• Noble Canyon - #NobleCanyon

    Socal - San Diego County - Pine Valley NickNames: #NobleCanyon

    From San Diego travel east on I 8 about 35 or 40 miles to the Pine Valley Exit. Go north to Old Highway 80 and turn left (west). Travel about one mile and turn right on Pine Creek Rd. Look for and park at the Noble Canyon Trailhead in about 1.5 miles. Thomas Guide page 1237


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    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-What can I say - its Noble! Lots of fun. Conditions yesterday were absolutely perfect. Cool temps, the creek is flowing, and the trail is in great shape. No wildflowers, though.
      Seaclasper a 39 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Hallucinogenic Ukelele from Sandy Eggo


    • Trail UpdateNoble-Rode from the parking area up to Laguna Meadows, across to Noble, up to Sunrise Hwy, and back down Noble. A great loop, this is the perfect time of year to do it. I got to Sunrise Hwy around 8 a.m. and it was chilly up there, bring a jacket! Trail is in great shape, nice and technical, I was even smiling after my endo... No water running in the upper canyon, just a trickle in the lower half...
      Seaclasper a 38 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Giant Trance 1 from Fatchoomatta, Catchatori


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-The Spring is gone, but still a few flowers here and there up at Noble. Trail conditions are great, and temps today were perfect for a morning ride. What a treat to ride beside a babbling brook in southern California!
      seaclasper a 0.3 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Rusted Hulkasaurous from Snidely Pass, Montany


    • Trail UpdateGreat Shape-Shuttled up a few miles past the top, and rode down through Laguna Meadow before taking Noble to the bottom. This was my first ride at Noble, but it was absolutely beautiful.

      The crossings all seemed to have some water - not a lot, but enough to soak your undercarriage.

      It was *really* warm out there; I bonked at about mile 14, and had to Power Bar my way back into the action.

      Saw a lot of hikers up in the meadow area, but hardly anyone on the downhill sections. Overall, the trail seemed to be in great shape.
      tglinatsis a 28 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Specialized FSRXc Pro from Ramona, CA


    • Trail UpdateFun As Always-Trail is in great shape! The small water crossings are pretty much dryed up as the trail is pretty dry, and pretty dusty.

      But over all in great shape and fun as always!
      protijy a 28 year old Downhiller riding a BigHit from San Diego URL: Protijy


    • Trail UpdateRode Noble: up the road, left at the oak tree, up Indian Creek, over Champagne pass where we barely stopped before about 50 equestrians started coming up the trail, so we high tailed it out of there to stay in front down Pinball. Hubby lost his Serfas glasses up there. Then we went straight/right to head over and down Noble. Trail is in good condition. It was warm. Saw a few other people, some hikers. Weather was pretty warm.
      stumpygirl a Weekend Warrior riding a Spec Stumpjumper FSR 120 from So cal


    • Trail UpdateNoble Cyn Loop-Did this ride today for the first time and wasn't disappointed, even though I had some high expectations. I also expected crowds, given some of the previous posts. But, I was there for almost 6 hours and only saw three groups total - not bad for a beautiful Saturday morning. Trail conditions were real nice, couple of small sections I had to walk, but for a reasonably skilled rider I don't think this trail is all that difficult...


    • Trail UpdateHey Mortensen, it's been an IMBA trail for several years now. Hasn't done any harm.

      Dick Cunningham


    • Trail UpdateNoble canyon is in the new mtnbikeaction magazine being isted as one of IMBA's best epic rides in the US pretty cool for us locals! yet unfortunatly we now will see even more peolple on the trail. But if it increses awareness and contributes to more people helping with maintanance then we really can't complain.

      kmortensen a 26 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a 2005 fsr pro


    • Trail UpdateSui's bulldozed???



    • Trail UpdateCloths on the trail? WTF you talking about Willis??

      Will be snowed over this weekend anyway.
      Nobel Prize Winner


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon/ Extra Credit-I rode it on Sunday. After the rain last week, be well aware of the rocks pointed straight up on extra credit. The switchbacks have erroded a little bit, but not too much. Keep eyes open for hikers on Extra Credit too. When I was there, hikers were leaving pieces of cloth on the trail to follow their path. If you by chance see these pieces of cloth, please pick them up. Cause park rangers have been noted to be seen there picking up the trails. Help them out and help other riders out.


    • Trail UpdateNOBLE IN GREAT SHAPE.-Just rode this yesterday...had a blast. Temps were perfect - low 60s - and wind was minimal. It was part of my loop, where I did the BLT, Noble Cyn, spur to Hell Hill, Fire Road down to Indian Creek up to Champagne Pass, Pine Mountain Loop, Indian Creek, Noble Cyn, then finshed with BLT back to car. 6-1/2 hours and 32 miles later I was spent. The climb up to Champagne Pass was a bear, but worth it as Pine Mountain was smooth and flowy. It was actually dark on my last mile to the car and around 40 degrees out. Sketchy going down that windy ST in almost dark conditions thru trees and thickets of bushes with no headlights. Any way, get out to Noble Canyon soon b4 the next rains won't be disappointed. Saw about 15 other riders on Noble and they were all going up it as I was going down. PS: There was one downed tree across the trail just b4 you get to the "forest" area paralleling the creek. You will have to go over it as it is too big of a tree to bunnyhop or roll over. No poison oak or weeds to harass you either.
      GhostRider a 43 year old Weekend Warrior riding a GF S3 from Oceanside


    • Trail UpdateBeautiful Day!-Rode Noble yesterday. The trail was in great shape. The recent light rains have left the soil in perfect shape for great traction and no dust. The rains had also uncovered some of the sharper rocks! The trail was super fun as always. Thanks to the SDMBA crew who came out yesterday to do trail work, the trail looked great!
      ICPAYDIRT a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Superlight from Pacific Beach


    • Trail UpdateThanks SD MTBers-Visiting from the Northwest and it usually takes a lot to impress when riding elsewhere. Boulder City is about the only place I would go to again in this area of the country and now I will add this trail.

