Trail Education/Etiquette

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information you need during this challenging time! 
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Resources Covid-19 Public Health Crisis -

We are attempting to provide links to local agencies and jurisdictions pertaining to Parks and Recreation, Open Space and Trails status during this time. The situation is very fluid and can change at any time.
Consider whether your personal participation in outdoor recreation at this time
would pose an unnecessary risk to others in spreading COVID-19.

If you do head out please:
  • Adhere to all CDC guidelines
  • Respect all closures.  The Rangers and public safety officers are working very hard in this difficult situation. They don't want to have to contact you. 
  • Ride solo or only with people from your household 
  • No group rides
  • Ride or walk close to home.  Refrain from driving to closed or impacted trail heads and parks
We are doing our best to keep up with the situation. If you have other new information not included here please email
CDC Guidelines and udpates

California Covid-19  Updates

County of San Diego Parks and Recreation Updates - most recent update 4/3/20
County of San Diego Main Covid-19 Resource Page

*Sweetwater Bike Park is CLOSED due to current public health situation. 


4/3/20  - Beginning today, all parking lots and staging areas at County parks and preserves will be closed, along with all ballfields and sports courts. This is in accordance with the most recent Public Health Order, which states public parks and recreation areas shall only be accessible to members to the public who live within walking distance; that facilities shall be used solely for walking, hiking, equestrian and bike riding; and that the public shall not congregate or participate in active sport activities.   

Parks and preserves will remain open to foot, bike and horse traffic, but not vehicles. We would like to remind all guests that if they cannot walk or ride a bike or horse to a park, they should not go. Staff will be on site to enforce this updated policy, in conjunction with local law enforcement.  MORE DETAILS

List of County of San Diego Open Space Preserves 
Includes but not limited to Sycamore Goodan Ranch, Santa Ysabel Preserves, Ramona Grasslands.  
City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Updates-
3/23/2019 ALL TRAILS,  parks, beaches, open spaces, and lakes and reservoirs are CLOSED. 

City of San Diego Main Covid-19 Resource Page

List of City of San Diego Open Spaces -
CLOSED - Pacific Highland Ranch Pumptrack
including but not limited to Mission Trails Regional Park, Penasquitos, Del Mar Mesa, Carmel Mountain Preserve, Black Mountain, Tri-Canyons, Otay Lakes, Otay Valley Regional Park, Lake Miramar, Lake Murray, Lake Hodges, Lake Sutherland.
Cleveland National Forest - 
includes Mount Laguna, Noble Canyon, Corral Canyon, Mount Palomar, etc. 
3/25/20 General Order closing all developed recreation sites
CLOSED: Campground, facilities, developed recreation sites, and developed parking lots
CLOSED: Cedar Creek and Three Sisters Trails
OPEN:  Trails 
Please keep in mind sanitation options are closed, so be ready to implement self-cleanup guidelines.

Updates on National Forest Camping at

US Fish and Wildlife
San Diego National Wildlife Refuges - Mother Miguel/Rock House currently OPEN. Please use authorized access route.    
Do not cut straight across SDG&E property. Please report any vandalism here 619-468-9245
California State Parks Covid-19 Updates  
3/24/20  - Press Release
3/29/20 - All 280 state parks closed to vehicle traffic

    Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Updates- 3/29/20 No vehicle traffic.  Non-campground outdoor areas of parks including trails remain OPEN.
    Anza Borrego State Park 3/29/20 No vehicle traffic - non-campground outdoor areas of parks, included trails remain OPEN.
    *Cycling is permitted on roads and trails in State Parks that are not closed completely.  Parking in non-fee areas (pull outs) is permitted.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife -
Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area- 3/23/20 OPEN - permit required.
Please report any vandalism

Crestridge Ecological Reserve - trails remain OPEN
San Dieguito River Park/Lake Hodges Update  3/30/20  Trails around Lake Hodges  are CLOSED.

