7 Incredible Bike Trails in San Diego: Ride Through the Mountains or Along the Coast

Rayna Skiver - Author

Mar. 28 2023, Published 9:58 a.m. ET

Best Bike Trails San Diego
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The state of California is full of amazing scenery and fun trails, especially in San Diego. This popular SoCal city has it all: Rugged coastal views, desert canyons, green mountains, vivid wildflowers, unique wildlife, and more.

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There are many different ways to experience the landscape, but biking is definitely one of the best and most exciting. Check out a few of the most popular bike trails in San Diego to see for yourself!

Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail

Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail
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For the chance to see some green foliage and bright wildflowers, head to Los Penasquitos Canyon. This rocky loop trail is 6.8 miles and takes you throughout the preserve. Before planning your ride, double-check the trail conditions and watch out for any closures — also, note that there’s a $3 parking fee. Once you’re on the trail, be prepared to share it with other bikers and hikers.

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Fortuna Mountain Trail

Overall, Mission Trails Regional Park is a great spot for all things biking. But the Fortuna Mountain trail is one of the best in the area, as it offers both a challenging ride and beautiful views. The loop is 6.2 miles long and will definitely be worth your time!

Bikers on AllTrails mentioned that while the trail is fun, some parts of the trail might need to be walked, as it can get pretty steep when going downhill.

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Tecolote Canyon

Tecolote Canyon is a 6.7-mile out-and-back trail that features an abundance of plant life and a small, serene creek. The area is very popular for mountain biking and hiking alike, so be sure to always look out for your fellow outdoor friends!

The trail is mostly flat, with a few steep exceptions — beginners may find these sections challenging, while experienced bikers might pass with more ease.

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Black Mountain

If you’re looking for a shorter ride, this 3.7-mile out-and-back trail on Black Mountain is perfect. This rocky path takes visitors up the mountain, all the way to an amazing view overlooking the city. The trail is rated as moderate due to a combination of flat and steep sections, but in between, bikers are able to take a little break if needed.

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Marian Bear Trail

Are you new to mountain biking? If so, Marian Bear Trail is a good place to kick off your journey. This is a short, 1.6 miles out and back trail with a little less elevation gain than normal, but still enough to present a challenge to newcomers. One biker on AllTrails described it as a “super fun beginner trail.” Many others were in agreement but added that it’s still enjoyable for those who are more advanced.

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Coast to Crest Trail

The 2.8-mile Coast to Crest trail is located in Rancho Bernardo Community Park. This is a very relaxed biking path that takes visitors along an awesome route to views of the San Dieguito River. In addition to some wildflowers, bikers might be lucky enough to see a few lizards too! For a fun day in the San Diego area, consider heading out to this trail.

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Ocean Front Boardwalk

Mountain biking is awesome, but a paved route can be nice too. Plus, if you’re visiting the city, walking or riding on the Ocean Front Boardwalk is basically a necessity. This 5.9-mile route provides visitors with a great way to view the ocean and experience the vibe of San Diego — it’s also incredibly popular, so you’ll likely see others walking, running, rollerblading, or skating.

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