      This trail is in great shape and provides a good challenge for XC riding on a few moderate natural drops and rocks. Technical riders will enjoy it although there are a couple dangerous fall areas if you are not ready for them or don't have the skills. We hooked up with a local dude on a Salsa single speed (thanks dude) who gave us the beta on the hard parts coming down Noble Canyon so we weren't completely blind. The climb up Indian Creek is completely doable if you are on your A-game. The 'extra credit' climb is also tough but doable the second time around once you know what's coming.

      Trail users were friendly and courteous. I saw more MTBers in one day out here than I saw all season last year back home in Washington at numerous riding areas. Your trail access issues are obvious, so good job so far and good luck in keeping these areas open to MTBers in the future.


    • Trail UpdateSorry for the late post. Rode this on Saturday, 8/13 for the first time. Down in San Diego visiting. Decided to give the trail a try. Started at Pine Valley picnic area. Rode up Pine Creek road to the oak tree. Decided to continue on road because of some advice from a local down at the parking lot. Nice scenery but I wish I would've gone on the trail like the post below. Finally got to the Noble trailhead. Started my descent and what a fun trail you've got down here. Probably the rockiest trail I've ridden in SoCal, right up there next to Cottonwood Canyon in Vegas. I had a blast though. Popped my tire and blew Stan's everywhere just after the Stairway to Hell. Threw a tube in a finished out the remainder of the ride. All and all it took me a total time of 3 hours from start to finish with breaks at the oak tree and the trailhead and a disappointing tire blow out.
      SS Barby a 26 year old Racer riding a Gt singlespeed/ Marin Wolf Ridge from Edwards, Ca


    • Trail Update38 mile fun fest on 8/14. We started at the Pine Valley trailhead(yes,we got tickets for not buying a pass)We rode up Pine Valley road, a delightful 13% grade in a couple spots to the oak tree and then headed off to the left dropping 2 miles to the Indian Creek trailhead. We began a rocky assault uphill on hot exposed singletrack. My calf had a close encounter with a rattlesnake. He was not pleased I was crossing by him. Ugly potential for sure. There were a few hike spots but maybe a Tinker type could clean them. After about 2 miles we came to a junction. One went to Sunrise hwy to the left and we took that for a fun high grass ,great views ridge ride. At sunrise we turned right and did a road ride to the Nobel trailhead. We then turned left onto Big Laguna trail. That was easy and very fun! That also pops onto Sunrise hwy and if you go left and ride the road back to Nobel, expect lots of climbing. You will go past a country store where we fueled with peanut butter crackers and soda.That was nice. For sure it'd be better to take the trail back for an out and back so we'll do that next time. We did about 7 to 8 miles of road riding on this whole day of riding. We don't mind but we misjudged the distance on this one. NO matter, I needed the food at the store for sure! Finally back to Nobel.What can I say, it never ceases to amaze me what an incredible place this is. It remains one of the top 5 trails on my list and I've ridden the deep woods of Idaho,Oregon,Hawaii and blah blah blah..a ton of places all over! It's in fantastic shape. Giant ferns and waterfalls and oak tunnels..*sigh* Take care of it. This is one gem we can't lose! Precautions:Bring sunscreen, BUG SPRAY and lots of food and water!

      Dirtmistress a 48 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a S C SL from L.A.


    • Trail UpdateThe Beast From The East-- I went up the fire trail of Noble Canyon from Pine Creek this past Sunday. It was my first time on this trail, and I must say that is quite an uphill through the 90 degree humid weather. I would rank myself as an intermediate rider, and found this trail to be a bit difficult but not impossible. I took a 2 liter hydration pack and it was pretty much empty by the top. I made the mistake of not filling up my pack with water by the picnic area and was paying for it at the last section of the trail. I would highly recommend refilling your hydration pack whenever possible. The downhill lived up to all the hype and then some. I was pretty much worn out for the last section of the downhill to really enjoy it. But Iím sure with a little more training Iíll be able to enjoy the whole thing. I may need two or three weeks to rebuild my appetite for this beast, but I am definitely going back and highly recommend this trail.
      grimace10 a 28 year old riding a Cannondale F700 from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateNobel Canyon's Flippin' Awesome!-Today was an epic ride, the trail was in great shape although moist from recent rains. Small loose rocks make it more technical at times both up and down. There were several water crossings but few you couldn't ride through. Traces of snow at the top and it got a little chilly up there, especially my fingers, I would recommend full finger gloves! Other than that, super sweet sights, the downhill was awesome, prepare and be stoked!
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 18 miles Elevation change: 3000ft
      Singletrack=65% Dirt Road=10% Paved Path=20% Truck Trail=5%
      ICPAYDIRT a 31 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Superlight from Pacific Beach


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-rode this trail this past sunday. went up fireroad to singletrack, then down noble canyon. a bit of snow on top, a few more exposed rocks making parts of trail a bit more technical. overall, trail is in great shape.


    • Trail UpdateNo Update. But I'd Like One!-i'm sure others would as well. if anyone's ridden noble after the rains, please, kindly leave a report of trail muddy-ness and damage, or even an idea of how long we should stay off the trails til it's rideable. thanks heaps!
      EPICjurneez a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a bighit/ELLS-truth/cromostumpjumper


    • Trail UpdateSheephead Mtn Rd-OK, this isn't Noble Canyon, but it's close by, so I thought it would go best here. You get here by taking the 8 to Buckman Springs road, hanging a left, and parking on the side of the dirt road after about a third of a mile. Then start plugging up the dirt road...

