Mountains to the beach and back again
The beach loop starts and ends at the Julian Pie Company in Julian. The address is 2225 Main Street, Julian, CA 92036. The route takes you into the Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve following the Coast to Crest trail along scenic back roads over to the San Pasqual Valley where you will be treated to some great singletrack as you work your way over to Lake Hodges in Escondido through the San Dieguito River Park to the beach at Del Mar. You then travel inland again through Penasquitos Canyon to the Trans County Trail into Poway. Then onto Ramona via the back roads. From Ramona you head into the San Diego Country Estates before beginning a singletrack descent to Cedar Creek, and then a demanding uphill dirt finish back to Julian.
Access to the trails at Lake Poway closes at sunset, at which point you have the option to use Highland Valley Rd to get to Ramona. Look for the bypass route GPX on the downloads page
This loop is the least technical of the three loops and can be done on a hardtail with normal tires.
Note that there are no resupply options for the first 50 miles until you get to Escondido, so plan accordingly. From this point on there are many resupply options until you get to Ramona, which is the last resupply until Julian.
There is open camping in the Cleveland National Forest between Santa Ysabel and Escondido. There are two campsites along the coast at San Elijo State Beach and South Carlsbad State Beach. If no campsites are available, ask for the Hike or Bike campsite available between 4PM-9AM the next morning. There are also many hotels between Escondido and the coast and in Ramona.
This loop can be done year round. In the winter the higher elevations may have snow. In the summer it can get hot at the lower elevations before you get to the coast.