Rancho Penasquitos Canyon Preserve
San Diego's most popular trail area, managed by the City of San Diego, with many options for various loops for various skill levels. Stick to the main canyon for easy, wide trails perfect for beginners and families or just laying some base miles. Head north to Del Mar Mesa for windy and more challenging singletrack. Explore the area known as "Tunnels" where unique scrub oaks create a canopy that offers challenging riding. Trails near staging areas can be very busy, especially on weekends and holidays, so trail etiquette is important for all trail users to observe.
Please stick to designated trails to ensure future access. Please adhere to signage as some trails are not open to bikes in the main canyon along the stream where equestrian use is frequent.
Please obey all posted signage and stay on designated routes. Please respect all closures as access in this area for mountain bikes has been years in the making. Read more about advocacy efforts that have improved trail access in this area.
In wet weather, the canyon trails will be posted as closed. Length of closure depends on amount of rain received, etc. For trail updates/temporary closures please call the Park Ranger Office at (858) 538-8066
- Primary Trail Type: Cross-Country
- E-Bikes Allowed: YES - Class 1 and 2 only
- Suggested Route: Penasquitos Canyon Valley Loop - 6 miles, 82 feet elevation gain
- Suggested Route: Los Penasquitos and Del Mar Mesa Intro Tour - 23 miles, 1957 feet elevation gain
- Land Status: City Managed
- Land Manager: City of San Diego, County of San Diego and others
- Trail Advocacy Efforts in Del Mar Mesa
- New 2020 Trail Map (shown below)
- City of San Diego PQ Webpage