Los Penasquitos - Mira Mesa Trailhead - #LosPenasquitos
Los Penasquitos - Mira Mesa - San Diego County - #LosPenasquitos
You can enter the Preserve from the West: Use Sorrento Valley Rd. exit off the I 5 or I 805 to Sorrento Valley Blvd. Travel East about 1.5 miles. The Preserve is on your right. Thomas Guide page 1208 D5. From the East: Use the Mira Mesa Blvd exit off the I 805 or I 15 to Black Mountain Rd. Travel North about 1.5 miles. Thomas Guide page 1189 D7
Rating , Advanced
59 Updates0 Trails0 Stories0 Photos
Trail Conditions
Less To Ride, but Still There - Scroll down to see "Update #48"... the Del Mar Mesa singletracks lasted 3 years longer, but are now finally and unfortunately fenced, marked and pending destruction under the blade of a bulldozer.

This means that Los Penasquitos still offers decent trails, including some excellent SoCal singletrack, but that over half of the singletrack network in the area is "gone".
EBasil a Weekend Warrior riding a Manitou HT from San Diego
Posted on 04/21/08 Alert moderators of this post

Combine PQ trail with Santa Luz - The relatively new Santa Luz trail can be combined with the Penasquitos Canyon/Del Mar Mesa trails for a great fun ride with enough hills for a good workout. I start out at Black Mountain Ranch park at the intersection of Black Mountain Road and Carmel Valley Road. Take the trail at the back of the park, ride down the hill, veering left until you're on single track heading down the mountain. You'll ride through Santa Luz, down near Rancho Santa Fe (under the power towers), out into the backside near Four S Ranch, eventually coming back around to the park. It's an 11 mile loop with some good hills. To keep going, ride down Carmel Valley Road to Caminto Del Sur, hang a left, go past the high school, under the 56 freeway and enter the trail there that will connect you with the Del Mar Mesa area. Explore on the mesa, then take one of the several connector trails down into Penasquitos Canyon. You can climb back out of the Canyon on several trails that all head back to the Mesa. When you're done return the way you came, or continue through Penasquitos Canyon, cross Black Mountain road, and ride a nice single track that parelles Mercy Road. This ends at a fire road back up the hill...tough climb especially at the end of a long ride. Then take city streets back to the park where you started. This is just a general description, you can best figure it out on google maps.
dalerbon a 46 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Ironhorse from San Diego
Posted on 08/06/07 Alert moderators of this post
Horses Crush Trails - Riders should definitely get off their bikes and speak kindly to the horse--this is for the safety of the rider, the horse and the horse rider...any MT. Bike rider who doesn't provide this courtesy is a clueless jacktard...Notwithstanding previous comments, Horse Riders get a grip, your horses crush the trails and cause major damage, far more than any bike riders--that's a fact. So don't cry about erosion unless you wnat to send your horse to the glue factory and save the trails.
Posted on 12/29/06 Alert moderators of this post
Penasquitos - So Horses don't cause trail damage?? Let's see, a 30 pound bike with rubber wheels causes more damage than a 2,000 pound horse with metal shoes?? OK, what other aspects of life on your planet are totally off the mark??

Horses tear up trails more than anything else--save for motorcycles. I especially like how mtbers stay off the trails after a rain (for the most part) yet I always see the trails torn up by your 4 legged post hole diggers before they have a chance to dry out. Not to mention the countless piles of crap in the middle of the trail.

Also, your lame attempt at being cordial cannot begin to cover up your blatant passive-aggressive attitude. My guess is you encounter a lot more courteous bikers than rude ones, but you don't like to admit it. Probably because you are old or just not very athletic.

These are not insults nor are they meant to be--just commentary to match your own. Stay on the equestrian msg boards where you close-minded attitude is embraced by other would be environmentalists.

You give equestrians a bad name.
DEnduro a 31 year old Die-hard Enthusiast
Posted on 12/28/06 Alert moderators of this post

Penasquitos - The horse riders of Penasquitos would like to thank the few bike riders who are courteous enough to give us the required right of way, by slowing down and even stopping when they see the horses. The rest of the bike riders need to learn to read the signs. No where else in San Diego County have we encountered so many rude people who put others at risk. These are multi-use trails and we see many times that the bike riders go off into the horse trail (single-track), riding fast and not watching the trails for other users.

