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Three Bridges Loop to Los Peñasquitos Canyon

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.0 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A nice loop to Los Peñasquitos Canyon that avoids crossing any roads.


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Map Key

5.3

Miles

8.6

KM

Loop

391' 119 m

High

67' 21 m

Low

558' 170 m

Up

558' 170 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

14%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Unknown

Family Friendly It's long enough and interesting enough to feel like a real achievement for a kid but isn't overly long.

Overview

Arterials dominate suburban life but this hike satisfyingly avoids them all by passing under three bridges.

Description

Technically this is a lollipop hike rather than a loop hike as the Marvin Gerst to Shaw Valley Connector connects the parking lot to the loop. The first "bridge" looks more like a tunnel constructed of cement and corrugated aluminum, crossing under Carmel Creek Rd to the Shaw Valley Trail that runs along the edge of the Grand Del Mar golf course.

A ways beyond the golf course, cross under the tall Carmel Mountain Rd bridge to ascend to the lip of Los Peñasquitos Canyon before descending the Side Hill Trail into the canyon for a brief journey along a more intimate section of the Penasquitos Creek Loop trail.

The exit is via the Carmel Mountain Connector, the hardest part of the hike, though continuing just a bit further west at the bottom of the Los Peñasquitos Canyon allows a less steep exit. After completing the ascent, a short trek north reaches the third bridge, a second passage under Carmel Mountain Rd. The Carmel Mountain Rd to Little Shaw Valley trail completes the loop.

Contacts

Shared By:

Matthew Kidd

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 4 votes

#4447

Overall
  3.0 from 4 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#653

in California

#4,447

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2,361 Since Mar 29, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Enjoy this 120-degree panorama of Peñasquitos Canyon at the end of Shaw Valley Trail.
Feb 19, 2017 near Carmel…, CA
Shaw Valley trail under partly cloudy skies.
Apr 12, 2021 near Carmel…, CA
Waimea drops into Los Peñasquitos Canyon.
Feb 19, 2017 near Carmel…, CA
Los Peñasquitos Canyon on a very clear winter day. Mt. Woodson is visible 15 miles away slightly right of center.
Jan 26, 2021 near Carmel…, CA
Side Hill - Connector to Del Mar Mesa Preserve.
Oct 25, 2016 near Fairban…, CA
Waiting for spring in Los Peñasquitos Canyon on a very clear winter day. Mt. Woodson (center) and Iron Mountain (center right) are visible 15 miles away.
Jan 26, 2021 near Carmel…, CA

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Check-Ins

Dec 25, 2020
Dmitriy Obukhov
Dec 15, 2020
Brandon Cloud
5.4mi — 2h 00m
Sep 28, 2020
Michelle A
Jan 5, 2020
Andrew Dalager
5.3mi
Dec 31, 2019
Justin Carlisle
Nov 23, 2018
Chris Sandeen
Feb 18, 2018
Cindy Sami
Jan 15, 2018
Chris Sandeen