- Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • Grapevine Canyon - Anza - #GrapevineCanyon-Anza

    Socal - San Diego County - Borrego Desert State Park NickNames: #GrapevineCanyon-Anza

    Located east of Julian in the desert you will need to get to Hwy 78 and head east. Coming from San Diego you can take the 8 Freeway to Highway 79 North to Julian. Take 78 east to the desert. Stay on Highway 78 you will pass the S-2 road, continue on 78 until you reach the Grapevine Canyon area. Turn left onto the S-3 road and very soon you will see a sign for the Yaqui Well Camp on your left. Take the Yaqui Well Camp turn off on your left and you will be on the Grapevine Canyon Road truck trail heading west. Park anywhere along side of it. Your ride begins on this trail so mount up and head west. Remember to watch out for 4 wheelers as they may not watch out for you!

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    • Trail UpdateGrapevine Canyon-Yesterday we escaped the haze in PB to ride the Grapevine Canyon trail. The desert is nice this time of year and the rains have the desert looking very colorful. There are an abundance of wildflowers growing and some of the hills are covered in yellow. The Grapevine Canyon Rd. truck trail was not as easy to ride as I expected due to the thin layer of desert sand that covered it. Also, riding westbound the trail has a slight incline to it for about 9 miles. It isn't until you pass the Jasper Trail fork that the trail becomes more rock and hard dirt. At that point the trail steepens and continues up for another 4 miles. Stay straight until you reach the paved S-22 road. Go right (east) on this paved road. After passing the firestation on your left there is a convenience store where I bought a pretty darn good bottle of Gatorade! Continue east on S-22 for a couple more miles until you see a big rock on your right. From there the road heads down but don't go to fast or you might miss the Jasper Trail trailhead on your right. The Jasper Trail was lots of fun and you are rewarded for the day's early climb as the rest of the way back is mostly downhill. Going down the Jasper Trail was a blast! Some of the way on this fast downhill trail you will experience stretches where the trail is slightly sandy. Normally I don't care for sand on the trail but Jasper Trail was such a fun and unique experience as you try to maintain control of the bike in sand at speed! Some parts reminded me of snow surfing! When you get to the bottom of the Jasper Trail you meet back with the Grapevine Canyon trail where you head back (east) to the car. Since the way up the Grapevine was so gradual I didn't realize how much climbing we had done until we headed back. The way back was fun since you don't really have any pedaling to do! It was more sand surfing on your two wheels carving out turns at about 15-20 mph! Grapevine Canyon is a unique experience for experienced mountain bikers. It's not that it's technical but you must be well conditioned to complete the 33 mile lollipop ride as it may take over 5 hours. I wouldn't recommend the ride unless you plan to do the whole ride since you won't want to miss Jasper Trail. Jasper Trail to Yaqui Well Camp would make a fun shuttle ride though!
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: 33 miles Elevation change: 2700 ft
      Dirt Road=50% Paved Path=20% Truck Trail=30%
      ICPAYDIRT a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Superlight from Pacific Beach


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