I suspect that many of the riders are not aware of the edo-damage caused by single track vehicles like bikes. The erosion problem caused by the packing of the trails has to be obvious to even the more oblivious of you.

At any rate, we do want to thank the few riders that give the horses the courteous right of way and we continue to hope that the rest of the riders become aware of the importance of all of us working together to keep the trails open. We need to get along and SHARE the trails! Thank you.
HorseRider a 32 year old Weekend Warrior from San Diego
Posted on 12/25/06 Alert moderators of this post

Awesome Traction - After the rain ride. Braving the cold, rode it tonight. Outstanding conditions! Did not have a "slip" (with exception of note below) the problem was more of too much traction making the bike take the turns too tight in the upper single track. Finishing off this quick loop around 6:30 pm, I crossed path with 2 riders that are equipped only with single speed bikes. I thought I was being brave on a cold night, but these two pressed on with a chuckle as I loudly noted their hardtailed one speeders! Go out and ride as the upper single track is starting to become overgrown - evidenced by the scraping of my handlebar ends on the bushes. NOTE: From the parking lot (softball field area) to the waterfall through the trail on PARK VILLAGE side, the SANDTRAP through the main intersection is piled higher and causes a washout condition because of low visibility like tonight-should not be a problem during a day ride. Also, there are still standing water on the valley floor).
Ghostshifter a 39 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Epic from San Diego
Posted on 12/19/06 Alert moderators of this post
Climbs Like a Goat! - Rode the trail Thursday afternoon for a quick 12 miler. At the end of the ride, decided to add the Sh1ts and telephone trail when I noticed three quick riders behind me on the climb. I stopped and let them through because I cannot and have not ever cleared the last steep climb towards the new housing development. Not because of the steepness, but always for traction and of course "spinning" stamina! Don't know the person's name, but he rides a steel silver stallion, specialized epic. I know it's not the "steed" he was on, but the technique and strength he attacked this incredulous hill climb resulting in the "almost" made it. The first I've seen in four years of riding this trail. He was just about a foot from clearing this incline when his front wheel just slipped due to the ruts and slippery lines and disrupted his cadence; hence, his balance as well. In my book, he cleared this obstacle. Awesome rider! Someday - I will clear this line as well.
2-1-4 a 39 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a 2001 Rocky Mountain Element
Posted on 08/19/06 Alert moderators of this post
Single Track - There is still one good single track left in PQ. From the ranch house go to the "Falls". Imediatly after the falls rest point, there is a fork in the trail hang a left(toward the creek). This trail has 2 concrete bridges and is a BLAST to ride. It is very short but worth it.
LazyBeaner a 29 year old riding a Old Hard Tail from Bay Park
Posted on 07/06/06 Alert moderators of this post
We rode this on May 3, 2006. It has been over five years since I have ridden it. It used to be a great fun ride. Unfortunately, the "trail closing enviros" have gotten too much influence in the park. Most of the single track through the river bed and along the hillside are now off limits to bikes. We were allowed to do a couple of creek crossings but having the single-track closed takes away a lot of the fun. It's still a good family or beginner trail, but no longer technically challenging.
Joker a 37 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Fisher Kai-Tai from East Cnty
Posted on 05/06/06 Alert moderators of this post
All Stream Crossings now open -
As of June 4th, every stream crossing in Los Penasquitos (Ranch House, Penasquitos, Carson, Sycamore and Wagon Wheel) will be open, with brand-new bridges for cyclists/peds. Wagon Wheel has been uncrossable/closed to bikes for 5 open and multiuse! This opens up some additional route options on the canyon floor, so get out there!
Posted on 06/03/05 Alert moderators of this post
Ride 'em while we gottem! - Yes, most of the north side is open, and most of the south side is still closed:

--North Side: open from Canyonside rec on the east, all the way along the North Trail to the construction site near Sorrento Valley. Bridges Trail is brushy, but open, as is the parallel fire road. Telephone Pole/Powerline is open to the DMM, but has a "new top" (just turn left and follow the new path next to the wall). Cobblestone is open and really good, but still washed out in spots on Lower Cobbles. Sidehill is open, but badly damaged by horses that rode in the mud. Little Waimea is open, narrow and fun.

--Del Mar Mesa singletracks: all open, all in great shape, but more cobbly, and all will be bulldozed this year. Ride 'em!

--South Side: open from the County lot at Black Mountain Road for 3/4 mile to Ranch House Crossing, where all traffic is diverted to the north side. The rest of the south side, "Main Trail" is pending re-grading and repair after the creek washed it out pretty badly. The Rangers are now working to repair Sycamore Crossing, so that they can open the Sorrento Valley lot, and let commuters cross at Sycamore to get to/fro work

--National Trails Day event at Los Pen on June 4th. At the Ranch House: rides, climbing wall, food, etc...

Posted on 05/10/05 Alert moderators of this post

Los Penasquitos - Rode the north side last week. The signs show the trails as open, and while they're a little over grown they are in good shape!

a 28 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Giant NRS1 from San Diego
Posted on 05/09/05 Alert moderators of this post

Lost Penasquitos - Still closed. What a joke. Ride it Ride it Ride it.
Posted on 04/15/05 Alert moderators of this post
Canyonside Rec Center - To park and access the currently open parts of Los Pen without starting in Carmel Valley, you can park at Canyonside Rec Center in Penasquitos.

It's one block north of Mercy Rd, on Black Mtn Rd. and you can drive west to the end of the playing fields the where there are parking spaces and the trailhead for the "North Trail" leading out west toward the falls, etc...

The other trailheads are closed because they lead directly to the "Main Trail", which is still closed.
Posted on 04/14/05 Alert moderators of this post

Where do I park? - Have ridden Los Penasquitos a couple times before and have always parked on the south end. Haven't ridden recently because of the rain until I had time today to sneak off from work a little early. I was extremely dissappointed to find that both parking areas identified for the park were closed due to flooding. I thought most of the northern trails were open. So not much to update on the trail as I spent about 45 extremely frustrating minutes trying to find an open access. Can someone help me?
pwuerstle a 30 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Heckler from san diego
Posted on 04/13/05 Alert moderators of this post
Aerial view of trails - You can find satellite views here:

Address: 11754 Carmel Creek Rd, 92130

(also works great for other trails)
madbuck a 25 year old URL:
Posted on 04/05/05 Alert moderators of this post

Cobbles and CMM open - ...from the Rangers:

We have repaired the big washout at the base of the Queens trail.
Cobbles/Queens trail is now open to all users. Please exercise caution,
there are a few changes to the trail because of the immense amount of
water flowing through the area. Have fun and be safe.

The official trails on Carmel Mountain are now open as well. This does
not include any of the trails that were fenced off in February, that is
a permanent closure. If you see the fences knocked down, perhaps you
could take a moment to put them back up and let the Rangers know. We
are making regular patrols, but with the help of everyone it will work
better. Thank you, have fun and be safe.

Gina Washington, Senior Park Ranger
Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve
Open Space Division
City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department

Posted on 04/05/05 Alert moderators of this post


Ranger Washington has just confirmed that the NORTH SIDE of Los Penasquitos, except for Cobblestone Trail, is OPEN for all users, as of now. This means that the entire North Trail from Canyonside to the construction on the west end and including Bridges Trail singletrack, is open. Telephone Pole/Powerline, Sidehill singletrack and Little Waimea singletrack are open.

Cobblestone remains closed because of ongoing repairs to a large washout at the base of a horse/hike trail at the bottom of The Sh1ts. The Rangers don’t want to open the bike/hike side until the equestrian trail is repaired, likely next weekend. The entire “south side” and all the stream crossings are still closed, pending some major grading and etc… due to washouts and whatnot.

Go check it out! The canyons are green, the singletracks are nearly overgrown and the rain ruts aren’t that bad! Skip Cobblestone and The Sh1ts for now, but ride the hell out of the DMM singletracks before they get bulldozed (that's coming, soon).
Posted on 04/01/05 Alert moderators of this post

Carmel Mtn/Del Mar Mesa update - RE: Carmel Mtn. Mesa, San Diego, Calif.

