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  • Sweetwater Dam - #SweetwaterDam

    Socal - San Diego County - Spring Valley NickNames: #SweetwaterDam

    Take the 54 (South Bay Freeway then S17) all the way east to Swap Meet Road, turn right at the light. Follow the road past the swap meet to the top of the hill, turn right. Park right here along the side of the road. Thomas Guide page 1291 A4


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    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Dam-With the addition of the 125 Freeway there are now switchbacks up the west side of the hill to the water tanks overlooking the dam. I start my ride at the pond off Sweetwater road about a mile west of the golfcourse. The trails heads into the brush and you have a small water crossing at the beginning (be careful this can be deceivingly deep at times). Follow the trail through the deep brush and you will come out under the bridge on Bonita Road. Head east around the edge of the golf course until you hit the road. Turn left and take the closed road for about half a mile to the switchbacks under the new freeway.


      Jim Stanley a 50 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Tomac Ti Hardtail from Spring Valley

      Posted:05/24/2012

    • Trail UpdateBeware Not In The Rain!-I went on this fun trail with a buddy of mine. It was slightly drizzling. Started from sweetwater park near the 125 and ended up at the tiki hut. The trail at the time was packed a little due to dampness. On our way back it started to rain. The trail became muddy and seized up our tires. We had to carry our bikes a good 2 miles making frequent stops to scrape the mud off our shoes and tires. Don't be dumb like us and ride in the rain!
      OnosCafe a Weekend Warrior riding a 07 fsr

      Posted:11/24/2008

    • Trail Update Rode Sweetwater today from Chula Vista, all vegetation is gone!! Most of the trails are in good shape but I didn't see any animals or any live plants. The good news is that somehow the Tiki Hut was spared, not even smoke damage at all!!!
      bajamtnbkr a 42 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a 06 Stumpy from Chula Vista

      Posted:10/27/2007

    • Trail UpdateFire Damage-The harris fire that came over mount Maguel reacked havoc on this great trail.
      My back yard is against this area from teh rancho san diego side. Unfortunatlt it looks like the gazebo structure is burnt down and allot of the natural growth is completely gone. It will probably be a couple of days before i can actually go ride it and see how bad it really is. There was allot of wild life in this area, including a pair of mountain lions, alot of coyotes, rabbits, and snakes. we will have to see how they came through this.

      kevmortensen a 27 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a santa cruz from rancho san diego

      Posted:10/25/2007

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Trail Directions-I went here yesterday for the first time and spent the first 35 minutes trapped in the lower section of the trail next to the lake. This is just wide fire road that is closed after about a mile. I could see trails above me in the hills, but every time I took a side road heading up it ended at a locked gate. Very frustrating. Finally went back to the beginning and realized I should have stuck to the right where the trail splits at the beginning (just after passing behind a dam).
      So, finally found the real trail, but by now it was getting late! The first 1/2 mile is between two fences, but after that there are good fire roads an single tracks up in the hills that I didn't get to ride, but that look really nice. Some looked STEEP. Will have to head back soon and check those trails out!
      seaclasper a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Johnson Hot Rod McGee from Sandy Eggo, CA

      Posted:01/22/2007

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Trail-Is this the trail that starts by that black bridge?
      conrad359 a 18 year old Racer riding a felt straight shot from el cajon

      Posted:09/07/2006

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Reservoir-Ride this Regularly. Always a good ride, except in spring where there is alot of overgrown brush. Spotted a Mtn. Lion about a month ago, above the 2nd Gazebo, on a fire road, so keep an eye out. Right now the trails are dry and loose, but so are all the trails in the 619 this time of year. Enjoy!
      a 38 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Trek Fuel 80 from Cholo Vista

      Posted:08/08/2006

    • Trail UpdateSouth Path-I rode this trail today (my first real single track outing), starting at the Campground, and heading south and east around and above the lake. You'll have to work your way around because of all the construction near the trail head...but once you find the campground, just park in the "day use" lot and head down to the lake.

