We're hiring an experienced designer to join us in Boulder, CO.
MTB Project Logo

Lake Calavera Tour

 19 votes


6.7 Miles 10.7 Kilometers




781' 238 m


-779' -237 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (14°)

495' 151 m


93' 28 m



Minor Issues 45 days ago
New trail closures around the Volcano. More expected in the coming weeks. History

Getting forecast...

A great route through Calavera Preserve on some curvy singletrack with fun downhills.

Gregg Brotman


Stay on designated trails and be ready to yield to other trail users.
This ride follows a series of fun loops and short connector trails. The terrain is sandy chaparral, with curvy singletrack and some fun downhill sections. You'll find a mostly hard-packed tread on all the trails.

There's no real easy way to the top of Mount Calavera. But once there, it has a great 360-degree view of the surrounding area. You are able to view the Carlsbad Power Plant and the Pacific Ocean, as well as Oceanside, Vista, and Encinitas. It has a wooden boardwalk that can be slippery if you are going too fast in the turns.

The area generally south of the Utility Road Trail has now been closed to bikes, which is a bummer.
Dogs: Leashed

Need to Know

This is closed at the south end near Sage High School to bikes. There are signs everywhere that they put up in January 2018.


Park along Tamarack Ave when you see the gate and dam down the hill. Enter the preserve by going around the gate, and then head straight down across the dam. Follow the full track using the MTB Project mobile app for the best continuous loop, but you can shortcut back and eliminate subsequent loops. The shortest loop would be simply going around the lake only.

You can also park at the corner of College and Cannon and access the trail that's in front of the high school. The trailhead is right at the northeast corner of that intersection.

I have a fun 10k ride I do and a 5k ride. There are lots of choices for easy, flatland and harder, up-and-down routes.


You & this Featured Ride

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins


Feb 28, 2018
Daniel Espinoza
Great first ride! Friendly people and perfect for our dog and I! 1.9mi
Feb 20, 2018
Tanya Wampler
Feb 19, 2018
Gregg Brotman
Starting from my neighborhood to park and back 10.2mi
Jan 13, 2018
Jessica Vega
Dec 10, 2017
Jason Campbell
Oct 23, 2017
Pat Sweeney
Sep 9, 2017
Kei Miyagi
Sep 4, 2017
Remington Johnson

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 19 votes


  4.1 from 19 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in California


363 Views Last Month
7,092 Since Aug 30, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

The local bike shop also told me to park near the high school at the end of Cannon road, but the trail that connects from there to the rest of the trail is closed to bicycles now! Jul 5, 2017
Michael Linden
San Diego, CA
Michael Linden   San Diego, CA
It's true! Land managers officially closed the unsanctioned trails between the lake and the high school. You can still park near the HS and take the asphalt/dirt trail up to the dam, where the sanctioned trail is. It's predominantly sand, I rated the trail intermediate, lots of potential for front tire wash out. This has been my favorite trail for the singletrack that's now sadly closed. Sad! Aug 1, 2017
You can also park on the other end of Cannon by Shadow Ridge and follow the bike trails by the creek they are narrow but very scenic and beware of Rattlesnakes a large one crossed my path too close for comfort Dec 8, 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