- Saturday, December 09, 2023
Southern California Trails
La Costa Preserve - #LaCostaPreserve
Socal - San Diego County - Carlsbad NickNames: #LaCostaPreserve switchbacks, mule deer, nascar, others
Main start point is a short access road on Sitio Salvia. From I-5, take the Leucadia Blvd exit and turn east (away from coast). Leucadia Blvd becomes Olivehain Rd, then Rancho Santa Fe Road. Turn right onto Camino Junipero, left onto Corte Romero, right on Silio Salvia. All trails can be accessed from this point except Horned Lizard and Vista del Mar. Trails split off about 40 meters up the gated access road.
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- Trail UpdateSwitchbacks To The Top-Denk Mountain is small, about 1,050 feet, but the well-maintained trails provide a good workout. I took Switchbacks, named for obvious reasons. After the split near the bottom, it's all singletrack and a pretty relentless climb. The narrowness of the trail and the frequent jagged, rocky outcrops mean you HAVE to watch the area right in front of you while you're looking ahead to anticipate lateral moves and changes of direction. Loss of concentration means you're instantly in the weeds. There is no shade anywhere on this ride.
The switchback turns are generally very steep and rocky, but nicely rimmed for your descent. The traverses vary from smooth and level to short and choppy. The surface has been worn to powder in the turns, and large rocky outcroppings are frequent and always in the wrong place. You should have good tread to avoid any slippage going up.
I rated this trail intermediate because of the tough, grinding turns and the narrow track, which make coming down almost as hard as going up. For advanced riders, there is the NASCAR trail that cuts down through the middle of everything. All in all it's a short ride, but really tests your aerobic and bike handling skills.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 3.5 miles r/t Elevation change: +/- 600 ft
FirstSarnt a 60 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Jamis Dakar XCR Comp from Encinitas, CA