Lake Hodges - Escondido Trailhead - #LakeHodges
Lake Hodges - Escondido - San Diego County - #LakeHodges
Exit I-15 at Via Ranco Parkway, head east, turn rght on Sunset, go to end of cul-de-sac. General purpose trail. Controlled access to side trails. Fairly easy ride with nice views of the lake. Try the south side of the lake, across the I-15 bridge, for somewhat more challenging terrain and less crowded trails. Thomas Guide page 1150
Rating , Beginner, Novice, Intermediate
55 Updates0 Trails1 Stories0 Photos
Trail Conditions
#55
Great January Sunday - I hadn't ridden this trail since well before the fire, but I was pleased to see how the area has recovered. Also, the recent rains have refilled the lake, so it's all nicer than my last ride.

I parked across from Hernandez' Hideaway and rode east. The first bit is great winding singletrack, but watch for walkers and runners. There is a stretch through the main recreational area, along and across the paved road, but when I was there the road was closed to vehicles. You finally cross the road and head for the singletrack on the hill.

There are some washed out areas, and one big ditch you can barrel through if you have the momentum. You finally have a choice of staying on the dirt fire road or heading farther up. That requires a short, steep climb, but I saw the single speed dudes take it. From their you have narrow singletrack, so watch your turns and for other riders. Eventually the fire road rises to meet it and it's a wide ride from there to I-15 and the other trailhead.

There is one way cool water crossing, maybe 6"-9", near the eastern end. From either direction track to the outside of the curve across the water for the easiest crossing and momentum up the other side.

Well worth the trip.
First Sarnt a 60 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Jamis Dakar XCR Comp from Encinitas E-mail:this user
Posted on 02/17/11 Alert moderators of this post


#54
Hodges Trail - Rode this trail today, for the first time in probably 3 yrs, and wow was it different. There is a portion closed that now requires a detour right as you hit the dirt, and the fire has really taken its toll out there. Majority of the trail from the parking lot to the marina is the same, just little differences here and there. Couldn't believe how low the creek was..I can remember time where that water crossing was a good 2 ft deep, and getting wet was getting lucky...soaked was more like it. Still a fun little trail, fairly easy ride. Single track was nice as the plants have somewhat filled in. Watch out for snakes if you go in the later morning as I saw some fresh tracks when riding back. Also please obey the signs to stay on trail, saw some rangers out there today working to get the trail back to how it was so follow the rules and give them some time to get the job done.
schrader a 21 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Fisher Tassajarra from Loma Linda/Escondido
Posted on 07/22/08 Alert moderators of this post
#53
I see there is constuction on the trail. Do anyone know if the trail is open to bike?
BikeLover
Posted on 01/15/08 Alert moderators of this post
#52
Heartbroken - Rode the north side for the first time since the fires. It breaks my heart to see what the fires did to this place. It doesn't even look the same. To make matters worse, the rain we recently had has added to the destruction. The place looks like a combat zone. Many of the fun singletrack trails are off limits, but you can still ride from "Hernandez Hideaway" to I15. It's just not as fun right now. If you plan to ride just to check it out yourself, I recommend you wait a few days to let the water/dirt dry up. The dirt is very soft, which slows you down immensely. Please abide by the signs and stay on the designated trails. I don't want to loose a good thing. Lead, Follow, or Get out of the way!!! Retired GySgt/USMC.
Conejo3rd (Art) a 44 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Bighit / Yeti 575-08 from San Marcos, Ca.
Posted on 01/08/08 Alert moderators of this post
#51
Lake Hodges North & South Update - Lake Hodges Trail North and South were closed due to the recent fires. The north side is now open and the south side remains closed. Even though the north side is open, there are several sections that are closed. There are several detours all around the area and the last part that goes to the dam is still closed due to the construction of the aqua duct. This section should re open sometime in 2008. Even though some areas are closed, I still had fun and managed to put in around 15 miles round trip.
Marco Topete a 49 year old Weekend Warrior riding a TREK Liquid from San Diego
Posted on 12/29/07 Alert moderators of this post
#50
Lake Hodges - This is a very fun trail. Worth the drive.
Kayvman a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Mongoose from Chula Vista E-mail:this user URL: Mario's space
Posted on 01/13/07 Alert moderators of this post
#49
It's open all the way to Hernandez Hideaway. Trail is closed just past that.
Denduro a 31 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Heavily upgraded Spec Enduro
Posted on 12/03/06 Alert moderators of this post
#48
I was wondering if the trail from The Self Storage to the Lake is still open? It looks closed from all the construction going on.
LazyBeaner a 29 year old Weekend Warrior riding a SC Nomad and an old HT from San Diego
Posted on 11/16/06 Alert moderators of this post
#47
Trail west of Del Dios Highway - Does anyone have any info on the trail that heads west from the west side of Lake Hodges near the intersection of Del Dios Highway and Date Lane? There is currently a fence with a no-trespassing sign, but it looks like you could easily go around the fence. From looking at maps, it appears it may connect up to the Elfin Forest area. Does anyone know whether (1) this trail is worth riding, and/or (2) the no-trespassing sign is enforced???
JD a 33 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Gary Fisher Aquila from San Diego
Posted on 07/07/06 Alert moderators of this post
#46
Saturday Double-Header - Rode Hodges yesterday morning for the first time. Weather wasn't very good, was somewhat chilly (for so Cal) and misting. Trail was pretty tacky and still somewhat wet, but was a fun ride. Nice little creek crossing. It's definitely a good scenic ride for beginners. Lots of fireroads. Decent amount of climbing, but not difficult at all. Trail was definitely pretty busy with hikers/joggers and equestrians.
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
#45
Bernanrdo Mtn directions - http://www.mountainbikebill.com/LakeHodgesNorth.htm(this link should get you there)
GhostRider a 31 year old URL: Lake Hodges - North
Posted on 05/30/05 Alert moderators of this post
#44
Bernardo Mountain Directions? - OK, I've been told to go climb a mountain, so to speak. But how do ya get to whatever trails lead up to Bernardo Mountain? Help a brutha with some directions! Thanks!
The Seaclasper a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Rising Tide of Public Sympathy from Mira Messy
Posted on 05/30/05 Alert moderators of this post
#43
Found Keys - I found a set of keys at Lake Hodges on Friday, 5/27. My buds and I searched around for any would be owners for quite awhile. We also waited at the trailhead for awhile too, but to no avail. Email me if you think they might be yours.
Denduro a 30 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Enduro Expert E-mail:this user
Posted on 05/29/05 Alert moderators of this post
#42
Hey Seaclasper, you need to throw in Bernardo Mountain on your ride. It adds some good cardio and tech to the otherwise slow ride. The rest of this place deserves to be mowed down at uberspeed.
Hodges Destroyer a Cross-Country Rider riding a painted green machine
Posted on 05/03/05 Alert moderators of this post
#41
Lake Hodges - I have been hesitant to hit Lake Hodges since moving to SD a year ago, having heard how tame and boring it is... Well, it is relatively tame, but like most places I go biking in the county, it was a pleasant surprise. There is some real pretty country back in there once you get away from the 15 - I'm sure the recent rains had a lot to do with this, but there were wildflowers everywhere! Unfortunately, they probably also contributed to the overgrowth that was choking the available 'singletrack' (which in many areas appears to be an old truck trail that has seen happy neglect). I did a serious tick-check when I got home!

