Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Advanced XC Ride

As written by RockMTB Leader Mike Maio – Living near North County this is by far my favorite local (within 15 miles from my gym) ride in San Diego Proper.
In a nutshell this trail is very challenging from a cross-country standpoint. The climbs are strenuous and technical but for an experienced rider everything on this ride is climbable if you have the legs for it. If you master this trail you will be able to out climb anyone in an actual technical trail situation. The downhills are fast and fun with lots of switchbacks but are only as treacherous as the speed in which you ride them at. We will start the ride on the “Way Up Trail” climbing without much of a warm up. It is best to go slow at first and take it easy going just fast enough to keep your bike up right. This is because from time to time there are technical and steep sections that you want to have the leg power and speed to make it with out having to dab or hike your bike. Keep track of how many times, if any, you have to put your foot down if you can make it all the way to the top (1.5 miles) past the many switchbacks without having to dab you can call yourself an expert climber!

Once we have reached the top we will proceed to a picnic area with a great view of the Olivenhain Reservoir. This is where we will have our Devotional. There is no real need to carry a lot of water with you up till this point as this area has access to fresh drinking water.

We will then proceed up a small climb (.3 miles) to the top of Mt. Israel where there are spectacular views of the coast and ocean. From there we will bomb down the “Equine Incline”, which is some fun fast downhill with some baby heads and switchbacks in the mix for about a 1.5 miles until we climb out, up a moderate to steep incline for about a 1 mile.

This will bring us back to the general area we had the Devotional in. From there we will head up “Tykes Hike” (.25miles) to the “Chaparral Trail” (.3 miles) back to the top of Mt. Israel and then down the “Cielo Trail” (.25 miles) and then down a steep fire road to the “Mariposa Trail” (.25 miles) which proceeds down a steep staircase with a very short but steep climb out to the “Tykes Hike” which will once again lead us to the Devotional area.
There is only one more thing to do now and that’s BOMB way down the 1.5-mile “Way Up Trail” which ends up right down at the parking lot. In this entire ride will only be about 12 or so miles but with about 2000′ of climbing at pretty much sea level. And I should mention it’s not 2000′ of fire road climbing, its VERY TECHNICAL CLIMBING so that means ADVANCED XC RIDERS ONLY!!!!

NOTE – Helmets are MANDATORY on all RockMTB rides – NO EXCEPTIONS.
This includes EVERYONE! The person who left their helmet on the table at home… Please don’t put us in the unfortunate position of not letting you ride.  We care deeply about everyone’s health and have seen too many examples of why helmets are needed.

What to bring:
1. Helmet – no helmet, NO RIDE, no exceptions.
2. WATER – at lease 100 oz!!!  It may get VERY HOT and there is no water during the ride.
3. FOOD – this is a 12+ mile ride with 2,000’+ elevation gain.  We recommend food with sugar as a snack.
4. TUBES
5. CAMERA – optional but it is spectacular scenery.  We will be taking pictures and helmet camming the ride.
6. SUNSCREEN.
7. SUNGLASSES.

Directions:
The drive takes about 45-50 minutes fromSan Diego State University and 8.
From Interstate 5 North take the La Costa Avenue exit. Go east for ~3.5 miles and turn left on Rancho Santa Fe Road. Make a right on San Elijo Road. Turn right on Elfin Forest Road East. Look for a parking lot on the right. Also, look for the RockMTB banner.

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