MTB Project Logo

Noble Canyon Round Trip

 4.7 (51)
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

18.9 Miles 30.5 Kilometers



2,435' 742 m


-2,440' -744 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (17°)

5,507' 1,679 m


3,693' 1,126 m


Shared By Jost Diederichs


Minor Issues 33 days ago
Muddy, Snowy, Fallen Trees - 4 fallen trees in upper and mid noble. Heavy mud throughout. Creeks are also full of water, but had no problem getting across History

Getting forecast...

A great half day work out with the technically challenging Noble Canyon singletrack.

Jost Diederichs

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-


A paved fire road (closed to motorized vehicles) connects the bottom Noble Canyon trailhead with the top. The return is pure singletrack down Noble Canyon. There a a couple of miles rather technical sections. Carry your bike on those if you care.

Need to Know

  • Access to the Cleveland National Forest requires an Adventure Pass. Yearly Pass = $30. Daily Pass = $5. More info here. A daily pass can be purchased at the general store in Pine Valley.
  • Many people shuttle this ride, starting from the Big Laguna Campground off of Sunrise highway. That's definitely a good option as well, but it's a loop as mapped.


You simply follow the paved road all the way until it ends at the Sunrise Highway. About half way there is a sharp right turn (a beautiful shade tree on the left - nice resting place). At this turn you could also go straight onto the Indian Trail, which ends on the Noble Canyon trail near the top.

Once you arrive at the Sunrise Highway, turn right and you'll find the upper Noble Canyon trailhead after about 1/2 a mile. Noble Canyon starts out fairly smooth with a slight climb. With the technical challenges kept to a minimum it's possible to enjoy the long views across the mountains.

You'll cross Pine Creek Road a couple of times along with the intersection to Indian Creek. This intersection is important when riding the Cuyamaca to Noble Canyon - IMBA Epic.

The smooth and fast descent continues until you reach a horse gate. The route becomes much more technical here as it enters the canyon and transitions from forest to chaparral. The trail texture changes to blocky rocks and drops. If you can handle it, speed and momentum is helpful through this kind of terrain.

When the terrain and vegetation changes again from chaparral to desert, the trail narrows and becomes more exposed above the canyon floor. The route is mostly descending with a few short climbs and includes two highly regarded rocky, technical sections: Stairway to Hell and Roman Road.

Towards the bottom of Noble Canyon, the trail will come to an intersection. Turn left here to take a longer route back to the Lower Noble Canyon Trailhead (Pine Creek Picnic Area). This section is smooth with a gradual climb and descent.


You & This Featured Ride

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Ride

Your Check-Ins


Feb 16, 2019
Brad M
Jan 27, 2019
Tim Claus
Dec 30, 2018
Alex vonKluck
Oct 29, 2018
Gabriel Johnston
Oct 21, 2018
Jay Brown
Sep 9, 2018
Heather Jasen Covert
Sep 6, 2018
Ace Dizon
Aug 31, 2018
Rupert Ressler

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 51 votes


in Pine Valley


  4.7 from 51 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in Pine Valley


in California


556 Views Last Month
22,191 Since Aug 28, 2013
Difficult Difficult

Anonymous User
Anonymous User  
Rode this 2 weeks ago! BEST TRAIL I"VE EVER RIDDEN!! Doesn't say much considering I live in Miami, but check it out for yourself!… That should convince anybody on the fence about where to ride in San Diego. The weather was absoultely perfect during my ride. Gotta love California... Feb 27, 2016
Anonymous User
Anonymous User  
Im gonna be there on thursday looking to link up with another rider Mar 29, 2016
I just did this ride today as a loop. Noble has a lot of technical sections and a few creek crossings. I'm an intermediate rider and I had fun on most of the descent, but I had to walk a few spots. The hard sections are hard because it's often several technical features strung together, so it can be tricky to pick a good line! The climb up the fire road is pretty brutal but rewarding. Mar 21, 2017

MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter