Best eMTB Rides in SoCal for Intermediate Adventurers
Best eBike Rides in SoCal - Road, Trail, and everything in between!
Finding routes in SoCal isn’t too difficult, but knowing what to expect can be daunting. I have, time and time again, loaded up my bike, headed for the trail just to find out it is either out of my league or a fire road on private land. Before reading further, know that these routes aren’t for riders looking for the biggest drops or the hardest hitting jumps. I typically ride with my partner, Christina, and we use ebikes for leisure, adventure and a great way to enjoy the outdoors. I’ve broken enough bones and had 2 knee surgeries to know that the extreme days are gone but the fun certainly is not. If this is you continue on as the routes are awesome, give expansive views, and some provide great single track along with safe and relaxing fire roads. Adventure awaits!
Lake Morena Route - Fire roads, expansive views, and single track option.
I almost didn’t share this route as there is a point that I considered my new “secret spot”. From the parking spot you climb slightly uphill for miles and the farther you go the better the view gets. You can bike all the way to the top (Corral Canyon OHV area) and head to Pinos Lookout to get a view from the very top. There is also some awesome single track built by dirt bikes along the route. Keep this in mind as if you hear a motor it's best to just go to the side and wait. In my opinion it is some of the most fun I’ve ever had on a trail. Incredibly flowy, huge berms, and at a skill level I enjoyed. I only did part of the Kernan Cycle Trail but my goal next time is to bike to the top of near the OHV parking site and then take it all the way back down. Also, if you find the gate to the lake on Morena Stokes Valley Rd, take it, we were all alone and in some of the most beautiful California scenery I have ever seen.
Relive link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vdOR3WWBXr6
Nate Harrison Rd - Fire road, incredibly fun and fast back down.
I am one when it comes to hiking, hate out and backs, but on ebikes that means I climb to a view and bomb down hill, which I love. Park as soon as it turns to dirt and start climbing. I was on a fat tire at the time so I ate through my 500wh battery but had enough to get to the top. We packed a picnic for the top then spent the rest of the time flowing downhill. We went on a Monday and no cars meant I could take the middle of the road and keep speed up the whole way down. If you go on the weekend hug the side on turns to avoid anything coming around the corner.
Relive link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vmqX54E88ov
Ronald W Caspers Memorial Park - Fire Roads with views
We stumbled upon this and happen to have our ebikes. Park was closed to campers due to Covid but hikers and bikers were still allowed. Tons of fire roads and views to take in.
Pacific and Mission Beach - Put your emtb ego aside and ride the coast and see amazing views. There are tons of variations (links below) where if you have all day you can make dirt a possibility.
I live in this area and have had the joy of exploration at my finger tips. These rides let you explore the coast, get exercise, have tons of climbs and downhills, they allow for variations of dirt and have true SoCal vibes. Pick the variation that fits your needs best and go from there!
Relive link: Boardwalk only: https://www.relive.cc/view/v36Ae8889Z6
Relive link: Variation 1: https://www.relive.cc/view/vdvm8W418xq
Relive link: Tecolote Canyon Variation: https://www.relive.cc/view/vKv2M3Ed54q
Penasquitos Canyon - Ahhh some actual singletrack!
Penasquitos is always my top choice for single track in the area. Miles and miles of trails that I believe are intermediate and don't give you a heart attack. I can ride these hard with my friends or casually with my partner. Cardiac hill leads to some amazing downhill and Tunnels is my favorite trail around. You can choose to do fire roads and hang by the waterfall (bring your trunks!) or gear up and put your ebike to the test.
Relive link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vQvyD8ExeKq
Otay Mountain Truck Trail: Fire road with views
As you can tell I am a sucker for fire roads. They are casual and provide huge views. I parked off Otay Lakes Rd at the Otay Mtn Trailhhead and just climbed from there. Keep in mind on the downhill there may be 4x4s headed up but if you can get there when there are less cars you can bomb downhill after a satisfying climb.
Relive Link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vNOPBo3G8Yq
These are just some of the tidbits I have ridden recently. I find the best way to find dirt is to look for the area I want to be in, zoom in on Google maps, and find the forest roads and truck trails. Sometimes you miss the mark and it's private but the drives there are usually beautiful and I usually find somewhere to bike. I always end up at a local diner for lunch and it allows me to explore our beautiful state. I will be adding more rides as I explore but wanted to get this out there for anyone looking to use their emtb right away. Have fun and enjoy!