McGinty Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 16 reviews

McGinty Mountain Loop Trail is a 9.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near El Cajon, California 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


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.

mountain biking
4 months ago

the first two hours that it was really difficult. the uphill never stops and some of the uphill is extremely difficult I had to get off and walk. definitely made for hiking until you get to the top of the mountain. The downhill part was a blast and extremely long. You pay the price for that though. about the first mile and a half of the downhill is not kept up at all but once you get to the very back side of the mountain that part has been ridden a lot and is extremely fun. There's even some pretty good jump heading through the trail. you end up on a golf course which is a little difficult to navigate your way back to the road.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

not impressed....not a good trail for hikers, and not a view at all. couldn't find the loop trail. only other people on the trail.

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Saturday, March 19, 2016