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Noble Canyon Round Trip

Difficult
 4.5 (85) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A great half day work out with the technically challenging Noble Canyon singletrack.


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Map Key

18.9

Miles

30.5

KM

60%

Singletrack

5,507' 1,679 m

High

3,693' 1,126 m

Low

2,435' 742 m

Up

2,440' 744 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Overview

A paved fire road (closed to motorized vehicles) connects the bottom Noble Canyon trailhead with the top. The return is pure singletrack down Noble Canyon. There a a couple of miles rather technical sections. Carry your bike on those if you care.

Need to Know

  • Access to the Cleveland National Forest requires an Adventure Pass. Yearly Pass = $30. Daily Pass = $5. More info here. A daily pass can be purchased at the general store in Pine Valley.
  • Many people shuttle this ride, starting from the Big Laguna Campground off of Sunrise highway. That's definitely a good option as well, but it's a loop as mapped.

Description

You simply follow the paved road all the way until it ends at the Sunrise Highway. About half way there is a sharp right turn (a beautiful shade tree on the left - nice resting place). At this turn you could also go straight onto the Indian Trail, which ends on the Noble Canyon trail near the top.

Once you arrive at the Sunrise Highway, turn right and you'll find the upper Noble Canyon trailhead after about 1/2 a mile. Noble Canyon starts out fairly smooth with a slight climb. With the technical challenges kept to a minimum it's possible to enjoy the long views across the mountains.

You'll cross Pine Creek Road a couple of times along with the intersection to Indian Creek. This intersection is important when riding the Cuyamaca to Noble Canyon - IMBA Epic.

The smooth and fast descent continues until you reach a horse gate. The route becomes much more technical here as it enters the canyon and transitions from forest to chaparral. The trail texture changes to blocky rocks and drops. If you can handle it, speed and momentum is helpful through this kind of terrain.

When the terrain and vegetation changes again from chaparral to desert, the trail narrows and becomes more exposed above the canyon floor. The route is mostly descending with a few short climbs and includes two highly regarded rocky, technical sections: Stairway to Hell and Roman Road.

Towards the bottom of Noble Canyon, the trail will come to an intersection. Turn left here to take a longer route back to the Lower Noble Canyon Trailhead (Pine Creek Picnic Area). This section is smooth with a gradual climb and descent.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jost Diederichs with improvements by Susie Murphy and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 85 votes

#1

in Pine Valley

#95

Overall
  4.5 from 85 votes
5 Star
61%
4 Star
32%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Pine Valley

#13

in California

#95

Overall
99 Views Last Month
31,645 Since Aug 28, 2013
Difficult

0%
1%
0%
6%
85%
8%

Photos

The Roman Road on lower Noble Canyon
Apr 19, 2013 near Pine Va…, CA
Randy cleaning STH!
Sep 5, 2018 near Pine Va…, CA
Ninja shred!
Sep 5, 2018 near Pine Va…, CA
NOBLE CANYON!!! My new favorite MTB trail!
May 24, 2018 near Pine Va…, CA
The lower reaches of the Noble Canyon trail travel through the desert.
Apr 23, 2013 near Pine Va…, CA
Upper reaches of the Noble Canyon trail.
Apr 19, 2013 near Pine Va…, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 37 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jun 24, 2022
Chris Sanders
2020
Dec 21, 2021
Susie Mun
Dec 2, 2021
Scuba Steve
Sustained 14-17% grades on the climb. Noble Canyon is a nice descent but rocky and technical. 3.5 hour up and down with stops. 19.2mi — 2h 35m
Nov 27, 2021
Will Irvin
Nov 21, 2021
A V
Oct 25, 2021
Sebastian Sayago
Sep 26, 2021
Nick Pierret
May 26, 2021
Siggi Bengston
The last half mile destroyed me 18.9mi — 3h 22m