      This is a fairly uninteresting climb for the first 3 miles on a wide dirt road, with sparce motorized traffic, until you reach a hang glider launch. After that the trail gets nice and narrow, runs down into a canyon and up more hills, and even becomes reasonably technical in a few spots. Not the greatest trail of all time, but an interesting trip nonetheless. Hang out and watch some of the hang-gliding loonies on your way back down!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 12 miles Elevation change: 2000 ft
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
      Seaclasper a 34 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Huffy 76'er w/banana seat and bell from Sandy Eggo, CA


    • Trail UpdateTurner Accusations-Ebasil - Since (red) Turner riders are more inclined to "augment" the trail by adding big rocks with sharp edges, I don't understand your remark, unless its red-envy. BTW, I never sniff paint on the way down Noble, only after surviving the ride.
      DirtChef a 48 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Turner 5-spot from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateOpen, Great Riding, Lots Of Sun-
      The only not open up there is the section of trail called the Sunset Trail that connects the route around the "back side of the meadow" to the BLT. This is the trail that used to be marked "no bikes" on the side touching the BLT, and without restrictions posted on the side behind the meadow. Now, the whole things is marked closed to all.

      Noble, including the uppermost section near Penny Pines trailhead, plus the bypass off of the BLT is all open.

      Watch out for dudes on red Turners. If you move rocks around to make stuff easier, red Turner owners come unglued. It's not their fault, there's something in the metalflake.
      EBasil riding a Manitou HT with no paint from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateWhat are you talking about? What's closed? The whole trail has been opened (top to bottom) for over a month.

      Noble Lover


    • Trail Update7-10-04-I was just up in Noble Canyon, and it seems like everything is closed off. If you get around Julian it looks better. Does anyone know if you can get in trouble for crossing the barricades?
      huajiro a 33 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Canondale from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateDrying Up-We rode it on the 5th, and all but the one "major" stream crossing are dead dry, now. The ash/silt is showing more useage and some lines from people shooting berms that used to have bushes on the areas above the "burn line".

      The lower sections are good and it looks like the "cheater line" on Widowmaker claimed's washed out toward the tree. C'mon, be tough and walk the hard line like I do!

      Climbing up toward Extra Credit at 11:30am reminds me why it's important to get there before the heat of the day and to save half a camelbak for that one section... spin, sip, spin, sip, spin, curse sand, sip...
      EBasil riding a Fisher Cake with a teeny little pixie ring from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateNoble Cyn.-Our group did the Gazebo to the bottom of the
      trailhead yesterday. This was my first time back
      since the fire and I'm glad to say Noble is in good
      shape. Some lines are more visible with the
      depletion of vegetation, but other than that it was
      like old days.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 27 miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=95% Dirt Road=5%
      Gunnar Boy a 47 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Gunnar Rock Hound & Specialized M-4 Stumpjumper Pr from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateOpen, Different And Fun-
      All the trailheads and roads are open, and in pretty good shape. The trail crews, paid and volunteer, did some nice work.

      Upper Noble is different: long, clear sightlines where chaparall used to line the trail, and sections with coffee-dark silt/ash on them. The silt/ash is much easier to navigate than sand would be, but similar in effect otherwise.

      The next sections, leading down to the last road crossing, are also in good shape. There are some drainage vees cut in at a few places, and that rocky climb section is somewhat smoother than it has been in years past. With the brush all burned out, the in-n-out twisty turns are easily predicted, making the switchbacks easier to navigate and the trail seems "faster" than it was before the fires.

      Below the burn area, the trail's in great shape, with a little water in the creek.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      EBasil from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateTrail Update-Top is still closed as of 5/16. Recent trail work had been done. Nice work.


    • Trail UpdateDue to the Forest Closure Order the top 3 miles of the Noble Canyon Trail is temporarily closed to the public. You can still ride up Pine Creek Road all the way to Sunrise Highway, but it is closed to motor vehicles. You will find orange snow fence blocking off the sections of trail in the burn zone, please respect these temporary closures.


    • Trail UpdateUp In Smoke-I think the pictures say it all. URL: Fire in Noble Canyon


    • Trail UpdateIn the continuing effort to ensure public safety, to promote trail-user cooperation and preserve multi-use access at the Noble Canyon Trail, San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA), in coordination with the Descanso Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service, has installed a Trail Bell Program. You will find boxes at both upper and lower trailheads containing bells with velcro straps. Please use them. They are intended to help other trail users to hear cyclists approaching and are by no means an excuse to travel faster or ignore proper trail etiquette. Cyclists should continue to yield to all other trail users. When approaching equestrians, slow down, announce yourself, stop if necessary and speak to the rider regarding how the rider would like you to proceed. With your support and cooperation, the Trail Bell Program will help to preserve trail access at Noble Canyon and on other local trails. If you have any questions, or if you would like to get involved in SDMBA's Noble Canyon Bike Patrol, contact URL:


    • Trail UpdateHey, Where Is My CD Holder!-Contrary to the previous post.......It was an oven in that thar
      canyon. We rode from the Laguna meadows to Noble and down
      to the market in Pine Valley. All in all, no problems EXCEPT just
      before the first rOcK GaRdEn, I pulled over to change disks
      (yes, I rock while I ride the rocks) and low and behold, my disk
      wallet with three CD's was gone. Thrown from the holder in the
      HAWG somewhere! HELP, if you find a blue colored CD wallet
      with three disks......... e-mail me. I would really appreciate
      having those back. I didn't lose the CD player, so I had one disk
      to listen to OVER AND OVER (Well, Led Zep isn't so bad) for the
      rest of the ride.
      That place is getting very rugged compared to my first ride
      down Noble in 1992!!!! Thank you Pine Valley SuperMarket for
      allowing us to "Park & Ride" from there!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: Many miles Elevation change: lots
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=40% Paved Path=10%
      Mtbchip a 45 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a nd walking his Catamount MFS over da rocks!!!! from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-Did this ride last Saturday and it was a blast! I rode with a buddy up the back road up to Sunrise Highway and entered the trailhead from there, and I would say about 1/3 of the trail was covered in a few inches of snow. Not too cold as long as we kept moving, but it definitely froze up our brakes at times. On our decent most of the snow turned to mud and we didn't get to the dry stuff until about halfway down the mountain--3 or 4 miles. If you are looking for some diversity and snow-riding then this is definitely the time to hit up Noble Canyon.

