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Noble Canyon Round Trip

 38 votes


18.4 Miles 29.7 Kilometers




2,702' 824 m


-2,719' -829 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (14°)

5,531' 1,686 m


3,690' 1,125 m



All Clear 23 days ago
Mostly Dry History

Getting forecast...

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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Feb 18, 2018
Fulvio Capitanio
19.5mi — 2h 45m
Jan 28, 2018
Neil Martin
Jan 14, 2018
Joaquin Ramirez
Jan 14, 2018
Fulvio Capitanio
Great ride! The uphill section is all on paved road, without being too steep it provides a nice warm up for the technical descent to come. Recommended 18.4mi — 3h 30m
Jan 13, 2018
Michael Brunetti
Dec 28, 2017
Chase Carraro
Dec 12, 2017
Mig Shadow
!st Time, The first 8 miles up Pine Valley Rd. encountered some strong head winds. Great Time! 18.5mi
Nov 11, 2017
Bastian Ra

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 38 votes


in Pine Valley


  4.7 from 38 votes
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in Pine Valley


in California


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14,931 Since Aug 28, 2013
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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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