There is a 'Grand Loop' of the park that many locals do to see the best of Cuyamaca. Its about 20 miles, so I made a few alterations to it by adding in some more singletrack and climbing. I started at noon, unfortunately in the heat. I was surprised by how hot it got considering Descanso and Pine Valley are at 3500 feet.
The area is home of CA's largest man-made fire; its a shame to have to wonder what this place was like before the fire.
There are signs of flowers and small trees returning.
The route passes near Cuyamaca Lake and some nice meadows.
Its a great little introduction to the area. I had some dinner plans at 5pm with my Aunt P, so the loop was perfect. The typical singletrack during the route looked something like this:
This is a great little loop. There are a few miles of forest roads, but DON'T WORRY, nobody is going to get pass the gates that they have there. Count the number of locks on those FR gates!
I managed to ride some of the California Riding and Hiking Trail that really caught my attention.
It seems as though San Diego County has a Trans County Trail and a Sea to Sea Trail (they are one in the same, just the later goes longer). The S2S Trail goes from Del Mar to Scanton Sea. Click here to view the map. The bad news is that it is not done yet, but I sent them an email to try to get the GPX file; it could be a new bikepacking trip in the works!
At mid peek, the dirt became a more red-tint.
The profile of the ride, 27 miles with 4087 feet of climbing
If you are ever in the area, I'd recommend a 2-day ride session here, this being Day 1 and the Cuyamaca-Noble Canyon Day 2.