      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 18 Elevation change: 2500
      Singletrack=60% Paved Path=40%
      Log-jam a 20 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Trek 4500 from Coronado


    • Trail UpdateNutcraker Trail-Noble Canyon-Rode this trail all the way up and all the way down today. The uphill was killer, and not in a good way, but the downhill proved to be worthy of the 1.5 hour climb up to the top. However, my karma finally evened the score with me on the way down:

      As I flew down the awesome singletrack, I tried to keep up with these guys on bikes that cost more than my car--and have full suspension. When it came to the rocky section, I still pushed myself to stay with--and ahead--of the pack. This is where the Nutcracker Ball took place. In an effort to show off my skills, I planted my fork into a rock and I immediate slid right into my headset and handlebars. But it didn't stop there. As my back end started to come up over me and I saw the jagged rocks below, and started to run down the rocks so that I didn't flip all the way over. About 10 yards down the line, I eventually tripped over a rock and I was sent flying into the ground with my bike still tightly wedged in my crotch. When I came to and stopped yelling, I started to ride again. I kept thinking about how lucky I was that I didn't "lose something." Next thing I know, I am feeling the cold sensation of blood dripping down my inner thigh. I pulled off the trail and checked my package. I thought to myself as I pulled down my shorts, "Oh God, please noooo!!!" God had spared my family jewel by placing a nice rip about 2 inches from my manlyhood. There is a lesson to be learned by this trail review: It is an awesome trail, but if you don't have full-suspension, don't try to ride like you do. Luckily, my masculinity and I may live to see the day that I ride a new full-suspension bike. Overall, the trail was definitely worth the injury.

      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 19 miles Elevation change: 3000-5000 feet
      Singletrack=60% Paved Path=40%
      Log-jam a 20 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Trek 4500 from Coronado


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-This trail lives up to its name: Noble Canyon. The climbing and techinical rock and sand climbs were amazing, as well as the switchbacks that had banked walls so that us faster guys could keep the momentum. Overall, one hell of a trail, one hell of a ride.

      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 19 miles Elevation change: 3000 feet
      Singletrack=70% Dirt Road=15% Truck Trail=15%
      Log-jam a 20 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Trek 4500 from Coronado


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon On 8-22-02-Five of us (Hansel, Gabe, Gabe's brother Ray, Ali, and myself) met up with Guy Thompson of Turner Bikes at 10 am. Only Guy had been here before, so he served as our trail guide for the day. It was already hot and would only get HOTTER! We shuttled to the top (some of us were on long travel bikes) and took off for the trail. Guy brought us on a loop around Laguna Meadow that was smooth, rolling and very scenic. It eventually looped around to the Noble Canyon trail and the fun really started. I was on one of the long travel bikes, so Guy pointed the way and sent me out first. This trail ROCKS! Full of suprises to keep you on the edge: Full speed sections that slam you into a tight switchbacks without warning; sudden rock gardens that demand your total concentration. We eventually emerged from the trees and into the scrub-brush section (very much like the San Juan Trail here.) This is where the real rock gardens begin. We caught up to 2 seperate groups riding this section, so there were about 15 riders in the rocks which made it even more fun...watching people crash, watching others flow through a tough section, seeing a spectacular blowout (sounded like a shotgun!) We heard later that one guy from the other groups broke his frame through here...long hot walk out! My do-it-all watch said temps on the trail were 110 degrees! We all went through all of our water. I love this ride! Thanks to Guy for the tour and making it happen! To bad it's such a long drive from LA or I could see it becomming a regular ride. If you've done it, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, you owe it to yourself to get out there.
      Go ride!
      Ride rating: Expert
      Ride distance: ~18 miles Elevation change: 2000?
      Hfmadness a 37 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Foes Fly from Downey


    • Trail UpdateIndian Creek/Noble Canyon-Rode up the paved Pine Creek Road, over the cattle gaurds and big oak tree on top. Took Indian Creek trail from here and passed stone house. Must have missed the turnoff back towards Noble Canyon because I ended up on a long rocky climb that took me to a meadow. Wondered around the area for awhile on fireroads trying to get some sort of bearing and then ended up on Sunrise Highway at the Pioneer Mail Trailhead. Rode up Sunrise Highway to where it meets Pine Creek road and back down. Trails in decent condition, but unsure where the heck I was after the climb from what I thought was Indian Creek.
      Ride distance: 24 miles Elevation change:
      a 21 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Rocky Mountain


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon And The Guantlet-The trail was awesome today, we did a shuttle run from the top, (on DH rigs), walked the uphills, and attacked the downhill portions with a vengeance, especially the last leg of the rock garden, a.k.a. "Da Gauntlet", where you can either bolster your confidence or bust your @#% (Dusty and loose). The conditions were warm at the top, and downright hot at the rock gardens, which were a snap with our bikes, but the heat took the snap out of us!! We each went through a liter or more of water, and were bone dry 3/4 of the way through. All in all, it was a awesome ride,
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: ? Elevation change: 3000
      Singletrack=90% Dirt Road=10%
      The Gimp a 25 year old Downhiller riding a Specialized Big Hit from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon Trail-For the past few weeks, there have been signs posted at the top and bottom of Noble Canyon trail indicating that the trail has been officially adopted by San Diego Mountain Biking Association. I just want to say thanks to all the SDMBA volunteers for helping to preserve this trail. If you've ever ridden it, you know how precious this trail is. And you also know how important it is to volunteer to help out. Let's keep this trail open and fun. Go to for details.
      IMBAdaniel URL: SDMBA


