Horned Lizzard to Whiptail Loop
ElevationAscent: 730' 222 m
Descent: -729' -222 m
High: 1,023' 312 m
Low: 387' 118 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 15% (9°)
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“A quick ride in La Costa Preserve with an easy warm up from the southwest side.”— Kurt Davey
Electric Mountain Bikes Not Allowed
Park and access the trails at the trailhead signs near the top of Avenida Diestro Street. Stay left on the Diestro Connector ending with a mild climb to the Powerline Access Road (1 mile). Ride a couple hundred feet south on the road to the trailhead sign. Stay to the left to access Horned Lizard and climb to the top (2 miles). Descend the south side of the hill on Whiptail Loop Trail (2 miles).
Need to Know
MTB etiquette asks that you please stay on the trails through the more difficult sections so as not to widen the trail around obstacles.
There is a shade structure and MTB repair station at the top. Take a break and enjoy the 360-degree views of the ocean, lagoon and San Diego North County. On clear days, you can see Downtown San Diego, La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Black Mountain, Palomar Mountain, and even Catalina and San Clemente Islands.
The descent on Whiptail Loop Trail starts out easy and gets progressively more difficult though the middle section of the trail. This trail was rutted out pretty badly during the heavy rains in 2016/17 making for some challenging turns and sharp rock gardens. The bottom third of the trail flows a bit more, allowing you to pick up your speed.
Stay to the right at the intersection of Copper Creek, and you'll finish with a short twisty climb back to the intersection of Horned Lizard and the Powerline Access Road.
Bomb down the Diestro Connector straightaway then take a cool down back the way you came.
History & Background
Local Club: San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA)