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Level: Intermediate
Length: 11 mi (17.7 km)
Surface: Doubletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +202/ -203 ft
Total: 38 riders

Mountain Biking Santee Lakes To Sycamore Canyon

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#366 of 1,003 mountain bike trails in California
#4,407 in the world

This route appears to be primarily used as a connector between the city of Santee and the Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch trails. With the inclusion of the many spurs, and the pleasant singletracks that were reportedly cut after the recent fires, it rivals the majority of SC/GR with the exception of Martha's Grove and the ridge trails.

Please note that there are many no-trespassing signs along the route. According to locals and the guidebook these are not to prevent access, but merely to keep you on the main trails. (*See warning below)

From the trailhead just west of the intersection of Mast and Medina, at the end of the sidewalk, head north paralleling Santee Lakes following the most heavily tracked trails. Just past the powerlines, cross a ravine (may or may not be wet) and continue northward, between the hill and the lakes. Shortly after the water treatment plant at the northernmost lake, the terraing begins to pick up some trees. Continue north either on the main trail (east fork) or the singletrack (west) Please note again the warning below - don't venture East of the lakes...
Continue north until you reach the gate to Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch Total out and back distance to the gate along the main trail is ~11 miles (5.7 o-w)

*Warning - truck trails on the east side of Santee Lakes appear to be off limits. No entry/exit is available short of a vandalized fence, and signs are not friendly. Please avoid the east side of the lake without special permission.

First added by Xerien on Feb 19, 2009. Last updated May 3, 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 Hwy 52 Eastbound or 125 Northbound, take the Mast Blvd Exit in Santee. Head east on Mast and locate parking near the intersection of Mast and Medina. Parking may be available at West Hills high school. Santee Lakes (day use and camping) is also nearby.
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Santee Lakes To Sycamore Canyon Trail map

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Trail conditions

Good (on Feb 3, 2018)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Santee, California

Beginner | 8 mi
Intermediate | 15 mi
Advanced | 9 mi
Intermediate | 15 mi

Rider questions

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  • AmyCave

    Trail seems to be all dug up due to development. Hiked and biked a ways and it just didn't seem to end so we gave up.

    Reply | Thank
  • beddery

    Fun trail, I was just wondering how you can recommend this trail to everyone seeing that it cuts into Federal property? There is a chance of citation and confiscation of bikes.

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  • scarshin

    Rocks, rollers, climbs, hardpack and loose stuff. Has lots to offer. Consider bike bell for two way traffic in the middle section. Lucked out on my first head on.

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  • david_darling

    A fun trail linking Poway to Santee. Some fast and rolling sections with a few rocky parts. Good for night rides.

    Reply | Thank