With such incredible year-round weather, it’s no wonder that outdoor activities are so popular in La Jolla California! Biking has always been a favorite Southern California pastime. Numerous bike trails and pathways wind through San Diego County, and many of them are paired with stunning views of the ocean and peaceful, car-free vibes (say goodbye to bike lanes!). And luckily for us, there are even several La Jolla bike paths. These differ from the nearby hiking trails in that they’re mostly paved and slightly wider to allow for more comfortable bicycling. Here’s our roundup of our favorite La Jolla bike routes and trails!
Fay Avenue/La Jolla Bike Path (1.2 miles)
Start / End point:: Fay Avenue & Nautilus Street; Camino de la Costa & La Jolla Hermosa
Pack a camera and a picnic for this trail! The Fay Avenue Bike Path runs through some beautiful scenery and opens up to sweeping panoramas of the Pacific Ocean and palm trees.
Starting out by La Jolla High School, the trail winds through a quiet neighborhood and passes by a community park that offers a playground, water fountain, and several grassy, shaded areas perfect for a light snack before you continue on your journey. The rest of the trail, which runs along the old railroad line, is mainly paved with asphalt, but toward the end it turns into a dirt path. If you’re careful, you can still negotiate the entire route on a road bike if the surface is dry. The trail officially ends at La Jolla Hermosa Ave. (stick around if you’re there in the evening — the nearby park offers incredible sunset views!), but continues as an on-street bike path that connects to other bike facilities. The Fay Avenue Bike Path is short, but it provides a lovely combo of breathtaking views, ocean air, and beautiful landscaping.
Rose Creek Bike Trail (1.1 miles) & Rose Canyon Trail (6.5 miles)
Start / End point: Start at De Anza Cove in Mission Bay and follow the bike path heading north around the athletic area until it joins with Santa Fe Street, or continue on the path into UTC and follow the trails in Rose Canyon Open Space.
The short-n-sweet Rose Canyon Bike Path is a popular route because of its scenery and easy connection between the Mission Bay and UCSD/La Jolla areas. It’s a super-convenient and less crowded way to travel between the two spots, and because it’s tucked between an active rail line and I-5, it’s a great car-free section of San Diego. To make the trek longer (six or seven miles), follow the trail north until you reach Rose Canyon Open Space and San Clemente Canyon, where there are a couple more miles of added trails and pathways (San Clemente Canyon is a great spot for regular hiking, as well).
The trail passes through a creek watershed near the 1-mile mark, which is usually pretty active after a good rain. As you near the trail’s end, you climb steeply off the grade and up to the trail’s intersection with Gilman and La Jolla Colony Dr. The trail is comprised mostly of smooth asphalt, which makes this a good path for both rollerblading and walking, as well.
Mission Bay Bike Path (12-mile loop)
Start/ End point: Mission Bay Park (850 W. Mission Bay Dr., San Diego)
The Mission Bay Bike Path meets up with the southern end of the Rose Creek Trail. The route goes through or near more than 10 public parks and two wildlife reserves, so bring your picnic basket, a Frisbee, and a swimsuit to get a full day out of it. Offering a flat, paved, and scenic route (away from the beach crowds), the Mission Bay path is easy enough for families to enjoy as well as more experienced riders. Unlike the path along the San Diego River, this is all paved and essentially does one giant loop around Mission Bay.
Starting at Mission Bay Park, you’ll get to experience a leisurely ride on a paved path with endless views of the world’s largest aquatic park. Palm trees, green grass, water, and pretty parks surround you in every direction. This particular bike path is great for sightseeing and taking photos while also getting in a light, refreshing workout.
The full trail around Mission Bay is about 12 miles or so, though you can make the ride as long or short as you’d like. If you’re looking for more of a workout, you can extend your ride even further by connecting to other paths along Fiesta Island, the San Diego River Trail, or trails that head into Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. The possible bike routes are endless! Tip: Exercise caution when using designated bike lanes or paths/trails; watch for pedestrians and vehicles when it isn’t a car-free zone.
Bonus: Bayshore/Silver Strand Bikeway (17-mile loop)
Start / End points: Coronado Ferry Landing, Main St., Chula Vista
If you’re looking for a quintessential San Diego biking experience, this is it! The Bayshore Bikeway, though not near La Jolla, is a 17-mile loop around the San Diego Bay that’s definitely worth mentioning. Incredible views of the Hotel Del Coronado and the Bay greet you at every turn, and there are few bike routes in the County that are more scenic. Start from the Ferry Landing and head south. Bike underneath the beautiful arching Coronado Bridge and past the Coronado Golf Course. As you wind around the perimeter of the golf course, the separated bike path ends; cross over to the right side of Glorietta Blvd. into the on-road bike lane for a short distance. At 10th St. and Glorietta Blvd., cross Glorietta and pick up the off-street path again. You’ll see a sign indicating Bayshore Bikeway.
The trail continues south, through Silver Strand, from there and loops around the southern end of the Bay in Imperial Beach. The continuous, paved portion of the rail-trail ends at the south end of San Diego Bay at Main Street in Chula Vista.
Where’s your favorite place to go biking in San Diego County — La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Del Mar, Mission Bay, or Chula Vista/South Bay? Share with us in the comments or tag us on Instagram @lajollacom!