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon- Indian Creek Trail-Started at the parking lot on Pine Creek road for the Noble Canyon Trail. Instead of going up the Noble Canyon trail I went up Pine creek road until I got on Indian Creek trail. I then took Indian Creek trail to the Noble Canyon trail and then back down to the parking lot on Pine Creek road. It was very hot! I brought 3 liters of water and still ran out. The ride was mostly uphill until I hit Noble Canyon. The uphill in a lot of sun drained a lot of energy. Along the ride up you can see where the recent fire had taken place. If I were to do it again I think I would have cut off on Languna Meadow road and picked up Noble Canyon from there. The ride down Noble Canyon was wild. Lots of loose rock and very unpredictable. Be careful there are multiple places in the trail with large rocks and bolders that you have to pick your way through carefully. Even with the dry summer the creek still has running water with some pools. Even a few trout. It is a trail well worth riding but be prepared for the heat. This felt like one of the longest 17 mile rides I have had. June 29, 2002 10am-2pm 95 degrees.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 18 miles Elevation change: 3,000 ft
      Thad Rothrock a 34 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Trek 4900 from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-Wow what a ride. We were up there this past Saturday. The ride was fast and furious.. It was very cold this day that we went and we had wind gusts averaging around 20-30mph. Nothing like it though anywhere else in San Diego.. I really enjoyed the ride, but don't ever ride up that hill to the top.. Wow, talk about grueling. Seemed like it was never going to stop.. There are some very fast sections and the technical sections are technical, however if you find the right line, you can get through them.
      100% single track if you start from the top.. If you go through the fire road to the top, then it's 50/50

      Definitely a repeat ride!!
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Alex a 30 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Taz from Chula Vista, California


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-Whoo-Whee, what a whopper! An absolute gas. Did the drive from L.A. Wed night. Left about 8:00pm arrived in S.D. a little after 10:00. Headed east on the 8 freeway and shacked up at a Motel 6. I tell you there was something funny going on in one of the connecting rooms. Probably better that I don't know. After a crummy anticipation-filled sleep, woke up at the FREEZING crack of dawn, grabbed a coffee and some sugary cakes for breakfast at AM/PM and hit the road. (Gee, I can't seem to stop talking about mountain biking). Finally made it to the trailhead about 8:00am with a photo-copied page of the route from a guidebook and I tell you it was COLD and that wind was a-blowin! Started the climb up Pine Creek road not entirely sure if I was going the right way. (The guidebook didn't exactly make it clear that the climb is on a completely paved road). I took one little detour on the dirt but it just met back up with the pavement again. During the climb I had to deal with a pulverizing, bone-chilling wind that knocked me around like a pinball. Hell, I was riding a 31lb GT i-drive and I'm not exactly Mr. skinny-boy either. I've never had so much clear, salty water come out of my nose in my life. On more than one occasion I thought about turning around and aborting the whole mission but something inside me said to keep going. Fortunately I listened to that little voice; besides, I had come too far to quit now! The guidebook called this climb 'very difficult' but unless I went the wrong way it really wouldn't have been that bad were it not for the ferocious winds. Alright, enough bitching, but that's what you do if you're a LA/Hollywood wuss like me. Made it to the top of the highway road, hung a right, and lo and behold there it was! I never thought a trailhead sign could look so wonderous!
      First a bit of a climb on the singletrack and then down I went (literally). It's a good thing this 10-mile slice of heaven is not located too close to my residence or else all bills, work, and other responsibilities would be out the window in a heartbeat. This is a very technical trail a bit beyond my abilities which made it even more astonishing that I was able to clean some of the psycho-rocky dropoffs. Yeah, yeah we all know the drill. Lower the saddle, no front brake, ass way back but easier said than done. I'm getting used to the position but it always feels like my cajones are going to smack into the back of the saddle. You just have to have faith, even if you do endo in this position you generally flip upwards and pivot over the bar (cajones safe and sound but not other parts of your body). I tend to think it was first timer's luck but I managed to clean most of the sections however the boulder field at the end is out of my league. I tried a few spots but that was it. Of course back at the car about 11:30am the wind had dwindled down to a pleasant breeze. Superlatives do not do this ride justice so I'll shut up now and I'll also be back.

      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: miles 19 Elevation change:
      Singletrack=50% Paved Path=50%
      Andy a 32 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a GT i-drive from Hollywood


    • Trail UpdateNoble-To the Florida guy, This is definitely a trail that is more enjoyable on full suspension, except for the the top section (excepting Indian Creek) as previously posted, which is buffed out and not rocky. The bottom part is challenging, but fun if your arms and back aren't dying on you, and your confidence is not lost. That's where a full-suspension bike really helps.
      Mike Kim


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-

      Hey Flatlander from Florida,

      My advice is to start at the top of the trail up by Sunrise Highway and only ride half-way down to the stream crossing. Then turn around and come back up.

      This is the smooth and fast part of the trail and you can ride it down barely braking and then ride it back up as a smooth and long grade. That is except for the switchbacks at the bottom, but they don't last very long. Since I like longer rides, I like to do the top half of the trail at Noble, then take the Big Laguna trail loop over by the cow pasture. This offers nicer scenerey, smooth trail, cooler high-altitude and forest canopy.

      I generally don't care for the bottom part of the Noble Canyon trail. As you said, it's pretty steep and rocky. It's not much fun to carry your bike back up the rock gardens. I prefer to ride up the hills rather than walk. Most people I see riding down there are only going one way on a shuttle mission.

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Bret a 37 year old Weekend Warrior riding a 2001 Schwinn Rocket 88 Disk from San Clemente, CA


    • Trail UpdateJust rode Noble today. I'm basically a beginner and have only rode in the flatlands of Fl. Needless to say this trail whoope dup on me and my low model Gary Fisher with the Jett fork...The trip up was exhausting although I did get passed by several riders who looked like they were riding on flat land although it felt like a 45 degree ange to me..Once I finally started my descent down I was finally having fun, got some speed haeding down then started hitting giant pathces of rocks, I did okay but I dont think these were meant for beginners, pretty tech for me, but still a lot of fun, made it through with only one endo and minimal blood loss...The trail has great views and the stream cutting through was nice...I do have one question though, how many other options are there at Noble? or is there just the one trail that I took? anything with less rocks and maybe a little more on the novice/intermediate level? And also, is it me riding abilites that are that poor or do I need full suspension because I have never been bounced around til my arms were numb before.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: need lots of water Elevation change:
      Larry a 25 year old riding a gary fisher marlin


    • Trail UpdateNobles Canyon?-

      I thought this place call Nobles Canyon or is that different place?

      I am from French and just want to makes sure I have the trues.

      If different place I ride sometimes.

      All your base are belong to us.

      chirs a 31 year old riding a santa cruz superlight x from Westmeinster, CA


    • Trail UpdateNoble Camyon-Rode there 3-20-01, noticed a fre burning a few miles up, I kept climbing, the gate where I guess it's normally unlocked and accessible to vehicles was locked, a mile or so above the gate there was a ranger stopping anyone that was coming up due to "controlled burning" the US Forest Service was performing, she advised me to turn around due to unsafe conditions up above, the burning was roadside and flames were kicking up due to shifting winds. Of course I wasn't about to go home, so I did what any man would do that is desperate, I begged and pleaded with her till she let me through and handed me off to the next ranger up 2
      They were expecting me up above, so as I arrived, they cautioned me to stay on the south side of the road and try not to breath to deeply, yeah right, have you tried not to breath too deeply while you're climbing this steep as grade of a road. I pedaled as hard as I could to get by the flames and smoke, lungs started hurting and eyes getting watery, it was only for about 1/4 mile, done I'm in the clear.
      Got to the Noble Canyon trailhead off on Sunrise Hwy. and climbed the first section to the top, there was still patches of snow up there on north facings hillsides, some parts of the trail also had small patches of snow, although melting quickly.
      Started the bombing process, at first I must admit I was a bit disappointed, although the trail is scenic, fun and fast, there was no technical obstacles, no tight switchbacks, no rock gardens, I'm thinking to myself "what's the big frickin deal", as I'm almost getting lulled by the trail, I finally hit the rock garden I was told about, I was in a flow feeling it, bike and I as one, I was taking drops and attacking the rock gardens that I normally would think twice about without a problem, well all good things must come to an end.
      The last section of the rock garden, before you start climbing, there is this last rock section with a good drop at the end of it, well, I didn't quite make it, I thought I was, I picked a clean line, just when I hesitated half way through just a bit, I got tossed right over the bars and landed on a rock chest first, it was like a pulling 300 lb. lineman spearing you right in the numbers or like having Tyson cold cock you in the chest, it definitely caused me to lay there like a corps for a minute or two to regain my composure, a little swollen on the left hand from trying to break the fall, unsuccessfully of course.
      At this point, not only I was in a bit of pain, but more importantly my flow had diminished, I was no longer in a zone and rode out the remaining of the trail with caution and hesitation, not what you want with the section to follow.
      Last part of the trail before you reach the car is awesome, lots of rocks, sometimes too many to even figure out a smooth line and you have to just commit to hitting a few and hope your momentum keeps you rolling forward, being in my state of mind, I tripoded a couple of sections but still pushed it to the limit, at one point I took a drop, I hit so hard that next thing I knew the bike was 10 feet ahead of me and I'm on my ass trying to figure out how WTF just happened.
      Finally I reached the car, total ride was 2:50, I don't have a computer, but I'm guessing it's 7-8 miles up and at least that down, not as long as I've heard (time wise), but plenty enough descending to wear you down and rattle your arms, shoulders and legs.

      This is a great little gem you people have in San Diego, although the climb is a bit of a bitch, it is a must do, if I lived anywhere near this thing, I think I would be at it every couple of weeks till I mastered it.

      What a great day to be out and riding and not a soul to be seen in sight.

      JoeTruth riding a Ellsworth Truth from Altadena


    • Trail UpdateNobel Canyon Powder Coated-Road Nobel Canyon loop Friday with a buddy. He had never ridden Nobel before and may never ride with me again. jk Half way through the descent he was thinking he might have frost bite on his toes. There was 6" to a foot of snow from the top through the woods on the way down. It was tough riding and very cold, but the snow cover was spectacular! We were both cursing having not brought a camera at every spectacular vista. (which there are many) Last two miles of accent and down hill all the way to the bottom of the Oak forrest is covered in snow. If you're gonna ride it, do it early cuz it's gonna take longer than normal and it's no place to get caught after dark with shorts on!!
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Kala a 27 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Klein Mantra Pro from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-is in fine shape. Moist, tacky, no dust, even water in the upper tributary creeks. The recent Santa Ana winds make for amazing visibility up top by Sunrise and the trail itself seems more beaten down in the more technical and rocky sections. With over nine miles of downhill technical, however, there are always surprises. No injuries, though, one almost endo and an endorphine rush that keeps me coming back! I have ridden this one about four or five times and this was the best run yet.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: Elevation change: 2000 or thereabouts
      Palindrome a Weekend Warrior riding a lime green idrive from the republic of OB


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon!-Did my yearly run of this San Diego Classic ride. Uphill in 1 hour 15 minutes and blasted the fast singletrack downhill. Trail is in good shape. Trail was crowded (must have been the cool weather) but no real problems other than the riding over a prickly pear leaf in the middle of the trail throwing me a flat!

      Appreciably, no OTB incidents and thus no new open wounds!

