- Thursday, July 25, 2024

Southern California Trails


    Socal - San Diego County - CARLSBAD NickNames: #CALAVERALAKE lake calaveras

    East bound on hwy-78 from I-5 about 5-6 mi. get off on College blvd. sonth (turn right) go straight about 1 mi. to end of blvd. and park. at dead end. What ever you do do not turn left stay in the right lane . There is a litte bit for all levals there. There are single tracks, dirt roads long down hills killer heart pounding hill climbs and once you get to the top of the "dome" it's a beautiful panaramic view of the ocean and mountins. Great sunset. Excelent bass fishing in the lake to. My favorite trail is a downhill wich my son and I dubbed the roller coaster it's about a half mile long and you can get up to 35+ mph. And if you go farther south from the lake about 6 mi. there is a real nice stream and waterfall to cool off in but if you are a beginner don't atemp to go there .

    Another way to get to this trail is to take the Carlsbad Village Drive exit off of I5 and head east until it ends. Turn right for about 100 yards (opposite park). Park here and enter through the hole in fence or ride north past where Carlsbad Village Dr. ended and you can access the trails from there.
    Paul Kratka a 41 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Nishiki Colorado from Leucadia E-mail:pckdc@adnc.com
    Posted on 12-7-97
    Thomas Guide page 1107 B3

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    • General ReviewI have been riding Calavera for a while now, since I live about a mile from it. I usually enter at the end of Canon at College, just across the street from Sage Creek High School. Plenty of parking on Canon right at the trail head, but I can fill up on weekends, but there is addition parking up at the very end of Canon next to the high school.

      Upon entering at Canon road go right on the trail and stay right, stay next to the farmed land, up over Snake Hill single track (called that for a reason, keep your eyes open), wind your way north, cross Sage Creek, go all the way to the lake, climb up the volcano to the top, go down the back side, cross over to the switch backs, past the water tower, and back down to Canon Road. All in all it makes about a 9-10 mile loop that contains a good variety of terrain from curving single track, fast double track, switchbacks and some solid climbing. I see the same people quite often in here, so there are a lot of regulars for a reason. If you live in the Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos areas it is a great place to get a ride in after work or in the morning. Good for XC training as well.

      Again, watch for rattlers, cactus palms, and horse patties. Calavera is a favorite trail of horse back riders as well.

      Stench a 41 old Cross-Country Rider riding a 2013 Scott Spark 920 from Posted:08/31/2015

    • Trail UpdateUnimpressive-I'm barely an intermediate rider, but this ride was unimpressive in its lower reaches (around the lake). Except for a short, steep, rocky stretch just after crossing the dam, the trail is mostly hard singletrack that meanders along the hillside contours. A couple of short climbs. You're never out of sight of the houses, and most of the north side is fenced off for revegetation. That doesn't affect the trail, but it's ugly and urban.

      I tried the trail toward Oak Riparian Park, but it's mostly unrideable mud bog with a few dry stretches and lots of rock and "bridge" (I use the term loosely) crossings. I love the mud, but this was impassable and I turned around in a short time.

      If all you're after is exercise, this might be fine, and perhaps the hillier stretches are more fun and interesting, along with being aerobically and technically much harder. All in all I found it not worth the trip or the struggle to find parking.
      FirstSarnt a 60 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Jamis Dakar



      I Lost a front WTB speed disc wheel with a WTB velocirator tire. I left it at the corner of Canon and College (Calavera hills).

      I believe a guy driving a silver / grey / gold car? with a roof bike rack. Bike color kind of matched his car. He rides a large or xl gold/Bronze colored Giant Trance might of picked it up.

      I would be super stoked if WHomever found the wheel/tire could contact me. Thanks!!!!

