Very technical singletrack up to the fire road, a very steep grade up near the top, then an awesome blast to the bottom.
This is one of the toughest, most technical singletrack climbs in San Diego. There are a few harder, but not many. Lots of railroad ties, chunky rock gardens, and steep rutted switchbacks. The best I've ever done on the singletrack is one dab, but I'm sure there are many out there that can do better.
I park on Mesa Road next to Big Rock Park. From there, follow the road south about a half mile, past the gate, and take the right-hand turn down across the wooden bridge over the creek. From here, there's just one left-hand turn between the trailhead and the fire road.
Once you reach the top of the singletrack, the fun continues. Hang a right on the fire road and follow it to the top as it progressively gets steeper and steeper until it's about a 25-30% grade at the very top. It's not very technical, but it's a TOUGH climb!
Take in some beautiful views of Sand Deigo at the top, and then turn around and bomb back down it, watching for hikers of course. This is a very popular trail with them, so keep your eyes open and be polite.
On the way down, after remembering to hang a left back onto the singletrack, I usually take the left at the split in the singletrack and take the Big Rock trail down. That's what's shown in this ride. Another option is to take the right and ride down Mesa Trail
, the same way you climbed up. The Big Rock trail is quite a bit chunkier, whereas the Mesa Trail
has better flow. Both are fun, and I've even done some rides where I do both!