At last night's Los Pen CAC, we received notice that the Rangers and City Staff [I]intend to present a Trails Plan for the Carmel Mtn. Mesa at the May 19th CAC meeting, for approval by the CAC. [/I]

It is the intention of the CMM/DMM Management Plan authors to incorporate whatever the CAC adopts into the Management Plan. Half of this is good: one aspect of the Public Comment we submitted on behalf of the MTC was the demand that the Management Plan use the Trails Committee rather than "make stuff up". But, half of this is bad: we need to "speak now or forever hold our piece".

We don't have the draft Trails Plan yet, but it is apparently based on the discussions held by the LPCP Trails Committee last year (the one meeting I missed). It was apparent last night that some significant disagreement exists over what the Trails Committee "agreed" to, or didn't. The draft maps I've seen from the Rangers show only what appear to be fire roads (all as multiuse), some singletrack marked as "pedestrian only" and some "equestrian only (no peds, either)" singletrack leading to the pending location for the Clews Horse Ranch. Other than this, we're in a vacuum for substance.

We, the multiuse community, still desperately need a GPS survey of the trails up there, with color coding or otherwise for width (road/double/single) and notations for "importance", etc... Sometime prior to May, the Los Pen Trails Committee will be called to revisit the CMM and discuss finalizing what they came up with last year. [U]This, and the May CAC meeting, will be our ONLY chance to affect the trails plan. [/U] If we don't have trails info, and the ability to mobilize the community to communicate concerns, we risk missing out.

Three MTC members are on the Trails Committee, and we will relay information to and from the Rangers. However, I do not have the time to GPS all the mesa trails and to create a good "TOPO" or "aerial photo map". If you ride or hike up there and care enough about the access issues to help out, we will run with it. But, if we cannot present a compelling argument for the preservation of particular trails, I am certain the strong preference of a few will result in an area with very little singletrack access.

The "CMM" region we're dealing with includes Eucalyptus, that stepped hikeabike trail just to the west of Euc, and the entire top of the remaining mesa over to the current Clews Horse Ranch and the apartments.

--Please feel free to post or forward this message to other mailing lists.--

See you on the trails,

Erik Basil
[B]Multiuse Trails Coalition[/B]
Posted on 03/18/05 Alert moderators of this post


So much for trimming the marjoram tonight...

Ride rating: Beginner
EBasil riding a soy-based Talibanator 5 from San Diego
Posted on 03/03/05 Alert moderators of this post

That's it, I'm taking my Kawasaki down there tonight. Don't worry about any mud that way.

Poway Woway a Weekend Warrior riding a moto roto bike
Posted on 03/03/05 Alert moderators of this post

Closed, Muddy & Thrashed - It's closed alright: and extremely muddy in sections. To the issue of opening it: the Rangers are actually working hard to make interim repairs to flooded/washed out areas and to open things ASAP. BUT, the anti-bike Nazi's are salivating at the prospect of idiots like the moron from Poway that can't just ride somewhere else while the entire park is closed.

The smartest deal for actual mountainbikers is to leave PQ be while it's underwater (and much of it is, even 5 days after rain). If you're "rad" enough to nightride, you're rad enough to pull your head out of your ass and go somewhere else for a while.

In terms of the development near the top of The Shits: it's not going to close off that SDGE access road. In fact, there will be a multiuse trail running along the "edge" of the development so that we can connect from the top of Telephone Poles over toward Hollywood & Vine.

Remember: the reason PQ stays muddy WAY after you might think it's dry is that it's the flood plain and basically sits right on the water table. Once it gets wet like this, it stays wet. If you want it open sooner, volunteer some work time with SDMBA or the MTC to fix the washed out trails.
EBasil riding a Manitou HT -ss from San Diego
Posted on 03/03/05 Alert moderators of this post

THis friggin' place won't be opened until July, if you're lucky. Just ride it at night when the park Nazis are home tending they herb gardens.
Poway Woway a Weekend Warrior riding a Big Knobbied MTB
Posted on 03/03/05 Alert moderators of this post
Open? - Are the trails in the preserve open yet?
Posted on 03/02/05 Alert moderators of this post
How about the new development at the top of the shits right before the gate? I hope they don't get some goofy idea of trying to block off the trail. What a stupid place to build.
Posted on 03/02/05 Alert moderators of this post
Next Page ~ your local mountain bike site since 1996.

© - Terms Of Use - Site Map
Web Services by WebWorks2

Facebook |Twitter |Twitter