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Level: Intermediate
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +461/ -446 ft
Total: 108 riders

Mountain Biking Lake Calavera

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#161 of 1,003 mountain bike trails in California
#2,259 in the world

I put 10 Miles for the Trail Length but there is many many more miles that you can do out here. Lots of networked trails. You can take trails to the hill in the middle of the park and walk up the west side of it and on the east side there are two short but awesome DH sections. At the top of the hill there is very good pic to be taken, viewing the Pacific and the lake. also all trails intertwine around the lake. On the plus side, there is a rope swing on the south side of the lake.

First added by The_Germ on May 20, 2010. Last updated May 1, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From the I-5 in Oceanside, take HWY 78 East. Take the College BLVD exit and go right. At the second stop, hang a left on Lake Drive. Then at the 4th traffic light hang a right at the park (Oak Riparian Park)
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Lake Calavera Trail map

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Local Info

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jfitz1233 (on Nov 4, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Mar 17, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Carlsbad, California

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Intermediate | 6 mi
| 2 mi
Beginner | 5 mi

Rider questions

Q: Yes theres an old barn there too

Q: Is horseback riding allowed
A: yes

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  • Camboridesbikes

    I love riding these little windy trails around the lake. It's really Sandy, but I found some nice flow. Bring sunglasses!

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  • Tony k

    I've been going to this area for about a year now and am still finding new fun trails, it's a really cool place it has just about every kind of trail and usually not to crowded. GREAT FOR LOCALS.

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  • Araujo

    Drive or ride to Connon rd. If driving park at the end of Cannon rd just bybthe school. Younwill see where the trail begins. It's not an exact loop, but you can ride up to a concrete pad, and from there you will find many different options. You can also go around the lake and go back down.

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  • Araujo

    It was a sad ride. They are destroying the trails at Calaveras. Sorry I don't know the name of the trails, it maybe called jump line, so from the concrete pad looking west the trail to the right that had nice jumps and berms have been destroyed. Someone took out all the berms and added lots of sand, that trail segment is done.

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  • Chris Pickford

    I've been riding Calavera for about 9 years and still finding new and challenging sections of trail. There is a good variety of stuff for all skill levels. This is a great place to keep up your riding skills if you live in the area but probably not worth traveling great distances for. There is an extinct volcano in the park that serves as a good landmark if you feel lost. I find the most exciting and challenging riding to be in the area just south of the big pasture. Summiting the volcano is a bit difficult and I would only recommend this to intermediate or advanced level riders. The best way to get to the peak on bike is from the southwest.

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  • Joe Fabris

    Visiting from Santa Cruz with a Cross Bike I went to Singletracks.com to find what the local Oceanside trails had to offer. This was a nice payout. I rode in from the coast 6 miles to get to the College Ave. entrance.

    I did not find many posted map stations so I basically just started riding and found easy to spot fire roads. They'd pitch up / down now and then, and that was OK.

    But then I started to find the single track stuff and that was awesome. Very tight twisting bermed turns, creek crossings, occasional rocky sectors.

    All challenging on a cross bike. I'd love to come back with the enduro rig and rail some stuff that I was line-picking my way down and just bomb it.

    I found my way out by the lake itself and then did my 6 miles back to the shore.

    Great day.

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  • jmo

    It may just be personal preference but I really enjoy these trails much more than the typical SoCal climb for 1 hour straight so you bomb downhill in 10 minutes type of trail. Every climb and downhill is relatively short, but one can find almost anything they want in these trails from long flat curvy routes to steep rock gardens to totally built up berms and jumps. The only thing these trails lack are long continuous sections and a clear map.

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  • Roberto Riquelme

    Great meandering tracks that vary in difficulty level. Nice place to explore and find hidden features.

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  • Daniel Lim Jr.

    This section is alright, but of course everybody wants to play. Lots of track to keep you enteratained. Watch out and yield on the corners.

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  • k2rider

    This is our go-to "local" area for the residents of the coastal North County San Diego. Even though I frequently ride the same route, there's no true "loop" per se. This area has a whole lot of short ups and short downs with winding connectors running all over the place. The local crazy youngsters have carved out a couple trails with tons of high speed berms and jumps, both doubles and a few significant drops....that I walk.

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  • rickggaribay

    Visiting the area from Phoenix, parked on Sky Haven street which provided easy trail access from the street. Headed west on the fire road for about a mile and a half until I hit some gravel road. Hooked a left, heading south up some decent doubletrack including a non-trivial rock garden which then flattens out for a good half mile until you hit a fork from which you can keep climbing or make a left, heading east to the "Creek Crossing". I opted to keep climbing until I was faced with a couple of options to either go down the hill or make a left, riding some fire road along one of the heavily guarded (fenced) preserves and then down some very bumpy dirt that has been undulated by water. Hit another fork and followed left over a small stream and then back up after which I followed the same path I started from.

    There are some nice views to be had atop of the summit and there are some good sections of trail as well as some I may have missed.

    This is a decent ride, but not great IMO. Doing a little bit of research before the ride, this is a highly contested preserve with stakes by at least 3 organizations as evidenced by the aggressive fencing throughout. Many loops and trails were literally fenced off making the ride feel a lot less natural. In addition, the area is infested by rattlesnakes which a few google searches alerted me to and early on my ride a jogger warned me and a woman with a dog that he had just been warned by another jogger that there were two rattlers spotted just ahead.

    The restrictive fencing coupled by the anxiety of running into a snake- I despise them, wrong sport, I know, made the ride a bit more forced than pleasant.

    All in all I got just under 5 miles in about an hour and 20 minutes, so not a bad ride per se, but would likely skip this next time around.

    I'm curious if the other review still holds true with all the fencing as I personally would find it hard to make a day of this network, but I could easily have missed some nicer segments in my haste to get the ride in.

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  • *****

    This is my home trail & I love it. It's easy here to take an easy, moderate or difficult route.

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