      PLEASE CONTACT ME AT 619-261-9005
      tcarniglia a 38 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Trance from Carlsbad


    • Trail UpdateCalavera Lake Great Ride!-Great opportunity for the family. My husband loves the more technical stuff and my 8 year old son and I need the more forgiving fire road type of ride; you will find both here. We arrived around 2 pm and found the breeze and little bit of shade perfect. I am a native of north county and never knew this area existed. Love what this website offers for those of us needing to rediscover the beauty of our native San Diego county. Thanks!
      kranzking a 48 year old Weekend Warrior riding a TREK Wsd ES 5.5


    • Trail UpdateCalaveras Lake-Like most places I visit for the first time in SD County, this was a pleasant surprise. There is a fun mix of trail types in here, and some surprisingly steep and technical stuff hidden here and there. I will come back and explore more for sure! Although its not a big place, its a worthwhile visit, esp. if you live in north County.
      Seaclasper a 2 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a DungRoller from Jerry Garciaville


    • Trail UpdateNEWB RIDE-Condidtion - Great, with a little mud in shaded areas. The path after the bridge crossing is pretty washed out on the left (facing up). Great trail did about 6 miles in a little under 50min. Had to go get my son this morning. Left a friends house who lives next to the park and went through the hole in the fence. Went to the lake and up the hill. Again great ride. Have fun
      lazebum a 24 year old Weekend Warrior riding a 07 INTENSE 5.5 from Winchester, VA


    • Trail UpdateEasy Way To Get To Calavera-hey everyone! i'm a local and hike this trail almost daily. if you take College south to the 2nd Tamarack (not Tamarack North) then go left. You'll head down a few blocks to Strata (your 1st stop sign) and you can park anywhere there. when facing the big hill, head to your left and there are a series of paths that lead you up the hill. best time is sunrise and sunset. nice and cool and great view if the marine layer is off!

      p.s. it's dog friendly and great photo opps!
      Pamela Jean a 28 year old URL: Diamond Photographic Arts


    • Trail UpdateCalavera Open Space-The Calavera Open Space is over a thousand acres of permanently set aside habitat preserve. This area is beginner to intermediate and includes ride links to Carlsbad Oaks, Rancho Carillo trails, Box Canyon, and Elfin Forest to the south.

      There will be an opportunity to give back by working on trails added to the City of Carlsbad trail system, including MTB trails.
      For maps go to: http://www.mountainbikebill.com/Flightline.htm
      for trail work info go to:


    • Trail UpdateThis dude needs to lighten up. What, you own the trails? I live steps away from the park. Does that entitle me to want all So. San Diego people out to or in that case, anyone I dont like?
      Trails are public. Respect and enjoy.
      a 38 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Giant NSR Air


    • Trail UpdateCarlsbad Mtb Sucks-This trail sucks like Noble. Someone needs to run all the OCers out of all of our Carlsbad County trails. I'm too busy and too old or I'd do it by myself without anyones help. Please help me. Go Navy!
      Xcbug a 40 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a SuperLite from Carlsbad


    • Trail UpdateI rode there yesterday. Parked at the park on Lake st.
      and rode the fire road all the way to the end, past the church. Then doubled back on some nice sigle track.
      found several loops that I had missed in the past.
      This is a cool, right in the middle of everthing spot to ride. Not the most technical, but there are some good short downhill twisty sections.
      a 35 year old riding a marin-wildcat from san marcos


    • Trail UpdateI just went there.. But i think i found a different way or different trails

      Take Highway 78 exit College and head south. Make a left on Lake Rd. Head down about 2 miles or so. I parked at a local park.. A trailhead starts by the stream. There is a motocross/bmx course hidden in there. Happing riding!
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Paul a 23 year old Downhiller riding a K2 Disco Monkey from San Diego


    • Trail UpdateMe Me-Does anyone have new directions to this trail? The roads have changed with all the new houses there.


    • Trail UpdateMy Bike Is Dirty,-what time can you meet me there?

      Thanks, sis!
      Eauxgod a 29 year old riding a Enduro from SD


    • Trail UpdateYou can clean anything on Calaveras on a 1985 rigid Mongoose with Cantilever brakes. Sorry bro.


    • Trail UpdateYou can clean anything on Calaveras on a 1985 rigid Mongoose with Cantilever brakes. Sorry bro.