      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 22 miles Elevation change: 2500 ft
      Singletrack=70% Paved Path=30%
      Gaping Wound a 35 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized Hardtail from Huntington Beach, CA


    • Trail UpdateIndian Creek To Noble Cyn-This is a reply to the rider (Mike) who posted below. After descending down the fireroad (from the big tree on the paved rd) and rolling along to the rock house, you must have turned left onto Indian Creek Trail (which leads to Cuyamaca). If you turn right on Indian Creek, you will climb up towards Noble Cyn (near Sunrise Hwy). Look at it this way -> at least you have an excuse for going back.
      SS a 32 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Catamount from OC


    • Trail UpdateIndian Creek/Noble Canyon-Well, I went there to hit noble again. Unfortunately my riding partner had never done this loop before. I found my way just fine up the paved climbed to the top where the big tree and the cattle guard are. I went straight across to the fire road and headed downhill. Went past the rock house and found the Indian Creek trailhead. It was here that I lost my way. I just followed the Indian Creek trail finally ending up in Cayamaca State Park. Came out on the 79, a little disoriented to say the least. Ended up riding about 7 miles down the 79, left on Old Highway 80 and back to the bottom of Noble Canyon. Can anyone tell me where I went wrong? I'd really like to make that loop. It ended up being 22 miles anyway, so not all was lost.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 22 Elevation change:
      Singletrack=60% Dirt Road=30% Paved Path=10%
      Mike Abel a 30 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a 2000 Schwinn 4-Banger from Vista, Ca


    • Trail UpdateIndian Creek/Noble Canyon-I rode the Indian Creek/Noble Canyon loop on Saturday. There were about 10 cars in the parking lot at 9:00am but I only saw 5 riders the entire route. It was a great day for a ride (even though the first 4 miles on the paved climb were pretty hot). It must have rained recently in the area because the trail was damp in several spots. This made for excellent traction. This was only the second time I have ridden this trail. I didn't have my San Diego riding partner with me this time so I had to navigate with a fading 1 yr memory of the previous ride. I didn't have any problems except I forgot where the entrance of Indian Creek trail was located. I swore it was at the bottom of the first drop down from the paved road (after turning left at the big tree). After riding back and forth on the fireroad for half an hour, I met a guy that I had ridden with in Riverside. He had a guidebook and we found the trail just past the rocky house. I had no problems the rest of the way. From Indian Creek, I turned left at the first intersection and took an unnamed singletrack across the ridge for a few miles until it ended at a fireroad near Sunrise Hwy. I hung a right on the fireroad and then dropped left down a rocky grade to a creek where the trail disappeared. I scrambled up the hill on the other side of the creek and re-joined Indian Creek. I turned left on Indian Creek and took this to Noble Canyon. Noble Canyon was as majestic as I remember - sweet, smooth, and fast for the first few miles, rocky and technical creekside for the next few miles. Then, after a short climb, it is gonzo-technical for the next few miles. The trail in this section is begging you to hit the brakes so it can send you on a painful dismount. The best bet is to keep rolling and don't lose your momentum. I rode this loop much better than my first ride here. I cleaned almost the entire climb and I cleaned much of the downhill. Although, I went endo on the first rocky dropoff after the switchbacks. I locked up my brakes when it started to drop away. In slow motion my rear wheel lifted up under me. I stuck my right hand down as I was going over the bars. Somehow my bike whipped around and smashed my leg between the top tube and the handelbar. It was like playing Twister with your bike and getting "Right Hand Green". In my contorted position it was difficult to get untangled. Anyway, I escaped with only a sprained finger (which is much better than the rocky faceplant that I saw coming my way). Overall, this was an awesome ride and a great day. I can't wait to ride Noble again. I'll definitely have to get down here more often (and try out the Cuyamacas too).
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 20 miles Elevation change: 2900 ft
      Singletrack=60% Dirt Road=15% Paved Path=25%
      SS a 32 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Catamount from OC


    • Trail UpdateRode this trial yesterday, 3-18-00. Very challenging rocky sections, but awesome. The Oh sH*t factor is definitely a plus, or minus, depending on your perspective. Glad to have such good stuff close by!
      MikekiM from Ocean Beach, California


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-Unfortunately, I haven't ridden Noble in about three months, but I received my BIKE magazine in the mail yesterday (freebie subscription) and the featured trail in the back of the mag was Noble Canyon. Pretty accurate and a good photo of a lower rocky spot on the trail (with appropriately positioned yucca plant on which many of us have suffered damnable stabs). Check it out if you have a chance (and the trail, of course!). Ride on.
      Heckler riding a Specialized FSR-XC from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateSnow Tires?-Did the loop on Saturday and the first mile on the descent was covered with white stuff! It made for some fairly squirrely riding. Beyond that the trail had drained surprisingly well. Did a little exploring near the top and found some insane views of the Anzo Borrego Desert from the east side of Sunshine hwy. Great riding. Good luck to you.
      Dusty Bottoms


    • Trail UpdateSack It Up.-If I see the word "shuttle" one more time on this page, or any other that is less than 20 miles to the top I'm gonna have to laugh. I am 6'3" 205 lbs. riding a 30+ lb. GT I-Drive strapped with a niterider classic and I made it to the top in an hour and 20 minutes. Not stating that it's fast, but rather that ANYONE should be able to endure an hour of moderate cardio exercise, just ask your doctor. "But my rig weighs 40 lbs. and the gearing is DH only!!!", you say? Well than you got the wrong rig. There are countless sick downhills that cannot be shuttled, and that's the way I like it. To each his own...I guess.

