This loop features many steep climbs with some good fast straightaways. It's not shy on technical, rocky sections to challenge your skills during this short loop. There's a very little warm up, you start climbing almost immediately. The half-way point reward is a vista viewpoint with a 360-degree view, which on a clear day you can see the ocean to the west and twin peaks to the east. Mostly sun exposed with an ocean breeze.
This is Sandy Eggo, be prepared for sandy trails and soft corners as well as rain ruts. Erosion can be heavy depending on the rains in previous seasons. Be careful with your front tire placement. Most of the rocks in the rocky sections are secure to the earth, yet in some sections there are baby heads waiting for you. Most of the first half of the trail is overgrown with dry weeds and sage at least as high as the handlebars if not higher, gloves would be prudent.
For quick trail access, on-street parking is available off of Camino Junipero along the corner at Corte Romero, just before the homes, to be polite. From here, the trailhead is a short distance by continuing to ride up the street Camino Junipero to a right on Sitio Salvia, can't miss the trailhead on the right.
This loop starts with a good long climb on Switchbacks
trail that progresses and becomes very steep at times. Expect a lot of erosion and a few rock gardens that makes the sections even trickier. You'll intersect with a few other trails, Denning Road
and you'll notice a few trails that have been closed for restoration. There are a few nice-n-fast straightaways on the way up and just before the water tower. The signage is clear, just pay attention.
Once at the top, you'll have great views of the ocean and downtown on clear days. There are a few benches and two awnings that provide little shade. For your descent, head right from the viewpoint on the fire road and look for the start of Horned Lizard
heading south and down, stay left at the Y, then a right onto the trail. There are some great double jumps along the lower sections of this fun descent. Just be careful as erosion has gotten the better of the quality of these jumps.
Once at the bottom, link up with the Powerline Access Road
heading right (west), which takes you to the paved path along Camino Junipero where you'll ride a short distance back to the parking area.
Additional parking is available on the other side of the mountain off of San Elijo just before the Chevron station on the right is a cul-de-sac with plenty of parking.
This trail is the starting point trail for SDMBA's annual Archipelago Ride which occurs in April.