Looking for the best bike rides in San Diego? Here are leisurely seaside rides and adrenaline-pumping mountain bike trails.
With its picturesque views and varied terrain, San Diego is a dream for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, especially cyclists and bikers.
Whether you prefer a leisurely ride in the Californian sunshine, with coastal views and a sea breeze, or you’re more of a thrill-seeker, wanting fast-paced, winding mountain trails, there’s something for everyone.
In this article, we’ve found some of the best bike rides in the San Diego area for cyclists and mountain bikers alike so you can spend less time researching and more time on your own two wheels.
If you’re looking for a leisurely ride in the sunshine with some beautiful San Diego views to go with it, then we’ve got you covered, with a list of our favorite cycle paths and trails that aren’t too taxing.
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Pacific Beach Boardwalk isn’t the longest of cycle paths, stretching just under 4 miles long, but if you’re looking for a leisurely ride that doesn’t bring many difficulties, then this path is perfect for you.
The path starts at the beginning of Ocean Boulevard and ends down at the bottom of mission beach at the entrance channel to mission bay.
While the terrain is fairly consistent, the boardwalk does get busy at certain times of the day, so remember to be cautious when riding.
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The Bayshore Bikeway takes you through the heart of San Diego bay, with stunning views both left and right of the waterways and ocean.
At 7 miles long, you can start from either the end of Saturn Boulevard or the end of Main St just off the San Diego freeway.
This path takes you across the bay to Coronado Island where you’ll find some stunning beaches to rest your legs for the ride back.
If you fancy getting away from the bustling city paths and going to more of a natural trail, then the Red Ridge Loop is a little off-piste but not too taxing.
Red Ridge Loop Trail is located in the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, a beautiful 2,000-acre piece of land that houses some fantastic scenery.
The Red Ridge Loop trail has an elevation of over 1,000 feet with breathtaking views at the heights.
If you’re looking for something a little more challenging than the beachside paths, then the Red Ridge Loop Trail is perfect for you.
Taking you right from the top of Ocean Beach following the San Diego River to the start of the Mission Valley, the San Diego River Trail is a fantastic ride where you can indulge in amazing views of the valley and even see some wildlife on the way.
This path is shared by both pedestrians and cyclists alike so be sure to be cautious when riding along with it.
Going up the trail can be a slow but rewarding burn, but in the end, you can go back down and finish off your ride with some relaxation time on Ocean Beach.
If you’re looking for a bit of a workout then look no further than cycling the Cabrillo National Monument bike path.
Starting at the end of Catalina Boulevard in between the sunset cliffs and Kellogg beach, this path takes you right the way up the Point Loma peninsula, ending at the brilliant Cabrillo National Monument Park.
From here you can catch breathtaking views of San Diego Bay and the surrounding ocean while you rest from a taxing yet rewarding hill climb.
Mountain Bike Trails
If you’re looking for something a little more adrenaline-pumping than a leisurely ride across the beaches and parks of San Diego, then the mountains and hills surrounding the city have some thrilling mountain biking trails that are sure to satisfy your thrills.
Here are just a few.
Located in San Diego’s most popular park, the Balboa Park biking trail is a slightly challenging 4 and a half-mile loop that’s conveniently placed right in the center of San Diego.
Although experienced mountain bikers may want something a little more challenging, the Balboa Park trail still offers a fun off-road ride with plenty of twists and turns right on your doorstep.
Just north of Lake Murray, the Cowles Mountain trails offer many various trail options that are all interconnecting.
This is a fantastic spot for intermediate mountain bikers that offers fast straights and challenging bends.
At the top of the trail, you have beautiful views of the city and the Mission trails regional park meaning you could ride these trails for hours on end.
The Mission Trails Climbers Loop is one of the more challenging mountain trails on this list. Recommended only for experienced mountain bikers, this trail offers tight bends, huge rocks, and taxing step-downs all at tremendous speeds.
The mission trail also comes with fantastic views of the valleys and park below. But I’m sure you won’t have time to take them in on this challenging ride.
A small journey outside of the city in the mountains overlooking Lake Hodges and Escondido is the Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail.
This trail is a little easier on the legs than some and isn’t as fast-paced and adrenaline-filled as most on this list.
The trail is perfect for intermediate riders who are looking for a fun ride with amazing views of Lake Hodges and the city in the distance.
9.Fortuna Mountain Trail
Just north of the Mission Trails Regional Park is the North Fortuna Mountain, at 1,293 feet tall, this mountain is home to some great views and a mountain biking trail that takes no prisoners.
The Fortuna Mountain trail is an advanced trail made solely for experienced bikers. It features some steep cut-backs and many loose rocks which going at the speeds this trail offers will have you on high alert.
This trail will get your adrenaline pumping and give you just the thrill that you need.
Well, there you have it, all the best bike rides in San Diego! Hopefully that helped, but if you want more info, we found you a video below.
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