San Diego Bicycling – Tecolote Canyon

Entrance signage at Genesee Ave
Entrance signage at Genesee Ave

I rode this canyon, from one end to the other, in January 2010. It starts at Genesee Ave at Chateau Dr, just south of Clairemont Mesa Blvd. I will break this into three sections, as it really is different between them. The upper section, from Genesee Ave to Balboa Ave, is overall decent. Much of it is easy singletrack, running adjacent to a streambed. I encountered a few rocky stretches, but those were short. The trail tends to stay on the east side of the canyon, though it starts on the west side. At Balboa Ave, things can get tough. For those planning to continue across, there are few choices, neither of which are all that good. Balboa Ave is fast roadway with a concrete divider. Crossing that with a bicycle is both dangerous and illegal. The best option is to go towards Clairemont Dr, make a U-Turn, and take the trail entrance near the top of the canyon. Not easy.

Trail and stream crossing near Genesee Ave (northern junction)
Trail and stream crossing near Genesee Ave (northern junction)

The middle section, from Balboa Ave to Mt Acadia Blvd, is trickier. The trail starts off rather poor on the north end. I found the start somewhat difficult to follow at first. It does get better toward the south until abruptly ending at Mt Acadia Blvd. It is mostly exposed, with some section singletrack, other parts being more a dirt road.

The south section, from Mt Acadia Blvd to Tecolote Road, is rather poor. The golf course at the north end blocks access to the main part of the canyon, forcing the trail to the east along the canyon edge, where it goes up and down rather steeply, many times. Access to this section from the north is obtained at Boyd Ave, to the east off of Mt Acadia Blvd. There is a branch of the canyon that heads east to Genesee Ave, but I have not fully explored it yet. The most southern portion of the canyon is ok, being dirt road, but getting to it is difficult from the north.

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