      The trails were all in good shape, and not all that technical. I was able to successfully navigate all descents, though the climbs here can be a real chore for anyone who's not in great shape.
      tglinatsis a 26 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mesa GSD from Chula Vista

      Posted:07/03/2006

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater-Rode this trail today, after reading about it in a local SD mtn bike book. It didn't do the trail justice! Though there are several service roads, there are several single tracks. Some of them have deep ruts, rocks and steep declines. Good ride!!
      FunNsun a 29 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Trek Fuel 90 from san Diego

      Posted:08/08/2005

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Trail-Rode the trail this morning and have found SDG&E has been grading some of the roads that go thur the canyon. Theres still alot of single track to ride so it's not to bad on the trail. Seen a moster bobcat this morning and three rattle snakes, so be carefull were you put your foot down when you come to a stop. The trails getting alot of use, so theres alot of powder on the single track which covers up some of the rocks underneath, watch for that. Theres still alot of construction going on at the far end of the lake and it makes it hard to get thur sometimes, but not impossible.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 20miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=50% Paved Path=10% Truck Trail=40%
      Smokin Scott a 41 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Enduro from El Cajon

      Posted:05/24/2004

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Trail-Rode the trail this morning with my new riding partner. There was just enough rain last night to give you great traction on the trail. Did not see any snakes but that dosent mean they werent there. My new partner seems to like the trail as well,and its kind of nice to have somebody to ride with during the week.Theres still alot of different trails to ride at Sweetwater that i have not been on yet, so with the time change this weekend some evening rides might be good. So get out and ride!!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 20miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=50% Paved Path=10% Truck Trail=40%
      Smokin Scott a 41 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Enduro from El Cajon

      Posted:04/02/2004

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater-paging Smokin Scott-Hey Smokin Scott, sounds like a nice loop. You have got to be the guy I see riding down Jamacha every morning? Black Enduro? - A mountain biker notices these things. I live just off your route, and often see you as I bring my daughter to the babysitters in the morning. Are you interested in a riding partner? I work from home and have a fairly flexible schedule. I would be interested in meeting up with you once or twice a week, depending on my work schedule. email me if you are interested, we can work out a meeting time and spot. Thanks.
      log120 a 30 year old riding a SC superlight from El Cajon

      Posted:03/25/2004

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Trail-I ride the Sweetwater trail at least four times a week during the morning from El Cajon to the Steel Canyon Bridge up to the cabana and back. It's a twenty mile ride. The trial has improve alot since the rains and most of the really nasty water/mud crossings have dryed up. Also since the hot weather last week i've seen four rattle snakes on the trail. All in all it's still a really good work out for the expert down to the novice. And during the week you can have the trail almost by yourself.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 20 miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=50% Paved Path=10% Truck Trail=40%
      Smokin Scott a 41 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Enduro from El Cajon

      Posted:03/23/2004

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Reservoir-February 8, 2004 12:30p.m.,

      I've just returned from a ride around the Sweetwater Reservoir and it was as invigorating as ever. I ran into a couple of other mountain bikers, but the trails were relatively empty.

      Someone piled rocks and debris in the middle of the trails, but out of concerns for the saftey of my fellow mountain bikers, I took a moment to remove the items.

      There seems to be a tremendous amount of earth moving equipment in the area and I have concerns that the SR-125 is going to run straight through the trails and ruin the peace and tranquility that I've enjoyed for so many months. Only time will tell!

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Oblivious12 a 39 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a 1994 GT Zaskar LE Hardtail from Chula Vista

      Posted:02/08/2004

    • Trail UpdateGROWTH-THis trail is very close to my house and I ride it a few times each week. In the last month I have seen more wildlife than ever before. Watch out for rattle snakes (ran over one, bike attacked by another) they are everywhere. Lots of coyotes twords dusk. rabbits everywhere. Bring lots of water. Other than the hut with the picnic table there is no shade. There are tons of different trails to take and get lost on. The more time you give yourself the more enjoyable this trail is. Sence the rain we recieved this trail has seen allot of plant growth. watch out for hidden ruts.

      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Singletrack=50% Truck Trail=50%
      KEVIN a 24 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a 1998 Specialized fsr pro from la mesa

      Posted:05/31/2003

    • Trail UpdateCan Start In El Cajon Also-You can also start in El Cajon. You can take the 94-E, to Jamacha then a Right onto Campo Rd. and park across the new Edwards theaters by the old bridge that takes you out to Jamul. It's a little hard to find where the trail is if you've never been there but if you find it you will end up on a big fire road where you can keep going straight or to the left. I've only been to the left and it will fork again and stay to the right and from there follow the trail. Watch out for a couple really steep downhill fire rodes.
      Singletrack=20% Dirt Road=100% Truck Trail=80%
      Clinton Popp a 21 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized from El Cajon

