Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Cycle-tour the back roads of Guajome and Morro Hills, north and east of Oceanside.

Bicycle riding in the hills north of Oceanside is like touring the roof of North County -- at least on a clear day. Views stretch east to the Palomar Mountains, west to the ocean, and south across the still-patchy but increasingly dense suburban communities of Oceanside and Vista. Other than a short stretch of dirt, the 16-mile ride described here is entirely paved, so road bikes as well as mountain bikes are appropriate. A seriously steep 2-mile section practically mandates your participation with a seriously low gear on your bike. As has been noted many times in this column in connection with road rides: get an early start, preferably on a Sunday, so you can stay clear of most traffic.

A good starting point is Oceanside's Guajome Regional Park, on the Highway 76 expressway about 7 miles inland from Interstate 5. There's parking available for cars inside for a small fee, or for free outside on the side of the road.

Cycle back out to Highway 76 and head west about a mile to College Boulevard. Turn right and ride on the toll bridge crossing over the nearly dry bed of San Luis Rey River. This bridge is trivial in size compared to the Coronado Bridge (the county's other toll bridge), but bikes and pedestrians are allowed -- and they use it free of charge.

On the far side of the bridge, turn right on North River Road. A bit farther on, turn right again to stay on North River Road. On ahead the road narrows as houses give way to nut trees and row crops, and you sidle up fairly close to the San Luis Rey River.

After about two miles, Sleeping Indian Road intersects from the left. Make the turn and start a delightful journey (and an arduous climb) past fragrant citrus groves and north into the hidden rural community of Morro Hills. The breadloaf-shaped promontory on your left as you approach the summit of the road is called Morro Hill.

A little past Morro Hill turn right at Morro Hills Road and wind east amid country estate homes to Olive Hill Road. Go right there and proceed mostly downhill to a sharp left-hand curve marked "10 mph." Just beyond, find on the right the unmarked Via Puerta del Sol. Paved at first, then dirt for a half-mile, then paved again, it takes you back down to North River Road.

Now turn left and ride 0.5 mile east to Highway 76. Turn right, ride south 0.3 mile, turn right on Holly Lane and immediately left on Old Mission Road -- which is now blocked by a vehicle gate. The purpose of this off-the-beaten-track detour is to cross the San Luis Rey River on the old, narrow, arched bridge that was once the terror of both cyclists and automobile drivers. Thankfully the old bridge was left for cyclists and pedestrians to use after the new one was finished in 1990.

Pedal back up to Highway 76 on the far side of the bridge, and use the bike lane on its shoulder to return to Guajome Park.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The glamour and crime of Tijuana

Club Campestre abduction, cross-border prostitution, Russian-owned gym, TJ's new night scene
Next Article

Immigrants flock to San Diego

Indian-Americans, Casa Cornelia, Border Angels, Somalis, Vietnamese in Linda Vista

Bicycle riding in the hills north of Oceanside is like touring the roof of North County -- at least on a clear day. Views stretch east to the Palomar Mountains, west to the ocean, and south across the still-patchy but increasingly dense suburban communities of Oceanside and Vista. Other than a short stretch of dirt, the 16-mile ride described here is entirely paved, so road bikes as well as mountain bikes are appropriate. A seriously steep 2-mile section practically mandates your participation with a seriously low gear on your bike. As has been noted many times in this column in connection with road rides: get an early start, preferably on a Sunday, so you can stay clear of most traffic.

A good starting point is Oceanside's Guajome Regional Park, on the Highway 76 expressway about 7 miles inland from Interstate 5. There's parking available for cars inside for a small fee, or for free outside on the side of the road.

Cycle back out to Highway 76 and head west about a mile to College Boulevard. Turn right and ride on the toll bridge crossing over the nearly dry bed of San Luis Rey River. This bridge is trivial in size compared to the Coronado Bridge (the county's other toll bridge), but bikes and pedestrians are allowed -- and they use it free of charge.

On the far side of the bridge, turn right on North River Road. A bit farther on, turn right again to stay on North River Road. On ahead the road narrows as houses give way to nut trees and row crops, and you sidle up fairly close to the San Luis Rey River.

After about two miles, Sleeping Indian Road intersects from the left. Make the turn and start a delightful journey (and an arduous climb) past fragrant citrus groves and north into the hidden rural community of Morro Hills. The breadloaf-shaped promontory on your left as you approach the summit of the road is called Morro Hill.

A little past Morro Hill turn right at Morro Hills Road and wind east amid country estate homes to Olive Hill Road. Go right there and proceed mostly downhill to a sharp left-hand curve marked "10 mph." Just beyond, find on the right the unmarked Via Puerta del Sol. Paved at first, then dirt for a half-mile, then paved again, it takes you back down to North River Road.

Now turn left and ride 0.5 mile east to Highway 76. Turn right, ride south 0.3 mile, turn right on Holly Lane and immediately left on Old Mission Road -- which is now blocked by a vehicle gate. The purpose of this off-the-beaten-track detour is to cross the San Luis Rey River on the old, narrow, arched bridge that was once the terror of both cyclists and automobile drivers. Thankfully the old bridge was left for cyclists and pedestrians to use after the new one was finished in 1990.

Pedal back up to Highway 76 on the far side of the bridge, and use the bike lane on its shoulder to return to Guajome Park.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Song Without a Name: gone baby gone

Melina León finds horror in an environment usually associated with safety and nurturing.
Next Article

Immigrants flock to San Diego

Indian-Americans, Casa Cornelia, Border Angels, Somalis, Vietnamese in Linda Vista
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close