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve- All Trails CLOSED

Rancho La Costa Preserve - All trails CLOSED per Center for Natural Lands Management

City of Carlsbad 3/23/20  Beaches, parks and trails CLOSED including La Costa Preserve

City of Chula Vista 4/3/20  Parks and trails CLOSED

City of Escondido- 4/6/20  Daley Ranch Trails  and Dixon Lake parking areas are CLOSED

City of San Marcos - 4/6/20 All recreational facilities closed. 

City of Poway 3/24/20 - Lake Poway Trails, Iron Mountain Trail, and other Poway Trails CLOSED

City of Vista 3/29/20 - All parks, trails, and courts are CLOSED

Fallbrook:  Santa Margarita River Trail Preserve 3/24/20 - Trails CLOSED
  • SHARE AND BE AWARE Trail Etiquette Video
SDMBA is proud to have partnered with the County of San Diego and other local trail groups in 2018 to produce a trail etiquette video
Be an trail ambassador each time you hit the trail. Be nice and Say HI!

  • General Trail Etiquette for All Trail Users
  • Our conduct on the trails is key to maintaining mountain bike access.We encourage you to ride with these points in mind for a pleasant and safe trail experience for all trail users and animals. Utilizing these tips can also help us open more trails to mountain bikes.

What does "yield" really mean?Yield means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop, and pass in a safe and friendly manner.Hikers yield to horses, and bikes yield to hikers and horses as shown by the arrows on the multi-use yield sign.

Respect.It's a simple concept: If you offer respect, you are more likely to receive it. All trail users have rights and responsibilities to each other,andto our trails.

Smile. Greet. Nod. Every user on the trail is a fellow nature lover. Be friendly and expect to see other folks around every corner. Remember, "BENICE, SAY HI"

Don't block the trail.When taking a break, move to the side of the trail. Don't stop or lay a bike or backpack on the trail, especially on a blind corner.

Don't tune out.If you wear earphones, keep the volume down or only wear one earpiece so other trail users don't surprise you.

Share and Care.We all share a love of nature, open space and trails. It's important that all hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers unite tosupportand care for our trails and public lands. Shared-use trails are cost-effective, minimize impacts on the environment, provide the most userswith the most trail opportunities and build happier, healthier communities. We all value and support our public land managers and our trailscommunity.


Mountain Bikers, What can you expect?

Surprised trail users.Fast-moving bikes can startle others, especially when coming around a blind turn or approaching from behind.

What is your responsibility?

Mountain bikers yield to hikers, horses and uphill-riding cyclists.

Slow Downaround other trail users and anticipate people or animals around blind turns. Consider using a bell to help avoid surprising others. Be exceedingly friendly and communicative. On wider trails and fire roads keep to the right. Always ride under control and avoid skidding. Never put others atrisk.


  • Greet hikersearlywith a friendly "howdy" or "good morning."
  • SLOW DOWNto about the same speed as the hiker.
  • Pass slowly and be prepared to stop if necessary. Others' perception of a safe, courteous speed may be different to yours. Show your appreciation if they step to the side for you.
  • Expect the unexpected.People and animals can beunpredictable or easily spooked or startled by cyclists.


  • Announce your intention to pass with a friendly "Let me know when it's safe to pass."
  • Use the "singletrack yield"on narrow trails: the yielding rider should stop to the side, put one foot down and lean both body and bike away from the trail.
  • Give uphill riders the right of way when you're going downhill. It's much harder to get started again on a climb.


  • Immediately slow downand stop at least 30 feet from the horse.
  • Greet the equestrian and the horse. Speaking shows the horse that you are human and not a threat.
  • Ask how or when to pass safely. Offer to get off your bike.
  • Pass slowly and steadily, but only after the equestrian gives you the go-ahead. Sudden movements or noises can spook a horse. Where possible, pass on the downhill side of the animal.

Let's work together to keep ourtrails safe and enjoyable for all.

See the Rules of the Trail from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)HERE