racing.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: Who knows, LIke I have an odometer on my bike... Elevation change: yeah... working on that barometer too
Singletrack=10% Dirt Road=70% Paved Path=5% Truck Trail=15%
Marty a 24 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mt. Fuji racer
Posted on 11/14/04 Alert moderators of this post
Smuggling Raisins Part II - uh, this is somewhat off the biking topic, but if you really want to know what is meant by 'smuggling raisins' (see previous entries), may I suggest this website as a fine resource:

Wow, I really have too much time on my hands, I better go biking or something!
Posted on 04/11/04 Alert moderators of this post

Daley - Rode this on 3/31/04, got there at daybreak, and it was so foggy I thought I would have to bag it, since I was getting SOAKED by the moisture. But I couldn't face the thought of getting back on the 15 and going to work! Glad I didn't, as the fog eventually burned off and I had the place pretty much to myself.

This place is fairly nice though non-technical, a good place to go for a mellow ride. I did see a bunch of singletrack options that were not closed to bikes, but couldn't explore as much as I wanted due to time limits. Next time I go, I'll try some of them out. To me, Boulder Loop was the nicest part of the park.

In response to some postings from 2002 below, I HATE not being able to ride on single-track, but I follow the rules anyway, because if we don't we're bound to lose access to the damn FIRE ROADS! When I was a kid i rode anywhere I damn well pleased - I took 'keep-out signs as a challenge. Now that I'm a little older I realize I was just being an inconsiderate slob (like some of the jerks I see downhilling on closed trails). Yes, it sucks to be told where you can and can't bike. It'll suck a whole lot more when the only place left to bike is around the parking lot at Home Depot.
Ride rating: Beginner
Ride distance: 9 miles Elevation change: 1500
Dirt Road=100%
The SeaClasper a 34 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a rusty roller-skates from a van down by the river
Posted on 04/11/04 Alert moderators of this post

SMUGGLING RAISINS - "Two" small birds??? Is that what I think it means?
Raisin Lover
Posted on 01/25/04 Alert moderators of this post
as good as free fish tacos - I went right from the lot to sage 'til I got the runs back down toward the north end of boulder loop. I made my way through rock ridge back to boulder, then down trough the ranch house road/power line shortcut. Upon maximum paved down hill speed to the lot, I passed a cute blond pedestrian who was smuggling raisins going the opposite direction. All in all, the one hour trek was as good as they get. Trail conditions were perfect after the brief precipitation overnight.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 6 miles Elevation change:
Eauxgod riding a fsr from SD
Posted on 01/25/04 Alert moderators of this post
I got this info from an SDMBA News Letter. Take a look at it and remember to ride responsibly.

SDMBA representatives met with the Friends of Daley Ranch and discovered that they need our help.

Some trail users have been traveling on illegal trails, going off-trail, and even destroying trail signs. This kind of activity has got to stop if the park is to remain open to the public! The land is dedicated as a conservation area and if they cannot maintain it in a conserved state due to irresponsible recreation, they will be forced to close it to the public. The vegetation and wildlife there are more fragile than they look, so it's especially important to stay on the trail. Don't Crush the Brush!

All trail users are responsible for knowing the park regulations and which trails are open. Grab a map at the trailhead (and make a donation while you are at it). Only trails on the map are open. Contrary to popular belief, the park has not closed any singletrack since they opened in 1997. Regardless of how heavily they were used, the renegade trails were never officially open for use.

Bicyclists in particular should be careful to control their speed at the bottom of the steep hill near the La Honda parking lot. This area gets congested with trail users and has been the site of too many accidents. The Friends have asked us to encourage users to act responsibly and to recruit new members for their bike, foot and equestrian patrols who will help the users in the park. If you have a few hours a month to contribute, this is a great way to help the park and get some exercise at the same time. Call (760) 839-4680 for details.

If you want to help out with some trail maintenance, meet the ranger staff at the La Honda parking area on the 2nd weekend of every month at 8:00 a.m. (alternating Saturdays and Sundays-call the park hotline to check the schedule at (760) 839-4680.

If you are interested in preserving the habitat and the recreational opportunities at Daley Ranch, join the Friends of aley Ranch by going to to download a membership application.

Sailor a 40 year old Weekend Warrior riding a GT LTS from San Diego
Posted on 05/08/03 Alert moderators of this post

Water tower run - Rode all over the trails this morning. In good condition and saw lots of other riders. A good workout is to start at the parking and go right, onto the dirt, not up the pavement. Ride hard up hill until you get to the water tower, then downhill to the farmhouse. Time it. I'd like to know how fast other riders can do this. I'm just sub-20 minutes now, and working on it.
a 21 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a rocky mountain
Posted on 08/25/02 Alert moderators of this post
Daley "Hot" Ranch - Rode Daley for the first time today, I did'nt find the maps at the Kiosk until the first short loop About 3 miles counter clockwise in +95 degree heat. Ounce I found the maps I decided to go exploring again. Found some pretty cool (short) single track "Coyote run" and others that I can't recall the name of. All in all a pretty cool place that I will explore futher in cooler climate conditions. I need more than 9 miles!

Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: varies Elevation change: 900 -1800ft
Singletrack=20% Dirt Road=70% Paved Path=5% Truck Trail=5%
Clancy a 41 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Which one shall I ride today? from Norco E-mail:this user
Posted on 08/08/02 Alert moderators of this post

Daley Ranch, Creek Crossing/Sage - I was visiting friends in Mission Beach (I am from N.Y.) and I brought my MB. On my last day we headed north to Daley. We were in a hurry and we got a little lost in Escondido trying to find the trail. When we finally got to the La Honda parking area we quickly took our bikes out of the truck and started pedaling. We went through the gate and went right up the main fireroad that veered to the right (east). We never saw the kiosk with the trail maps at the begining of the trail. (Don't make this mistake.) We continued up this fireroad about 1.5 miles. The climb was prety difficult mainly because of the high (midday) temperature and the very dry dusty condition of the trail. The trail was not only very dry but parts were sandy like a beach. Not a lot of fun, not at all technical like east coast trails but a good workout. My friend spotted another rider below us on what appeared to be a ridge that looked like some very interesting singletrack. After riding another 1/4 mile on this wide uphill sandy fireroad my friend suggested we turn back and figure out how to get on the singletrack which we did. The singletrack was fun some roller like sections, some steep sections but again nothing too technical. (Making the ride extra interesting were all the rattlesnakes in the bushes. Watch out where you stop your bike and put your foot down.) We continued up and down this single track until we reached some very steep and interesting singletrack switchbacks that took us down to a huge parking lot that abbuted what looked like a closed down Mexican rodeo. The problem started here when we realized that there did not appear to be any trail back other than (1)the one we had just come down which was too sandy, steep and narrow to ride back up or (2) another very steep but straight and wider trail about 40 yards north of the one we came down. We opted for straight and steep. After riding about 100 yrds up this trail with my heart rate monitor registering close to 190 and the huge rain gulleys in the middle of the trail threatening to swallow up my bike and or destroy my allum down tube I decided to get off and walk. I turned around and saw my buddy 50 yrds back he had already been doing the same thing. As we progressed slowly this trail got steeper and the rain gulleys in the middle got wider and deeper. We hike-a-biked about 1/2 mile back up on this loose rock, sand and gravel, 25-30% grade trail in blistering heat with the bike on one side of the gulley that cut the trail in two and our feet traversing the other side of the trail. For much of this trail our bodies were forced to lean accross the gulley forming a counter balance/bridge with our bikes while at the same time performing the endless dance of suspension/balance/footing in our fight upsteam against the strong pull of gravity. When I finaly reached the top I was panting and sucking down what little was left in my camelback to try to find some relief from the heat caused by our uphill exertion. The heat was inescapable. The heat from the sun was beating from above and below as it radiated off the light beige sand and rock we were standing on. But at least we were now back on the trail we had traversed before droppig down the switch backs to the parking lot. We made our way back to the parking lot only to find the kiosk right there at the entrance with maps of the trails nicely laid out and seemingly easy to follow. As it turns out we started on Creek Crossing then proceeded to Sage which led us on to Cabollo. We never saw any of the trails up by Burnt mountain which I understand include some great singletrack. All in all it was a very hard hot 8+ miles. We loved it despite all the complaining above. The area is beautiful and we had a killer workout. I'd like to go back and see the north end. The trail we came up just north of the end of Caballo is over a 25% grade. I had my Garmin Vista GPS that tracked the altitude and distance. I'm curious to know whether anyone out there can climb this trail. Don't forget lots of water and have fun.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=60%
a Cross-Country Rider riding a Giant NRS XTC air from New York E-mail:this user
Posted on 08/08/02 Alert moderators of this post
Thieves at the ranch - Last week, I also had my broken into. Apparently, this is also occuring at Rancho Penaquitos too.
Hiker Ed a 35 year old Weekend Warrior
Posted on 08/05/02 Alert moderators of this post
Be aware the car broken in - Hi all,

This happen on Sunday Aug 4, 2002 between 8:00AM-9:45AM. There is an attemped broken in my sister van which parked in Daley Ranch parking lot. They try UN-successful pry left side window, pry left and right door locks of my sister van. They wont able to get in but causes for both locks damage. There is full in parking lot and daylight when this happen. I reported this to ranger and police. According to ranger, there is the other broken in an hour early on the other car. They steal a valet, cash and credit card. Please, report any suspicion act in parking lot to the ranger at Dixon gate.

Posted on 08/05/02 Alert moderators of this post

FOOL!! - Thousands of riders, including myself, don't ride off trails. That's right,,,NEVER!!! There are plenty of trails out there and no reason to be making your own.
Rick a 39 year old Weekend Warrior riding a San Diego
Posted on 07/13/02 Alert moderators of this post
Whoa Dudes! You're trying to tell me that you NEVER ride off trail....NEVER!!! All you have to do is look around Daley to see that theres more gonzos than me riding those extreme singles. When YOU stop riding off....I'll stop riding off!!!!
Extreme Rider a 22 year old Weekend Warrior from Encinitas
Posted on 07/13/02 Alert moderators of this post
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