    • Trail Updatethanks to the fires I was forced to find new ground
      I'm glad I looked and found this spot. this place
      rules because there's a little something for
      everybody. smooth singletrack, tech single track, a
      super fun bmx track(built into single track and
      probably better suited for 26ers) and a couple of
      short steep downhills. short is a good way to
      describe the place because it feels small. you'll
      want to do lots of laps to really work yourself. and if
      you want charge the downhills a freeride bike
      would be best and disc brakes aren't optional,
      you'll need 'em.
      Singletrack=75% Dirt Road=15% Truck Trail=10%
      northpark chris a 25 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a specialized P.2 from san diego


    • Trail UpdateCalavera Lake-Rode the trails a couple of times over Labor Day weekend. The trails are in decent shape and the muddy areas are nice. Some butt fungus destroyed the benches on the top of the hill since I was here last (Easter). I saw a decent sized rattlesnake on the trail below the hill but we left each other alone. Overall a fun little area close to town with lots of short side trails.
      Ride rating: Novice
      Ride distance: 5+ miles Elevation change: some
      Bradly BOB a 42 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Yellow and White K-mart special from Lancompton, CA


    • Trail UpdateCalaveras Hills Expansion-McMillan has just cleared and grubbed the northwest/west part of Calavera, which is generally at and south of the intersection of College and Elm (Carlsbad VD). Looks like the creek through the farm is the north/south boundary for this new subdivision. The area lost some riding, which is a shame. However, the best trails remain.

      Calveras regulars: what is your preferred route for linking Calaveras to the riding area at the end of Melrose in Vista? The unrideable creek crossing by the south end of the Carlsbad/Oceanside fireroad with loads of poison oak is all I could find. There must be another, better way.
      Mike Kim from Carlsbad


    • Trail UpdateStill Fun And Lots Of Riding!!-It's been a while since an update has been posted so here is my take.

      New housing has closed off quite a bit of old trails but the most technically challenging and fun are still quite available. You can still put in 10 miles if you mix up your ride.

      I ride Calavera 2-3 times a week and use if for training and have been for about 5 years. Quite a few technical sections that require skill and stamina. You will still find technical climbs and single track out here as well. I mix up my rides each and every time. Go with someone who knows the place and they should be able to show you what you cannot see while just staying by the lake. Take your time and explore and hit any trail you can find. You can't get lost!

      Contact me if you want to ride.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: Quite a few Elevation change:
      Singletrack=62% Dirt Road=35% Paved Path=3%
      Chet a 28 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a 2001 K2 Razorback Team from Vista, Ca


    • Trail UpdateCalavera Lake-I've read all the reviews on this area. Yes, they have built new housing that has shrunk the trails somewhat...however, I've been riding there every weekend for the last 4/5 weeks. Each time I go it's like making a new discovery. There's alot more than what meets the eye and you really need to do some exploring. I've spent over 2 hours riding in the area and never hit the same trail twice. Plenty of variety from truck trails to ST, even some BMX jumps in front of the lake. It's close to the ocean which makes for a "cool ride".I don't know why I'm sharing this since the place is almost deserted and that's the way I like it.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Singletrack=75% Dirt Road=5% Truck Trail=10%
      Rdeloro a 38 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Trek Y from Oceanside


    • Trail UpdateTHEY ARE DOING A GOOD THING-The Environmental Trust Organization is doing a good thing for the preservation of the area. Would we rather have housing built on those smoothed out trail sections? Of course years ago the area had some fantastic riding, but, I'm still in favor of some smooth trails versus someones back yard! There are many trails that can still provide a great workout while still requiring technical skills.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: Lots Elevation change: Little
      Bob a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Superlight from Carlsbad


    • Trail UpdateCalavera is getting bulldozed once again! The eco freaks have put up more barricades than you can shake a stick at. Some company called "the enviromental trust company" has really done a doosey out there and fenced off singletrack. The trails leading up the volcano have all been bulldozed and smoothed out for hikeing trails. What once had some technical riding is now just a stroll through the park. The place has totally been ruined. The only singletrack worth riding is now on the far east side of the volcano.
      Mtnbkbug a 37 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Cannondale from Carlsbad


