Socal - San Diego County - Escondido NickNames: #LakeHodges/MuleHill&SanPasqualValleyTrail sometimes referred to as 'east lake hodges'
If you have been avoiding Lake Hodges because you feel it doesn't offer much of a challenge or excitement you should explore the San Pasqual Valley trail just east of the lake. Exit I-15 at Via Rancho Parkway, go right(east) off the ramp, turn right on Sunset, park at the end of cul-de-sac or park in the dirt lot behind the gas station. Head east on the Mule Hill trail past the historic Sikes Adobe Farmhouse. Follow that trail behind the Hodges Golf Improvement Center and then alongside Via Rancho Parkway continuing east for a short distance. Pick up the San Pasqual Valley trail heading south. The trail is pretty uneventful as you travel along side a creek on your right and farmland on your left for a couple of miles. Pass the San Dieguito River crossing and head north. About another mile you will be on a sweet 700ft singletrack climb to the Raptor Ridge lookout and then back down the other side. Cross a bridge, pass a dairy, until you reach the HWY 78/Brandy Canyon trailhead then head back.
Warning - there are a lot of sandy patches where the trail runs along the agricultural fields. Keep up your speed and you should be OK.
FirstSarnt a 60 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Jamis Dakar XCR Comp from Encinitas