Mother Miguel is the place to be if you need to flex your advanced biking skills. The difficult trail has enough challenges and rewarding views.
The Mother Miguel, aka Rockhouse Trail, is a fantastic out-and-back trail near Chula Vista. It is a moderately challenging route that would take the average advanced biker about two and a half hours to complete. Besides biking, the trail is popular for hiking. It is not sufficiently shaded and has several sensitive sections requiring advanced skills. We advise you to skip the sections if you are a less experienced biker.
Mother Miguel (Rockhouse) trail is one of the best challenging bike trails in San Diego. The trail has different routes leading to the mountaintop, including one that is heavily eroded and prone to environmental damage. The San Diego Mountain Biker Association, Bonita Biker’s Club, and San Diego Wildlife Refuge worked together to repair and re-route the trail. The current well-traveled route has new, local signage. The first obvious path that goes straight to the mountain top is too steep for safe biking.
The trail starts from a ballpark at the end of a cul-de-sac on Paseo Veracruz and runs right up to Mother Miguel's mountain top. The surface is hard-packed and dry. The climb up the mountain is steady and moderate, though you will encounter some super-technical sections and tricky switchbacks. When you get to the shoulder of the ridge, climbing towards the summit northwards becomes easier.
Ensure you and your bike are in top shape to handle the difficult trail sections with loose rocks. Be careful when descending, and be sure not to cut switchbacks as they would damage the environment. Staying on the trail is crucial to preserving its environment.
If you brave the difficult situation and reach the top, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Sweetwater region.
On top of the sensitive and technical sections of the trail, it is not shaded. Brace yourself for the tough conditions, especially when riding on a hot, sunny day.
You can park and use the restroom at the local public park.
On the summit, you can take photos at the U.S. and POW/MIA flag poles.
Although the Mother Miguel mountain trail is no walk in the park, its amazing views make it worthwhile. The view improves when you gain elevation. When you ride to the mountain top, you can stop, sit on some rocks and take in the beautiful views of Downtown San Diego, Coronado, and Mexico.
To the east, you will see rolling hills, eastern mountains, and the famous Salt Greek Golf Course. When you turn to the west and south, you will see the entire Bonita, Chula Vista, and Sweetwater reservoirs. You will also be rewarded with scenic views of the bay and the sea.