Where to MTB in San Diego/Spring Valley

I am flying out tomorrow to visit the in-laws. I usually bring my road bike when visiting, but this time I am going to bring my MTB to change things up a bit. I will be in Spring Valley for 2 weeks. I see people by Otay Lake, but that looks like just a lake trail. I heard the riding is phenomenal, but I do not know where to go. Since I am there for 2 weeks I have plenty of time to explore and will have a car. Thx!

Weather may not be favorable, with the rain we expect to get. But how far are you willing to travel? That will determine recommendations. If you want to stay that close to Spring Valley…I would pack your road bike

I am used to traveling 45 - 1 hour or so

I’m not from San Diego but I go out regularly to visit family. I usually drive inland to Mt Laguna, there’s some great mtb and gravel riding around there. Mission trails is a pretty good area but more crowded with hikers.

Laguna might be too wet and closed down, assuming it doesn’t have snow.

Last time I went to Mission Trails it was just a hiking spot. Only okay MTB there was on base and they started confiscating bikes.

Lots of miles of trails around Lake Hodges. But that is home to the Belgian Waffle Ride, so you can probably expect more gravel type trails than MTB (I rode BWR on my road bike).

Lake Calvera near Carlsbad has some stuff. Been a while since I have been there, but I don’t remember it being worth more than an hour ride.

I haven’t been to Black Mountain, but sounds like an hour out and back trail.

Los Penasquitos will likely be closed from rain.

Elfin Forest might have a good loop.

I was a runner back when I lived in SD, so I haven’t ridden much. Lots of good stuff at Greer Ranch and Vail Lake, but that’s outside of an hour.

Sweetwater Regional Park. Right next to spring valley, probably the best MTB trail network in south county, also has a cool bike park for skills work on the south side.

Mt Laguna (already mentioned) and Otay Mountain/Otay Wildlife Preserve are good away from the lake, but Sweetwater is literally in Spring Valley and best mix of trails in south county.

A lot of the good trails in Sweetwater are on TrailForks.

From what I hear Vail Lake is worth the trip. Another cool MTB park up there and they run pro level XC races there too.

Thanks, everyone. I am staying right across the street from the reservoir. I will look into that a bit more. I tried to hike to the tower one day - didn’t make it. It looked like mostly washed-out fire roads. But since it is right there I can explore a bit. I am interested in trying out the bike park. I saw it was closed to rain, but now open. Only 15 minutes away.

On the road bike, I have done the Western loop a bunch (Honey Springs) and Laguna a few times. So I am familiar with it.

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You’re right in my neighborhood (Bonita). I would come ride with you but I’m down with COVID.

My club is doing a GWL ride on Sunday from the Bonita Starbucks on Central ave. Good group with some strong riders and some structured intervals. I won’t be there this week, obviously, but plenty of locals/non-club riders make the ride with us.

Rained a ton here last week so the trails at Sweetwater might not be great right now, but there is good singletrack on the south west side of the reservoir, and some of those trails will connect to San Miguel as well. If all you’ve seen is washed out fire road, there’s plenty more you haven’t seen yet because there are lots of legal/maintained single track and some not-as-legal single track sections on that SW side of the reservoir too.

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If that is the PRC group w/ Freddy Lindo(sp?) I rode with you guys a little bit last Aug. I was the guy from NYC. But I am bringing my MTB, not my roadie this time. I did the Sat Otay Lakes ride and a couple of the week day rides as the one went right by my in-laws house.

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PRT, yep. We have an MTB team now. I can see if those guys are doing any organized riding this week if you’d like. Might be a hammer fest with those guys, though!

We probably didn’t cross paths last August. I don’t do the Flojos ride on Sundays nor the midweek stuff usually. I ride the Saturday group ride a lot and any of the training race events (along with the actual races).

Freddy mentioned last year that a bunch of guys MTB. Since this is my 1st-time MTB in SD, I will probably go on my own. But thanks for the offer.

Plus, It is ski season here, so I have been doing a little more skiing than riding. I am sure I am missing a lot of top-end :slight_smile:

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If you come up with specific questions feel free to DM.