23 June 2013

Hiking and Mountain Biking on Los Peñasquitos Canyon

June 2013

San Diego county seems to be full of canyons. Though these are in small scale, type of valleys, they offer good trails for horse riding, mountain biking, trail running and hiking.  Many of them have a small river or a creek and typically have trees which provide nice shade for outdoor people at least for part of the trails.

Have visited a couple of times Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, which contain very nice trails for everyone (a PDF trail map can be found from here). First trip was made by hiking to waterfalls. Second by mountain bike to all over the canyon, climbing up and down slopes and making a short visit to Lopez Canyon, too. Both trips were started from Canyonside Community Park.

Most of the trails are under open sky, providing little or no shade for the burning sun. The trail near the creek has massive oak trees, which makes the trail popular. A small waterfall is a jewel of the dry canyon.

One must carry a lot of water as there are no places to fill in your bottles. Trails are tough sand, creating some dust. There's very little erosion, thus with a mountain bike one can have a smooth ride and can achieve a pretty good speed. Fun ride indeed!

Bought some days ago a hard tail, 29er, mountain bike. This was the real test for it. It turned out to be a fast one, rolling smoothly. Must admit that 29ers are really nice compared to smaller size ones. Looks like this is going to be my most wanted outdoor hobby from now on while still seeking a good kayaking club to join.

Route by mountain bike, about 35km (show a larger map):



Smell of rural life

For horses only


Shade for trailrunners

No shade

Ugly little creature

Soon arriving



A hideaway

A cave

An old fence

A dead palm tree

I wonder what Mr Eichar did on the canyon?

A short break before flying off

A break to get heartbeat under 100

3 litres of water



  1. Mountain biking not only gives you exercise, but gives you visual gratification when riding new trails or areas while giving you and your family hours of gratifying enjoyment while improving or maintaining your health. Thank you for sharing your article.

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  2. The first section of the lower trails off the fireroad are easy to miss (I did :-( ). No climbing to speak of here but the twists and turns sure beat riding the fireroad. best hydration packs