Sycamore Canyon consists of 1700 acres of open space and miles of trails. Prior to the 2003 fires, the reserve hosted diverse habitats including grassland, riparian, coastal sage, oak woodland, and mixed chaparral. Sycamore Canyon was reopened in 2004 and the trails are doing very well. You'll find a multitude of different plant and animal habitats, including coastal sage scrub, southern mixed chaparral, oak woodlands, riparian, and native grasslands. Common plants include California sagebrush, buckwheat, chamise, lilac, manzanita, lemonadeberry, coast live oak, sycamores, arroyo willow, and various native grasses. Mule deer, coyote, bobcat, rattlesnakes, and birds such as California gnatcatchers, Hutton's vireos, and scrub jays are among some of the wildlife you may discover.Mountain biking in Sycamore Canyon is just plain fun. You can easily do 14 miles almost all on singletrack, all this just outside San Diego north of Santee and south of Poway. I usually start at West Hills High School and ride north. I stay to the high east side of the canyon going north and then do the high west side coming south. There are numerous trails zig zagging throughout the canyon but it is pretty hard to get lost. Martha’s Grove at the north end of Sycamore Canyon is very fun, there are some technical down hills so be careful. The climb up cardiac hill is just plain brutal. The ridge trail is rocky and steep in parts, worth it if you want the extra workout but not great trail. If you are looking for some fun mountain biking in San Diego you will definitely want to check out Sycamore Canyon.
South end: Head east on 52. Take the Mast Blvd exit and go east. Park at the north east end of West Hills high school. The trailhead is on the north side of Mast Blvd. and runs along the west side of the houses.North End: Take I-15 and exit Poway Rd. Take Poway Rd. to Garden Rd. Take Garden Rd. East to Sycamore Canyon Rd. Take Sycamore Canyon Rd. south to the parking lot at the end of the road.
This ride is great whether you are looking for a quick singletrack ride, or if you are looking for something more aerobic and technical to last all morning. It's not very far from civilization, but it feels like it.
Did Sycamore for the first time today and it was great. Fun, fast, twisty single track perfect for my SS cadence. We started from the South end, rode to the North parking lot and back. I'll have to add this to my regular ride list. Fun times!
Great trail. Stay on the trails to the west of Santee Lakes unless you like rocks. Also, try and take trails E/W side of Sycamore Canyon Road. SCR has a good deal of sand and the single tracks on either side are thrilling. We ride out to the South gate usually and occasionally ride to the Rangers station from Santee. 2.5- 3 hour out and back from Mast at a moderate pace.
For an (short) evening ride, I did the southern part of Sycamore Canyon and a side canyon. The ride was a pretty steady cardio workout and not too technical, but a ton of fun. Canyons are great because they are a gradual climb, but coming back down is always fast and fun. Plenty of wildlife to be seen here -- I saw a coyote, tarantula, and a bunch of deer (including a 6 point buck). Way more wildlife than people, which is a success in my book.
Great ride for the intermediate it has a little bit of every thing, And will make you a better rider. Just make sure you plan for a half day take plenty of water. were a helmet for the unexpected i had one or two spills lol.
11/11/2008Half way up the canyon
11/11/2008Dirt Road Half way up the canyon
11/11/2008Gate South entrance to preserve
11/11/2008Steep short climb
11/11/2008Map of trail
10/23/2007Sycamore Canyon South EndPrint Trail Map (.pdf)
10/23/2007Sycamore Canyon North EndPrint Trail Map (.pdf)
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