    • Trail UpdateCalavera North-I moved to the area recently and have done some exploring in the area between Carlsbad Village Drive and Hwy 78. Kind of short, but fun. Can be accessed from Simsbury Ct., and the end of the first Rt off Carlsbad Village Dr East from El Camino, I think. Other access points exist based on visual only. Some ups and downs and BMX jumps thrown in. I'm not sure if is part of Lake Calavera per se. Just adding to the data base.
      Mike Kim


    • Trail UpdateCalavera-Yes, the recent housing development has taken some of the trails. But, I don't believe they were the best ones. It is a must to go with someone who knows these trails. A friend and I know these trails better than the average person and would be willing to take you on a tour! There are a lot of fun and cardio sections to explore. I have to say that it is worthwhile to travel to Calavera and see what it has to offer.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: 15 Elevation change: ???
      Singletrack=75% Dirt Road=9% Paved Path=1% Truck Trail=15%
      Bob a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Superlite from Carlsbad, Ca


    • Trail UpdateCALAVERA Supercross.......-Rode this a week ago.
      Previous post is correct, don't go here unless you live close. There is short steep climbs and some short vertical downhills, but nothing to rave about. Had a hard time figuring out how to link up some single track, but realized that there was only a little bit of it to be had. Most of Calavera is dirt roads and wide motorcyle track. Which presented another problem. Dirt bikes came out wide open up some of the trails. Don't get me wrong, if I lived in the neighborhood and rode a dirt scoot, I'd ride there too. Just pay close attention.
      Overall, the view of the ocean from the top of the mound of dirt out there was the best part of the ride. Oh yeah, and the BMX track at the botom was kind of fun.
      Ride rating: Novice
      Ride distance: 3? miles Elevation change: 500' rolling?
      Singletrack=5% Dirt Road=80% Truck Trail=15%
      Briscoe a 30 year old Weekend Warrior riding a DBR X-6 w/ long travel w/ Jr T from San Marcos


    • Trail UpdateCalavera-Its Calavera NOT Calaveras. Learn your local geogrophy. No monster downhills here but a few short steep climbs do exsist. I live on the rim of these trails and use them to get workouts in during the week in preparation for rides like Noble Canyon and the San Juan trail. You can still have alot of fun here but dont waste your time if you live more than a half hour away. There are much much better places to go if you live outside the area. The new housing developments going up have not destroyed much of the single track at all. There is now a SuperGo bike shop right on the rim too. less than a mile from the trails. If anyone needs a riding partner just e-mail. i work only a mile from there and i can just head out the back door when the boss isnt looking. i rate this place as intermediate because some of the fire roads have short steep climbs and peddling up the rock quarry hill will hurt if you are out of shape.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Ride distance: up to 15 miles Elevation change:
      Singletrack=30% Dirt Road=70%
      Mtnbkbug a 36 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Cannondale from Carlsbad


    • Trail UpdateCalaveras-This is a great place to ride if you go with someone who has ridden it. On the surface there appears to be mostly fireroads, but there are some fun short single tracks if you look for them. Unfortunately, a housing development is shortening the north side of the area, but the best rides are on the other side of the hill. For locals, this is a great ride, but I wouldn't travel far to try this one out for a first time unless you have a calaveras veteran with you. Watch out for the motorcycles!
      Ride rating: Novice
      Ride distance: Elevation change: Not Much
      Singletrack=20% Dirt Road=80%
      Joel a 25 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Klein Attitude Race from Vista


    • Trail UpdateTook the mini MTB'ers (7 & 10 yrs) and found a good choice of beginner through advanced (mostly the climbs). Came in from the east side - parking at the Oak Reparian Park on Lake Blvd. Will go back for sure - only 5 mins from the house...Singletrack in good shape with plenty of riders keeping it packed - some sand but still fun.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      Singletrack=65% Dirt Road=35%
      MTB dad a 37 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Diamondback from Vista


