San Diego’s varied terrain offers a perfect fit for every type of cyclist. Whether you’re an avid mountain bicyclist, a road bike warrior, or a breezy beach cruiser, there are plenty of paths, trails and roads in San Diego to explore on two wheels.
For adventurous mountain bikers, East County’s desert trails and rocky mountain paths provide the perfect mix of challenging and leisurely rides. For the more laid back beach cruisers, consider rides along the region’s scenic waterfront, where coastal bike paths provide varied opportunities for cyclists of all skill levels.
Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH, stretches up the San Diego coastline and passes through some of the area’s most beautiful beach towns like Del Mar, Leucadia and Encinitas. Cyclists can begin their journey at any location north of the Mexican border, but the most popular rides start in La Jolla or Del Mar, as cyclists travel as north as Oceanside before turning around and heading south again. The route combines miles of flat surface along with challenging hills like the Torrey Pines grade, all with picturesque ocean views.
The 27 miles of winding, paved bike paths that circle Mission Bay are car-free and provide a favorable location for family bike rides and sightseeing. Cyclists can pick a range of distances along the bay, or branch off on side trips to explore the communities of Pacific Beach, La Jolla and Ocean Beach.
The Bayshore Bikeway is a 25-mile ride along San Diego Bay. The majority of the ride runs along bike lanes or separated bike path. Riders can start at the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego and head south to National City and Chula Vista. Loop around San Diego Bay into Imperial Beach, and then catch the Silver Strand into Coronado. Once in Coronado, riders have the option of turning around and following the trail back, or hop on the Coronado Ferry to cross over San Diego Bay back into downtown San Diego.
The Silver Strand on the peninsula of Coronado offers an easy 10-mile ride between Coronado and Imperial Beach along a portion of the Bayshore Bikeway. The path on the strand parallels the beach and San Diego Bay, which is often referred to as the most beautiful and cyclist-friendly bike route in Southern California.
The hills surrounding Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma offer intermediate and advanced riders a vigorous coastal path. After powering up the hill, you can also take in some early San Diego history at the Cabrillo Monument, as well as breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Diego Bay, downtown San Diego and Coronado to the east.