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Biking in San Diego

From dirt paths to paved paths, San Diego is a cyclist's paradise

Photo By Lou Mora

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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.

East County San Diego

About an hour’s drive east of Downtown, Laguna Mountain sits at 6,000 feet above the sea on the edge of the Cleveland National Forest. Mountain bike through the Jeffrey Pineson one of several trails based on level of difficulty. Head even further east to Borrego Spring and the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Here you’ll find the popular Indian Head – De Anza loop, a 14 mile paved ride that will lead you past the magnificent metal sculptures of Ricardo Breceda – larger than life creatures jetting out of the desert sand. Or, for the more extreme rider, try the 100 mile loop through the badlands or the Montezuma Grade where you’ll climb 4 thousand vertical feet in just ten miles.

Located just minutes from Downtown San Diego, Mission Trails Regional Park offers numerous mountain biking trails, beautiful scenery, and a family friendly visitor center.

Pacific Coast Highway

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 far 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.

Mission Bay and Beaches

The 27 miles of winding, paved bike paths that circle Mission Bay are car-free and provide a great experience 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. View details of a 12 mile Mission Bay Bike Route or the laid back Ocean Beach Bike Path.

San Diego Bay

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. Map out your adventure on the iconic Bayshore Bikeway or ride from the Gaslamp Quarter to the historic NTC at Liberty Station via the San Diego Bay Bike Route.

Silver Strand in Coronado

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.

Point Loma Cabrillo Monument

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 -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. Try the Cabrillo Ride from Mission Bay Visitor Center for the whole experience.


For more information on biking in San Diego, please visit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition website.

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