“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.
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.