I agree with some of the previous reviews, this is a great place to bring a beginner. Even for experienced bikers, it's a nice place to spend a relaxing afternoon...
The Seaclasper a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a anything but an ORV from San Dee Eggo
Posted on 05/02/05 Alert moderators of this post


#40
Actual "update" -
The tree clearing continues, now including the entire area adjacent to the "Sailboard lauch" area where the chemical toilet and picnic bench are, also. The Eucs and brush are all sawn/whipped down.

The crews doing it confirmed this is in preparation for the pumphouse/pipeline project and that they're clearing the trees to prevent project delays due to nested birds. They also said the ultimate installation of the pumphouse will require the lake to be drained down 20 feet. Niiiice.
EBasil riding a Manitou HT from San Diego
Posted on 02/07/05 Alert moderators of this post


#39
Treebeard, I'm going to tear down the bait shop next. It blocks my view of good trails. Some of the buldozers need to be dismantled too. Keep up the uberspeed.


Hodges Destroyer a Cross-Country Rider riding a Painted over green machine
Posted on 02/07/05 Alert moderators of this post


#38
Fence Damage/Hodges Destroyer - I witnessed the "Hodges Destroyer" tear down the fence at the grinding stones last year... the only thing he accidentally hit was his head as a child... He was just an angry asshole ripping the fence apart in a fit meth/roid mania. He was riding some neon green POS, ranting about how he's been riding Lake Hodges for 20 years and no one can tell him to do anything (nice skintight shorts dude... stuck in the 80's?). I filed a report with the sheriffs & rangers...they'll keeping any eye out for him.

This kind of ass is obviously the biggest threat to MTB riders. His sociopathic actions risk the privileges of the other 99% of sane and grateful riders who have access to such a nice trail so close to metropolis.

Remember, when you see someone damaging the trail, or riding off trail, or doing any kind illegal stuff, use that camera phone, take a photo, then call the Rangers : Todd 858-674-2275 x17 or David at x18 (Todd’s a big Costa Rica Surf fan, and David’s an Epic mountain biker...both very kewl guys!)

