McGinty Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 2 reviews

McGinty Mountain Loop Trail is a 9.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near El Cajon, CA that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for nature trips, birding, and mountain biking.

9.9 miles 1817 feet Loop


mountain biking

nature trips



wild flowers


The best way to do this ride if you prefer not riding a couple miles of pavement is to park on the street at 3210 Ivanhoe Ranch Road OR at Jamacha Elementary School, 2962 Jamul Drive, El Cajon, CA and shuttle up to trail head dirt parking lot located at roughly 13930 Jamul Drive, Jamul, CA OR specifically at the geo-coordinate below: 32.729454, -116.872628 The initial ascent up the mountain can only be fully ridden by the most advanced riders due to the 13% grade and the technical aspects, such as tight switchbacks, ruts, rocks etc. Intermediate riders will end out hoofing it for about a quarter of the first mile in various sections. At the end of the initial climb, you'll come to a 'T'. Take a right at the 'T' and go a less than one hundred feed and look for an interesting cave / mine vent on the left. It's DEFINITELY worth seeing. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! From there, you backtrack and continue past where you just ascended. The trail grade tapers off to a mild climb between mile 3 and 4 and then you hit another 13+% ride / walk section that gets you to the peak of McGinty Mountain, some 1700 vertical feet up from the trail head. The ride down is a combination of trail and fire road, some in great condition, other kind of dicey but definitely all ridable. As you descend, you eventually head west toward an old abandoned house affectionately named "The Brothel". After that point, you'll go a short distance west and hook up onto one of the most enjoyable 3 mile downhill single tracks in San Diego (in my and many others 'humble opinions'). The single track eventually dumps you out LITERALLY on one of the fairways of Steele Canyon Golf Course. A quick look for golfers / flying golf balls and if all clear, you BLAST across the fairway and continue on an ultra-fast series of downhill, paved golf cart paths. These eventually bring you to a dirt rode and a rural farmhouse with donkey, horses, sheep, and other country critters. A short ride gets you back to your shuttle start point.

6 days ago

1 month ago

Best trail in San Diego IMO. Intermediate level and some hike-a-bike sections going up. The downhill is all rideable.