Los Peñasquitos Canyon Solo Loop
This route is designed for solo adaptive riders to ride confidently in an unfamiliar area. It is comprised mostly of fire road and double track and you will miss a lot of what this area has to offer, BUT you will be able to ride alone safely, regardless of ability level. I will add more advanced loops for this area in future blogs. Happy riding!
Note: If you have a Garmin device, you can export the GPX file from Trailforks and import for a turn by turn map of the route.
There are several trailheads and staging areas that work fine, but the one that offers the best loop option and has paved, flat handyman spots, bathrooms with running water and drinking fountains is Canyonside Community Park baseball fields at the very east end on the canyon. Do NOT park where everyone else parks or you will be far away from the bathroom. Continue past the popular parking area, around the corner and park near the bathroom. See map below.
Sometimes people block the trailhead the way they park, but there is alternate entry up the road. See map above.
There is a drop off of a concrete slab just after the start. Be ready.
Everything is relatively flat until you get to the Powerlines climb
Powerlines is long and gradual. Just pace yourself.
Once you turn left, its nice and easy along the housing development.
You'll eventually end up on the road. I know. This sucks, but its part of MTB life in the ninth largest city in the US.
Turn left on Carmel Mountain Road and look for the trailhead after the park
This is the famous Cobbles. Enjoy it, but beware of uphill traffic. Be ready for some serious cobbles too, especially on the 2nd half after the pond.
This is considered single track. It will be tight in a few places, but you should be fine.
There is a big table top on the second section. Avoid this, unless you are an advanced rider or you have someone with you. There is a ride around to the right.
There is a quick surprise steep rocky undulation. Be ready with a small gear towards the bottom after you see a wood fence on the left
At the bottom, this is where the waterfall is. There is now an accessible Viewpoint on the west side. This is a good spot for break. Consult POIs to find it.
On the way back you can cross over the creek via Carsons Crossing to see the South Side Trail, BUT there are some soft gravel sections. Stay on the North Side Trail to avoid these.