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Level: Intermediate
Length: 12 mi (19.3 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +904/ -1,846 ft
Total: 61 riders

Mountain Biking Rancho La Costa

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#214 of 1,003 mountain bike trails in California
#2,794 in the world

Switchbacs up
Horned Lizard down

First added by palom0 on Jul 28, 2011. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • 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 San Diego
Take the I-5 N towards Los Angeles
Take the Leucadia Blvd ramp
Turn right onto Leucadia Blvd
Keep left onto Olivenhain Rd
Turn right onto Camino Junipero
Turn left onto Corte Romero
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Rancho La Costa Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

Rick Lombardi (on May 14, 2019)
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Upcoming Events

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Trail conditions

Good (on Dec 24, 2017)
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Camping & Lodging

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Rancho La Costa videos

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Rider questions

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  • Chris Pickford

    I have ridden four of the trails here and enjoyed them all. Switchbacks is probably the easiest descent but has a few areas you can get hung up on if you don't have rock clearing skills. Horned Lizard has a couple of steep and rocky sections that might scare novice riders. Whiptail Loop is my favorite. It has a lot switchbacks and curves. It has a few sections where you can really pick up speed. Becareful because these often end in a gnarly switch back or a rough patch of sharp rocks. The lower slope is much more easy going. Whiptail Loop connects with the Copper Creek trail. This is a fun descent down into a little gorge. There are a couple little waterfalls to enjoy down here and a nice shady ride through some woods. I have not ridden much beyond the woods but I understand you can connect to some other trails in the San Elijo area.

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  • marecean

    Excellent climbing trail. Very rocky, my 26 in tires took a beating. Coming down was a blast. Give way to more experienced bikers as they are flying. Loved it.

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  • detacinst

    This is a good climb with challenging rock steps adding to the difficulty. Short ride, but extends to other trials. Seems to be a popular trail for hikers, but everyone appears real friendly and are more than willing to let bikers climb on.

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  • Trail Builder

    Being from Kansas I was not quite ready for climbing immediately, but well worth it. Fun and challenging switchbacks, with enough technical to keep me focused. One minor tumble gave me the battle scars needed as souvenirs. Watch out for the rattlesnakes!

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  • Eric Foltz

    This is a pretty fun little area. I've ridden here a couple of times and although the mileage is limited, you can link up with the San Elijo Hills trails to make some longer loops. There are some new trails over on the other side of Rancho Santa Fe that can be added on. Nothing really technical, just a lot of sharp rocks so use beefy tires.

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  • flexnit

    Great switchback with some challenging sections. I seem to always leave with a sense of survival and a scratch or two...only reason not giving a 5/5 is due to it being a short trail.

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  • ***

    Not for the beginner / novice. Took my son to it & being a beginner, he likened it to seeing a shark on your first day surfing! I can't wait to explore more of it next time though!

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  • rkwelsh

    Local spot with something for everyone. Takes about 30-40 minutes to get up the hill. There's one downhill trail, and multiple XC trails that are fun. Typical SD rockiness.

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