- Friday, December 09, 2022
Southern California Trails
Valley Of The Moon - #ValleyOfTheMoon
Socal - San Diego County - Jacumba NickNames: #ValleyOfTheMoon
This trail begins just off of I-8 right on the border of San Diego County and Imperial County. I think the Trailhead is in SD County and the trail is mostly in Imperial County.
From San Diego, take I-8 east 65-75 miles to In-Ko-Pah Park Park Road. This is approximately 15 minutes past the I-8 and highway 94 juntion. Once you have exited In-Ko-Pah Park Rd, turn right at the end of the 'offramp' and right onto old highway 80. 200 yards ahead and to the left will be a dirt 'road'. If you go past the border patrol stop, you've gone maybe half a mile too far. If you have found the right road/turnout, there may be an old sun-bleached sign board one one may have found trail maps. There may also be a mobile home to your left with a bunch of bird cages (Dec 2005). Park here, or continue up the road. Acording to google earth, the parking spot is at 32 Deg 38'23.72' N by 116 Deg 06'23.72' W. Thomas Guide page: 430?
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- Trail UpdateValley O' The Moon-This is as good a time as any to do this ride - I got there at noon and temps were in the cool high 50s. First part of the ride is some seriously steep uphill on dirt and broken pavement, but it's not all that long. When you get to the 'valley' at the top, there are numerous places to explore - the place is like a small chunk of Joshua Tree Nat. Park with various rock formations. You should definitely do the short (~20 min) climb from here to the old mining site, but don't get too close! Great views from on high as well, incuding the Jacumba Mountains, Salton Sea, and Mexico.
Although the dirt rode is open to 4WD traffic, I only saw two vehicles on a Sunday, and both were filled with some pretty cool people. One guy seemed amazed that I made it up to the old mine on a mountain bike, I was just as amazed that he made it there in a jeep!
Seaclasper a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Nubian Princess from Ol' Kentuck
- Valley Of The Moon-This trail starts with a fairly serious climb up dirt and concrete (on the switchback corners). From the parking area you can see the trail climbing up the hill to the east. Your first climb is made of switchbacks and is maybe 1-1.5 miles.
NOTE: if you have the San Diego Mountain Bike Guide, the map for this trail appears incomplete, dated, or wrong. As far as I can tell, the top of the hill is shown to have a loop in this guide. This loop does not appear to exist or is hidden (Or I read the map incorrectly) I also saw no sign of Smuggler's Cave at this point. My apologies if I am incorrect here. Overall this guide was a fantastic investment and I recommend it.
When you get to the top of the hill, you can ascend to the right (look for the antennae station). I didn't go far this way, but it looks like you climb for a bit more, and the than have a nice downhill. I believe you can cut north at the bottom of the downhill and hit old Highway 80 (back to the car). I did not do this.
To get to the valley of the moon, decend to the southeast from the top of the first hill. Enjoy the downhill. Eventually you will see a small mountain/hill in front of you with the trail splitting and 'appearing' to make a loop around the mountain. The right trail was a dead end so I don't think there is a loop around the mountain. The left trail appeared to go farther.
There is a rock formation below and slightly to the north of previously described mountain/hill. On the western face there should be a rock overhang where people have built many fires. This area is the Valley of the Moon. You can continue past this rock formation to the right or left. There will be groups of boulders in the trail near the mentioned fire/rock overhang area. Continue east and enjoy the trail. Watch for rock climbers and turn around when you get bored.
Watch out, the trail itself can be sandy in spots and there may be some 4wd action.
Out and back.
Ride distance: 8 miles? Elevation change: 1500?
Dirt Road=99% Paved Path=1%
Enderwiggin a 29 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Giant Iguana