I drove out to Rancho Santa Fe, CA (near San Diego) this weekend to see Kendall. I normally would prefer to fly, but the 3-day weekend offered a perfect excuse to bring the bike. I used some local knowledge to find that there was some descent singletrack about 7 miles from the house where I was staying. The only thing left to do was to check out aerial shots from Topofusion of how to get to the singletrack.
If you skip down to the aerial shot of the ride, you will see tons of times that I had to retrace my route due to a dead end. That spark of hope of oh, where does that small road or singletrack go? is why I spend so much time looking at aerial shots before a new ride (that and riding to the trail is so last year).
Enter our first picture on top of what I called Top o' the Morning Hill (as it is close to a road that was called that in the subdivision near the hill). The goal is the mountain beyond the dam, called Bernardo Mtn (1150 feet above sea level).
The route was a lot of flat singletrack with the occasional roller, exactly what I expected from reading the reports of the trail description. This first section of the trail lacked significant climbs and rocks. This route might not be the best area to explore if you are in San Diego, nonetheless, it does offer some exciting, local singletrack options.
At the intersection to Mt Bernardo, I asked some fellow riders about the trail to the summit.
I asked, "How is the trail to the summit?"
Which they responded to by saying, "Well, if you like rocky and very steep trail, you are going to love this one."
And there began my love for the North Side of Hodges. This little uphill battle lasts only 3 miles, but you are going to love the 1000 feet of climbing. If nothing else, you will begin to sweat and the views from the top are worth every pedal stroke. The summit has a few nice cairns.
The view down to the ocean, where the trail used to go before the fire of 2007. Click on photo to see the ocean.
And of course, you can register your name in the summit book to prove that in fact you did ride to the top of Mt Bernardo. My entry is below.
After the summit, I perused around the lake a little more, enjoyng some great views.
The stats from the route:
4594 feet of climbing
50 pictures taken
The profile of the climbing, the color is speed.
North side of Hodges Aerial View from Topofusion