Noble Canyon is said to be one of the best mountain bike rides in San Diego. It has a mix of everything. A fire road climb, rocky technical descent, wooded forest area, wide open desert like areas with single track all the way down. You get bragging rights if you can clear every rocky technical section. Otherwise you'll be doing some "hike a bike".
It's a bit of a grinding climb up the fire road and will take about 90 minutes to climb. If you really want to be king of the bragging rights club, you can climb up the single track to the top. This will take at least a couple hours so be sure to pack plenty of water.
To get there you have to find your way to the the end of Pine Creek Road in Pine Valley, CA. Most people park at the trail head. Don't forget your adventure pass that allows you to park without getting a ticket. You can get them at the convenience store on the way through town as you exit Pine Valley Road off Interstate 8.
Depending on whether you plan to ride up or do the shuttle weenie route you'll need to hit the outhouse at the bottom trail head. There's only nature at the top trail head. If you decide to drive to the top and only ride down, be sure to bring the keys to the bottom car with you. Don't leave them behind in the car you leave up top. Been there, done that.
If you decide to ride up you will have to pick between a fire road climb or single track climb. Ninety minutes for the fire road and at least a couple hours for the single track. The single track is way harder, but you get the most brownie points and bragging rights for it. I'd suggest bringing your elbow and knee pads with you. Don't wear them on the uphill. Put them in your Camelbak until you need them for the downhill. Oh yeah, bring lot's of water and plenty GU and Cliff Bars for extra energy. Practice your tuck 'n roll moves too. There's plenty of opportunity to use them on this ride.
Half way up the fire road climb you'll have a nice rest stop under a massive tree. You'll know it when you get there. Once you get to the top you'll hit Sunrise Highway. Turn right for a mile or so along the Highway and you'll run into a pullout parking area for several cars. This is the top trail head to start your downhill. Which is very misleading because you start with a climb and there's more during the rest of the downhill..
The ride is absolutely EPIC. The best ride in San Diego by far. It's actually my favorite ride of all time. I'm not going to ruin the downhill surprise for you. Take some pictures and post them on Instagram with #BicycleWarehouse. Tell us how it was and we'll repost on our adventure board to inspire others to give it a try.
Places to eat and have a beer after this long ride:
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