    • Trail UpdateGreg-Went for casual spin here on 5-2-99. As always, Calveras produced a great time. The sand patches are reappearing as trail usage has increased during dry times. Also, Beware, it is tick season and if you hike or bike here with your pets, be sure to check them as well as yourself for the critters after your visit. Construction here is continuing at a moderate pace. I suggest checking Calveras out while there are still trails to ride.
      Greg a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Cannondale F2000


    • Trail UpdateJefe-We entered from Carlsbad Village Dr. We found NO Trespassing sign and earth movers. We followed the graded dirt road to College Dr. and parked at the end.
      There construction here, too! We rode through the
      graded pads and found a trail that lead us through
      some sandy albeit fun singletracks. We eventually climbed the hill. We found a very steep, difficult and rocky trail. The view at the top was great. We
      rode downhill off the south face of the hill and headed
      southwest until we found more construction. We played around the low lying singletracks. We are going to explore a canyon we found that appears to head south.
      Hope we get back before there's more grading.
      Singletrack=80% Dirt Road=20%
      a 42 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a TREK Y from San Diego, Ca. E-mail: Jflpool @aol.com


    • Trail UpdateThis Is some good riding around this area, if your up for a good workout then go here. They have some good uphills and killer downhills
      Its a shame that contstrution is going on here. If anyone wants to join me on riding then contact me at dush2217@ixpres.com I'm always looking for other places to ride, and it's always good to use the buddy system just in case you may get hurt. Have fun.
      Singletrack=90% Dirt Road=100% Paved Path=5% Truck Trail=20%
      Dan Anderson a 30 year old riding a Cannondale super v 700 from oceanside ca USA


    • Trail UpdateGreg-All levels welcome. Conditions are Sandy in areas at the base and Rocky and Technical towards the top of the peak. Lots of fun riding in the lower sections. Have fun and pack out your trash.
      Singletrack=60% Dirt Road=10% Truck Trail=30%
      Greg a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Cannondale F2000 from Oceanside E-mail: oleron1@earthlik=nk.net


    • Trail UpdateThe entry from the top of Carlsbad Village Drive is pretty much dead....I snuck around a bit and ended up running into the construction (lot's of it) every which way I tried.
      Mike a 35 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Giant ATX 980 from Vista, CA


    • Trail UpdateCarl Hyndman-Not bad trails. Nice variety. Scenery can be nice, but farm, motocross track, houses, some trash, leftover construction and ongoing construction keep it from being an A. I live down the street and can ride to the start, but probably wouldn't drive far to get to this place. Watching new construction take a lot of trail; hopefully it won't gobble all of it. The ride alone has a lot to offer, some speed runs, nice downhill fingers, banked turns, etc..
      Singletrack=60% Dirt Road=30% Truck Trail=10%
      Carl Hyndman a 30 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Redline Pro Frame, Rockshock JudySL, XTR component from Carlsbad


    • Trail UpdateLocal Mike Rider-I live on the edge of Calveras, so I ride it almost every day. The trails are in great shape for the most part. Watch out for some sand here and there on the corners. You can ride for over an hour non-stop without re-tracing your steps once, which makes this place a great local workout. Widely varied terrain will keep your heart rate up. So far this year I've only seen one Rattle snake. I'm thinking of mapping the trails, and will repost here if I do.
      Singletrack=75% Dirt Road=25%


    • Trail UpdateThese trails are fast becoming overrun by careless drivers of ATVs. Please be careful and watch out for them. I also noticed that the above mentioned entrance is now posted with no trespassing signs, we chose to ignore them and rode anyway. It appears that the developers have gotten their hands on the western end of this area (that may explain the signs). Happy riding, but once again be careful.
      Jim Stanley a 36 year old Weekend Warrior


    • Trail UpdateNOBBIES, LIL'NOBBIES-Trails are great from smooth to rough there is something for everyone. There is every thing from sandy,muddy,rocky small stream crossings to tough rocky tech. hill climbs to fast flies stuck in your teeth downhills. If you go out early in the mourning you can catch a glimpse of a bobcat or a deer or 2.
      Single Track=75%, Dirt Road=25%
      NOBBIES a 35 year old weekend warrior from VISTA,CA. {NOBBIES@AOL.COM}


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