Thursday, July 09, 2009

Cuyamaca to Noble Canyon Epic

I had heard that Noble Canyon was touted to be the best trail in SoCal. It has the perfect amount of swoopy, fast sections and technical rock gardens. Couple it with some a nice 20-mile route from Cuyamaca, and you can make this a choose your own adventure loop. You can resupply in Pine Valley, ride more singletrack while in Noble Canyon, take Highway 80 back to your, etc....tons of option. The one-way route is a certified IMBA epic.

If you plan ahead, you can even store some refreshments at the Green Valley Falls (see 2nd to last picture). I stored a few early in the morning before starting the ride. I added in some more Cuyamaca singletrack

to make this an 8 hour ride with a little under 50 miles. Many websites warn against doing this ride in the summer; they are correct. It was 90+ degrees for most of the afternoon, light when you compare it to weather back in AZ.

The route starts on the East Mesa FR before dropping into the Deer Creek ST. Views are plentiful as this is the highest spot on the route.

The first part had a few scorched areas, similar to yesterday's ride. Life always seems to conquer though.

Indian Creek ST (shown here)

to Noble Canyon. Heavenly, I was underneath a thick canopy, weaving between rocks, then flying around well-built, ridable switchbacks, up and over logs....then repeat for about 4-5 miles. Amazing, in fact, I did not even take any pictures of the area I was having so much fun.

Afterwards, I took out the camera as we neared Pine Valley to snap a few pictures

After a quick out-n-back to the General Store at Pine Valley, I continued on finishing the lollipop-style loop by retracing my steps. I almost hit this little guy on the way back.

A quick out-n-back to Oakzanita peak yielded some more nice singletrack and switchbacks

I vividly remember going to the Green Valley Falls when I was a kid. A 10-foot cliff jump was the highlight of the trip. I had planned to make the falls my finishing point since I knew it was going to be a little toasty.

At the end of the loop, I rode down to the GV falls, parked my bike, hiked the 1/4 mile to the swimming hole, jumped in and relaxed. A few of these were waiting for me upstream, hidden from early that morning.

My GPS turned off/on a few times, but here is the basic profile of the route:

I am missing few sections since the GPS turned off, but about 50 miles with 7800 feet of goodness.

This place has some killer potential for bikepacking trips, I will be curious to see this place during the next few months/years.


Grizzly Adam said...


ibclimbn said...

Next time you are in the SD area let me know if you want some company on a long ride. I've done the Sea to Sea trail and have a couple of other multi-day trips planned out. Check out my blog at

Lee said...

Your pictures are really nice, good blog

Billy Befoot said...

Good stuff, Chad.
Thats a great trail.
last time I rode it, was about fifteen year ago with cool low hanging clouds a little bit of rain...and good friends :]

iRide Africa said...

Wow, that place look amazing! I dream of getting to do some riding in California one day! Great pics, cheers, H.


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