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Grand Tour of Los Penasquitos Canyon

Consensus:    (details)
 5.0 from 1 vote
  Intermediate from 1 vote
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Rank: #3 in the Escondido and Los Penasquitos area
#22 in California
#212 Overall
Featured Ride near Fairbanks Ranch,  area, 
“Great singletrack, technical, and elevation changes.”
James Camy on May 28, 2014
Getting There     GPX File     Print
37.3 Miles 1,854’ Ascent 439’ High 1.9% Avg Grade
80% Singletrack -1,869’ Descent 38’ Low 13.1% Max Grade
Restrictions
Open all year around.
Overview
This ride is lengthy and will take some time. Special points of this ride are the waterfall, the small lake in Santa Monica Ridge, and creek crossings. Santa Monica Ridge is very technical singletrack, Del Mar Mesa has great flowy singletrack, Penasquitos Canyon has some great scenery.
Need To Know
Santa Monica Ridge is not for beginners. Very rocky and technical at most places. There is a lake visible from this area which is part of the ride. There is also a deep creek crossing at the bottom of the ridge.
Description
This ride starts at the Penasqutos Creek Park parking area. From here ride West on the trail to the power lines. Head North on power line trail to the top of Del Mar Mesa Preserve. Once at the top continue on the trail which loops around to the northern most edge of the preserve. Stay to the right of the power lines on the trail. At this point it becomes downhill and very rocky. At the bottom there is a deep creek crossing, you can ride through the creek. On the other side it ascends, look for the singletrack to your left (West). Take this route.

Expect rocky singletrack with steep descents and ascents on this section. Pick your line through the rocks and it will flow. The trail opens near a small lake. Ride the singletrack along the lake with trees and brush. From here, the singletrack heads West and opens to a trail. Head Southwest on the trail to the top of a ridge. At the top it opens up to a field, head West across the field to the singletrack. At this point the track descends Northwest and ends at a horse trail. Ride the horse trail West until the highway. Once at the highway head South along the highway to the next horse trail opening. This area is called the Ranch and signs are posted.

On this route you'll come to an underpass, photo attached to map. From here go East and ride the singletrack along the golf course. Once at the top, go West on the trail and towards the power lines. Once at the power lines drop down into some singletrack and take the first left. The first part of this route is wide, photo attached, but narrows quickly and drops into a serious descent downhill on some narrow singletrack. Once at the bottom continue on the singletrack to a bridge crossing and go east. The trail opens and takes you to the waterfall. From here it heads East. Look for a sign on your right, Camino Ruiz Trail, go right. It ascends to the top near a community park. Turn around and ascend. The descent through the trees is fast, narrow and winding. At a fast pace it will take you 3 minutes. Once at the bottom go left (West) and look for the narrow singletrack on your right (North). Take this route and cross a bridge over the creek, photos on map. Continue back to the parking area!
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COMMENTS
OTHER RIDES NEAR HERE
5.0 (1)
Great flowing singletrack through oak trees and brush.
near La Jolla, CA
5.0 (1)
An out and back ride with great scenery.
near La Jolla, CA
4.0 (1)
Mostly tight, twisty singletrack.
near Fairbanks Ranch, CA

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PHOTOS of Grand Tour of Los Penasquitos Canyon
 3.7 from 3 votes
Santa Monica Ridge Lake. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.7 from 3 votes
The waterfall upstream. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Singletrack along Penasquitos Creek. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Tunnel 5. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Top of Camino Ruiz Trail. Awesome singletrack. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
This trail narrows to singletrack then a huge drop for some fast downhil... (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Tunnel 5 (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Singletrack along Penasquitos Creek. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Penasquitos Canyon singletrack. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
The waterfall. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Trail heading away from Santa Monica Ridge Lake. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Camino Ruiz Trail. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
This underpass goes to a place called Clews Ranch. I will get to this soon. (Del Mar, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Sycamore Crossing. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Penasquitos Canyon waterfall entrance. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Tunnel 5 (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Santa Monica Ridge. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 2.3 from 3 votes
Top of Del Mar Mesa heading back to Penasquitos Canyon. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
 2.3 from 3 votes
Wagonwheel creek crossing. (Fairbanks Ranch, CA)
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