      Posted:12/08/2002

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Reservoir-Rode this trail yesterday and it was quite humid out, but luckily for me it wasn't sunny and hot. I rode in from the parking lot off of Summit Meadow Road--many campsite there. It is a good practice ride, but nothing too technical. There isn't much scenery other than the lake-so it can get quite tedious while climbing desolate hills. I recommend anyone out there painting some of the shrubbery with green spray-paint or something. lol-j/k. Even though I don't think this is a hard trail, I did eat it on one of the descents--so I can't boast about how easy it was if I still managed to scrape myself up a little. Overall, a nice ride for an more beginner to low-end intermediate rider. All the advanced and expert riders should follow their hearts further east, peoples.
      Ride rating: Novice
      Ride distance: 10 miles Elevation change: 1500
      Singletrack=20% Dirt Road=20% Truck Trail=60%
      Log-jam a 20 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Trek 4500 from Coronado

      Posted:10/15/2002

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Loop-I live in Spring Valley and ride this trail frequently. I ride from my house to the trailhead just south of Swapmeet and take that to the golf course and then over the hill to the park and then through the back country to old Jamul bridge and back home. This trail has something to offer everyone. It is hot out there and there are a lot of snakes out there. On any given day, during this season, you can see at LEAST 20 snake trails across the path. Use caution particularly in the early evening hours, because there are rattlesnakes. Avoid crossing the fence into Sweetwater Resevoir area, they do watch and patrol this area. There are a lot of options out there and most trailheads lead back to the main one so feel free to explore.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 18 miles Elevation change: minimal
      Singletrack=85% Dirt Road=15%
      Dan a 28 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a GT I-Drive from SV, CA

      Posted:08/14/2001

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Trail-This trail is in better shape now. For a while, it was getting bad. It's all good! I did it three weeks ago with my buddies Paul and Tony who can ride their butts off! Lots of choices hear, but bring a good amount of water if your'e going to ride mid-day because there is hardly any shade. You could really make this trail an all-dayer if you wanted to.
      Rod a Die-hard Enthusiast

      Posted:12/15/2000

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater-You can get a map at "Mission Cyclery" and head to the trail from the parking lot. They don't mind you parking there. The trail is in great shape now for the summer.
      Singletrack=70% Dirt Road=10% Paved Path=20%
      a 37 year old Cross-Country Rider

      Posted:07/10/1998

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater-The trail has recovered well from the horible mess it was before. Now the biggest problem is the overgrowth. It is a great trail, so get out there and enjoy it.
      Singletrack=80% Dirt Road=20%
      Greg Shorts a 33 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GT Zaskar LE from San Diego, CA

      Posted:06/08/1998

    • Trail UpdateI rode this trail on 25 March, 1998. The conditions are horrible! Horseback riders (riding in the mud) have made this once beautiful trail almost impassable! With some dry weather and a few die hards riding the trail it should return to normal. For the time being STAY AWAY, unless you like to push!

      Posted:03/31/1998

    • Trail UpdateSweetwater Res.-from sweetwater reg. park go through the horse gate.straight, stay to your left around the res. stay outside the fence as this is water district land. keep following the main trail all the way up to the picnic table with the roof. head east from there down technical drops and keep following the fence and res. you will end up at another horse gate, go through it turn right and follow the res. again.keep heading east, eventually all trails end up at the old Jamul bridge. turn right and ride the road up to highway 94 turn left up to the light at Jamacha road. continue all the way to sweetwater road turn left back to swapmeet road and you have a great 17.5 mile loop.
      Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=20% Paved Path=30%
      hank montrose a 45 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a litespeed obed f/s from Spring Valley E-mail:? URL:Hi-Tech Bikes www.socalmtb.com/hi-tech

      Posted:07/10/1997

    • Trail UpdateThe first part of the trail is a very fast down hill dirt road. Just let it fly! Follow the trail to the bottom of the dam (Great place for pictures) at the bottom continue west to the golf course. Go around the fence over the log and follow the dirt road for about 200 yards. At this point you will see several single tracks off to the right (All up hill). Follow the one to the left it will take you to Sweetwater Regional Park. From there you can follow any number of trails around the lake. Miles and miles of trails. Bring lots of water and be sure to refill at the park. Great for all levels of riders.
      Singletrack=75%% Dirt Road=25%%
      Jim Stanley a 36 year old Weekend Warrior

      Posted:06/20/1997


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