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Noble Canyon Round Trip

 34 votes

18.4 Miles 29.7 Kilometers



2,702' 824 m


-2,719' -829 m


5,531' 1,686 m


3,690' 1,125 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (14°)

All Clear

8 days agoUpdate

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

Jost Diederichs


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.
Dogs: Leashed

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.


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4.6 from 34 votes

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Nov 11, 2017
Bastian Ra
Nov 5, 2017
Doron Weinstein
Between miles 1.5 and 5 there's a brutal climb of anywhere in between 12% and 20% grade. The first half if the singletrack is fast, but the second…
Oct 15, 2017
Toncz Zappo
Rode with Ron and Craig.
Oct 15, 2017
Ty Browning
The climb up was just a paved little road nothing too crazy!! I recommend using a shuttle system to get to the summit an bombing down!!!
Oct 8, 2017
Mateo Juez
Sep 24, 2017
Abner Ventura
Sep 16, 2017
Tommy TS
last few miles after the rock garden ruined this ride in my opinion. Too many sketchy cliff-side rocky sections where you had to get off-bike. 19.2mi — 4h 00m
Sep 10, 2017
Alan C

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 34 votes


in Pine Valley


  4.6 from 34 votes
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811 Views Last Month
11,779 Since Aug 28, 2013
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All Clear 8 days ago

Getting forecast...

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

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

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