Noble Canyon Trail Backpacking

Pine Valley, California

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3 Reviews
4 out of 5
Freeway-close for San Diego residents, Noble Canyon in the Laguna Mountains offers an unadulterated look at backcountry Southern California, circa 1920. Today, as suburbia leapfrogs inland from the coast, it’s nice to explore an area where the wind sweeps through pine needles, raptors soar overhead, and a crystal-clear brook sings as it tumbles over stone—all with barely any hint of modern civilization. Botanically, this one-way downhill trip takes you from a zone of conifers and oaks into fragrant chaparral. The route, officially known as the Noble Canyon National Recreation Trail, is designed for multiple uses, including mountain biking. Naturally the bikers prefer the downhill direction, and some are likely to be moving excessively fast.

Noble Canyon Trail (Backpacking) Professional Review and Guide

"Freeway-close for San Diego residents, Noble Canyon in the Laguna Mountains offers an unadulterated look at backcountry Southern California, circa 1920. Today, as suburbia leapfrogs inland from the coast, it’s nice to explore an area where the wind sweeps through pine needles, raptors soar overhead, and a crystal-clear brook sings as it tumbles over stone—all with barely any hint of modern civilization.

Botanically, this one-way downhill trip takes you from a zone of conifers and oaks into fragrant chaparral. The route, officially known as the Noble Canyon National Recreation Trail, is designed for multiple uses, including mountain biking. Naturally the bikers prefer the downhill direction, and some are likely to be moving excessively fast."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Pine Valley
Distance: 10
Elevation Gain: 650 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 days
Season: Fall, winter, and spring
Local Contacts: Cleveland National Forest - permit required
Local Maps: USGS 7.5-min. Monument Peak, Mount Laguna, and Descanso
Driving Directions: Directions to Noble Canyon Trail (Backpacking)

Recent Trail Reviews

3/20/2010
0

A great beginner, warm up to backpacking. Obtain adventure pass beforehand due to lack of open hours at firehouse. Do mind the note regarding border crossers - a friendly gentleman walking by simply smiled and waved to us on a sunrise hike. Nothing unpleasant, but the potential to come across border crossers is real, and there are potentially difficult situations accordingly. Regardless, a beautiful setting nestled in the canyon of a beautiful range. Ideal for a couples getaway overnighter.


4/1/2006
0

Nice area but the possibility of border patrol activity made you nervous. It would have been nice to camp there if that was not the case. The meadows were beautiful! But the presence of trash (water bottles, socks, etc.) along the way spoiled the natural ambience.


5/20/2002
0

This is a short trip (all downhill on the way there) but well worth it for a getaway weekend. Plenty of water at Pine Valley Creek for camping, and the Creek has some nice pools for dipping the toes in. A popular trail for equestrians as well, so keep an eye out. A great day hike is to continue following the trail north on what's called Secret Canyon Trail. If you're feeling energetic enough, this goes for another 14 miles right up into Pine Valley - but even part of the way affords grest views. Another route north - less traveled but a bit more adventurous is to follow the Creek itself north, boulder hopping as far as you like. Watch out for poisonous oak - it gets bad at times. Or you could always continue on the Espinosa Trail to the east and try summiting Corte Madera (4657') or Los Pinos Mtn (4805'). Lots to do anyway.



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018