See you on the trail!

Treebeard
Posted on 02/06/05 Alert moderators of this post


#37
Good workout but... - This is a nice trail for a decent one to one and a half hour ride. The long climbs are tame with a low grade, offering a good cardio workout. A short single track section, at about the halfway point will break the monotony and really bring a little life to this trail. Recommended for the MTB beginner. The intermediate to advance riders will likely find it a little boring. Good family trail.
Ride rating: Novice
Singletrack=30% Dirt Road=70%
a 36 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Marin Mount Vision
Posted on 02/04/05 Alert moderators of this post
#36
Good workout but... - This is a nice trail for a decent one to one and a half hour ride. The long climbs are tame with a low grade, offering a good cardio workout. A short single track section, at about the halfway point will break the monotony and really bring a little life to this trail. Recommended for the MTB beginner. The intermediate to advance riders will likely find it a little boring. Good family trail.
Ride rating: Novice
Singletrack=30% Dirt Road=70%
a 36 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Marin Mount Vision
Posted on 02/04/05 Alert moderators of this post
#35
Brush Clearing - Never said I thought there was a conspiracy going on. I'm just saying that I'm amazed that so much clearing could take place with the Rangers being totally oblivious. Maybe they didn't have anything to do with it and another agency did the work without asking them first. I would just think that the Rangers would notice all the commotion and at least take a look see.
DS from Logical Thinking Mt Biker's Club
Posted on 01/28/05 Alert moderators of this post
#34
Brush Clearing - I too have seen this carnage and if I had to guess I would bet this is related to the pipeline that is to eventually connect Hodges w/ the new Elfin Forest reservoir. From some of the maps I’ve seen that area appears to be the approximate location of the pipeline end. A bit surprised the Hodges rangers would not know about this though….
Fireplug41 a 41 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Giant NRS1 from SD E-mail:this user
Posted on 01/26/05 Alert moderators of this post
#33
Brush Clearing - Well, he was either lying to cover up a deep seated conspiracy, or the work was done by a division of the City other than the Water Department (for whom the SDRP RAngers work, instead of Parks & Rec). I choose to believe the latter, based on the radio inquiries made in my presence. Feel free to stick with the conspiracy theory, if you really need to...

EBasil riding a Manitou HT or a Fisher Cake from National Security Agency, Black Ops Trails Division
Posted on 01/26/05 Alert moderators of this post
#32
Concerning the brush clearing - I rode there today and was very suprised by the new look of the singletrack that has been cleared. I can't decide if I like it better than the old way or not. I just don't see how the ranger could not know what it was about though. It must have taken quite awhile to clear all that brush and trees, and I don't see how the ranger could have NOT know about it. I guess we will have to wait and see what's going on.
DS riding a Specialized Enduro Expert from North County
Posted on 01/25/05 Alert moderators of this post
#31
Open, Great, and a few Surprises -
Both the north and south side of Lake Hodges are open, in basically great shape and very rideable.

On the north side, if you start at the Via Rancho Parkway side, the "high route" is absolutely great, although that ladder bridge at the stream crossing is gone. We tossed a scavenged 2x10 there today, but it's better to ride the crossing and it's only about 8 inches deep. From there back to where you rejoin the "low route" it's a little rockier, but not muddy, not slimey at all. The low route is dry and excellent from the east to its water crossing, which is about 10" deep and a little wider than before. The climb up to where the high route links in is not muddy and only a little rockier.

The fun singletrack descent from the high route to just east of the lower water crossing is very rutted and has a massive 3' deep rut where the "notch" used to be. There's a line very high to the left, but the center is sketch.

From that point to the lake, the route is excellent, and the low route is dry. The upper route is buffed with a few mud puddles you should ride straight through, rather than widening the trail.

Past the Del Dios Store the singletrack to Hernandez Hideaway is in great shape. The first stream crossing is somewhat abrupt...take the upstream side or just jump. There are a few minor washouts that make the trail more rocky, but everything is great until just past Hernandez...where there's an 8' wide washout the entire width of the trail. It has yellow tape marking it today, but be aware..it's also 5' deep. The rangers are cool with you walking around it, and the trails are perfect all the way to the dam, except for one thing:

Someone has installed orange construction fencing and then clearcut the brush starting south of the washout and stopping north of the old/new sailboarder launch site where the chemical toilet is. The Ranger didn't know what the F this was all about, so hold on for news. Even if it's not pre-bulldozing, the winding singletrack is no longer in brush tunnels, but rather a flat field. Bummer.

SOUTH Hodges is freaking perfect. Some ruts, a few wet spots to ride right through, but basically very little storm damage.

That's all I got.
EBasil riding a Manitou HT or a Fisher Cake from San Diego
Posted on 01/22/05 Alert moderators of this post


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