North County Cruisers Motorcycle Club

Wildcat Canyon - Lyons Valley Ride Description

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Wildcat Map

Update September 22, 2008. Blackjack the Mule has been diagnosed with cancer and the Vet has asked people to not feed him carrots or snacks.

Update March 12. 2009. Blackjack the Mule has passed on to that corral in the sky on January 20, 2009. They are currently looking for a replacement for him. Rest in Peace Blackjack.

At 106 miles from start to finish, this is actually a longer ride since you end up in Chula Vista. You can expect a 35 mile ride by expressway to get back to the start. The ride will take around 4 hours including brunch at the Sycuan Casino.

The ride begins just South of Lake Hodges by heading East on Pomerado Road from I-15. After about 0.2 miles, turn left on Highland road and begin riding single file. Highland Valley road is a fun, twisty road but can be dangerous if you don't pay attention. During our previous ride, we passed the remnants of a sport bike that had made a 1 foot deep crease in the front of a pickup truck. The rider appeared to be unhurt and we did not stop to determine who was at fault. On another of our rides, one of our bikes was not paying attention and went straight when the road made a right angle turn. Fortunately, the hillside was sloped and he stopped with no harm to himself or his bike. Use caution but enjoy the ride.

A right at Tee and a left at Archie Moore road will bring you to the Traffic Light at Rt. 67. Continue straight on Dye road but be careful as the normally straight and flat road makes two right angle turns. A right turn on San Vincente will bring you to Wildcat Canyon road which is our second featured road. Turn right on Wildcat Canyon and begin riding single file again. This is another fun sport bike road although traffic will be heavier due to the casino.

You will pass the Barona Raceway, a quarter mile clay track, and the Barona Tribal Museum. The museum looks interesting and my be worth a visit. Next you will see the Barona Casino on your right.

The ride continues South on Wildcat Canyon which becomes steeper and a little more challenging. When you reach the stop sign, you are entering the town of Lakeside. Continue straight on Ashwood and then turn right on Mapleview. Lakeside sometimes has a rodeo near Mapleview so watch for pedestrian traffic. At the next traffic light make a sharp left turn on Maine.

Follow Maine until you are forced to turn left and the name changes to Los Coches Rd. You are now working your way out of Lakeside and you can ride faster. Turn right on Hwy Eight Business just before I-8. You should stop for gas and restroom breaks during the next few blocks. There will be no more gas stations until the end of the ride.

Turn left on Greenfield and then left on LaCresta. You are finally out of traffic and climbing quickly to the top of the mountain. Much of this stretch is two lanes and will narrow to one lane at the top. At this point, you should turn left on Mountain View Rd. You should have a great view in all directions as you start following the mountain ridge downward. Follow the road down all the way until it ends. At this point, you should turn right (on Harbison Canyon road). This is a sharp angle turn and should be taken with care.

The ride now heads out into the mountains. Continue straight until you can turn left on Dehesa Rd at the stop. You will pass the Sycuan Casino on your right. This is a good place to stop for lunch.

The ride now becomes especially fun and scenic as you head into the wilderness. Dehesa will slope up and end at a Tee. At this point you should turn right on Japatul Rd. The road will continue to wind and the view will become breath taking. Continue East on Japatul until you can turn right on Lyons Valley Rd.

Japatul Road

You will next encounter a crossroad with Skyline Truck Trail to the right and honey Springs Rd. to the left. The course takes an interesting loop by turning right on Skyline Truck Trail.

Skyline Truck Trail follows the mountain ridge from East to West gently winding thru the mountains. It will enventually bend to your left and you will once again encounter Lyons Valley Road on your left. Turn left on Lyons Valley Road and follow it from West to East. By contrast to Skyline Truck Trail, Lyons Valley Road follows the valley with a lot of tight twisting turns. Your route will gradually climb up to your original level at the crossroad.

Before you arrive back at the crossroad, you will encounter the Lyons Valley Trading Post on your left. This is a good place to stop for a restroom or snack break. In the past, it was traditional for our club to walk across the road to meet Blackjack, the donkey (Son of Elmer). We would buy carrots from the Trading Post and feed them to Blackjack. A few years ago, Blackjack died of cancer. Blackjack has been replaced by a new donkey named Jackblack. We hope to continue the tradition with Jackblack. However, here is a picture to maintain our memories of Blackjack.


When you reach the crossroad, turn right on Honey Springs Road. This will begin the last stretch of the ride. Honey Springs is another scenic ride that will gradually become flat. Your road will end at Rt. 94 where you will turn left but will soon turn right on Otay Lakes road. This will take you past the Otay Lakes reservoir and the Thousand Trails RV park. Continue straight ahead as you begin to pass new housing developments on both sides. The ride will end when you reach I-805. You can take I-805 to I-15 or I-5 to return home. We hope you enjoyed the ride.