      Anyway, another incredible descent down noble. Did the second half under the cover of night...kinda hairball in some sections. Also, at the beginning of noble I stopped at the top of a short climb about 3/4 mile from the trailhead and noticed a trail across Sunrise HWY on the highest peak (boulder at the top). It cuts down from left to right at an angle I don't think I have ever seen before(damn steep). Does anyone(heckler) know the deal with this trail? Legal? Name? Starting point? Anything? I think it might be part of the Pacific crest trail. Also, heckler, any luck ever finding that narrow guage trail down there? I haven't stopped researching since those postings 4 months ago, and I think I finally found it. Not sure though, will advise soon. Post your thoughts on the message board. Good luck to you. URL: Dusty Bottoms


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-This is the first time I went down south to ride, and it was outstanding. This trial is comparable to the San Juan Trail here in Orange County. I was amazed that the condition of the trail was so good, and not rutted out like San Juan trail. The only negative was a bunch of Coors Light drinking buffoons we came across on the trail. They were ridding their Wal-Mart specials with no helmet, drinking beer and yelling at everything they saw. Besides that it was a great ride.

      We were wimps and shuttled, which took 45 min. Shuttling is a waste of time, ride the trail up it is a good and fun work out. The scenery is so intense that it will take all pain out of the up hill ride.

      The parking lot at the top of the trail was packed. It was rather cold at the top but within ten minutes of the ride we were warm. The trail did not reflex the crowd at the parking lot, which was surprising.

      Ride rating: Advanced
      Dave a 27 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Fisher Zig from San Clemente URL:


    • Trail UpdateBig Laguna Option-If you love Noble canyon you will love Big Laguna also. The trail starts about 50 yards from the top of the Noble Canyon Trailhead (park at the Penny Pines Area). This trail is only 7 miles long unless you opt to take the road up to the Agua Dulce Picnic Area.
      Start off at the top of the Noble Canyon Trail. After about 50 yards you will see the Big Laguna on your left. Go through the gate and start cranking as this is a very fast ride. Please be courteous to other trail users! Stay on the main trail, always taking the trail options to the left (it's very clear which is the main trail). After a short steep climb you will hit a dirt road, cross it and continue on the trail. The trail will become a dirt road, continue up. After about .75 mile you will see a singletrack on your left that is marked by a small wooden post. Be careful because it is easy to miss! Jump on the single track and hold on to your hat! This trail is short, but it is one of the true GREAT TRAILS! At the bottom you hit the Sunrise Hwy, left back to the car or right for the Auga Dulce Option.
      Agua Dulce is about 10 minutes up the road on your right. Go arounf the gate and start downhill on the paved road. This road is quite old and erroded so be careful. After about 1 mile you will see a single track off to the right. Take this trail (all downhill and very fast)back to the middle of the Big Laguna trail. Follow Big Laguna either way back to your car.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 7 miles Elevation change: 500 Ft.
      Singletrack=95% Paved Path=5%
      Jim Stanley a 38 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Raliegh Tomac Titanium from Spring Valley


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon Loop-I headed down south to hit up some trails that I have heard plenty about...Noble. I researched this area heavily (books, web, bike shops) and they all said, "4-5 hour loop or shuttle." We got to the trailhead in one vehicle so shuttle was not an option. We asked the ranger and a group of locals how long to loop and they all said, "4-5". Finally, we asked a solo rider and got the answer we needed..."2.5, maybe 3". So up we went.

      We took Pine Creek Road up as instructed by any map and the climb was difficult in a few sections due to sheer grade, but the scenery was magnificent. Cactus at the bottom and Pine trees at the top. Autumn was never more prevelent than on this ride. I could not imagine shuttling and missing the diversity in plant life and terrain.

      Oh yeah... the downhill. Also very diverse. All singletrack, rolling at the top through the trees. Then a long section of tight switchbacks down into the creek beds. Into some nice technical rocky sections. Following the bottom out and then along some more rocky ridgeline. I had one touch at the T-intersection near the end, otherwise a squeaky clean ride.

      This is an incredibly challenging and beautiful ride, you locals should be proud. My advice to all is...put away the chest protectors and the number plates, sack it up and do the loop. I don't have a watch or a computer but it seemed a little shy of 3 hours. Good luck to you. URL: Dusty Bottoms


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon-Awsome decent!! Rode it last weekend. Fast twisted singletrack at the top, very technical rocky sections in the middle, and another technical decent after a short climb at the bottom. It doesn't get any better than this. I heard a nasty rummor that it might get closed to MTN Bikes next year. Does anyone out there have any info on possible closures. What can we do to help?? If we loose Noble, we loose the best trail in San Diego county. :(
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 11 Elevation change:
      Rick a 37 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Univega DS900 (slightly modified) from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateFrank-Noble Canyon is as good as ever!!! It's got lots of everything, from buffed rolling singletrack to nearly impossilbe technical rocky sections. Also, you can beat the Adventure Pass by parking on Pine Creek (last right before hitting parking lot). You save $5.00 and get to warm up prior to hitting the dirt.
      Frank a 34 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a S-Works FSR XC from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateEverybody remain calm. Yes, the Forest Service did perform trail work on the upper part of the Noble Canyon trail in late 1997, but the trail is not ruined. In fact, it is rapidly returning to its previous rough and tumble condition. The trail work was performed to typical USFS specifications and some was done with a small, tracked vehicle designed specifically for trail work. True, it had the immediate effect of smoothing and widening the beloved singletrack but those effects will quickly fade from memory. The REAL issue at Noble Canyon is the potential CLOSURE of the trail to mountain bikers if people don't stop treating it like a downhill race course. Noble Canyon is a shared-use trail for all non-motorized users and mountain bikers need to ride responsibly or we are going to lose it. Wanna do some good? Contact the San Diego Mountain Biking Association (619-258-9140) and become part of the solution.
      Daniel Greenstadt SDMBA


    • Trail UpdateThe Latest On Noble Canyon-I don't know if you know this, but Noble Canyon's pristine singletrack is getting bulldozed, widened to six feet. We were up there this weekend to inspect the damage. It's horrendous.
      Patty URL: Noble Canyon Message


    • Trail Update<a Href="


    • Trail UpdateNoble Canyon 18 Mile Loop-

      Posted:07/15/1997 ~ your local mountain bike site since 1996.

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