Southern California Vistas - Van

Trip Dates:
Mar 15, 2015 -- Mar 21, 2015
Jamul, CA
Booking Status:

Does the long, harsh winter leave you longing for luminous skies, warm sunshine, and stellar road riding? Celebrate the first days of spring with a bike tour along the sun-sprinkled roads of Southern California, a great way to start your cycling season.

We’ll meet in Jamul and start pedaling east, where we’ll skirt around the Lower Otay Reservoir and climb into the Laguna Mountains. We’ll roll toward Borrego Springs, a small art-town completely surrounded by the fascinating Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Here we’ll set up a base camp for several days. We can pedal a rolling loop over to Salton City, then enjoy an optional day ride up and over Yaqui Pass Road, or visit the town’s many galleries, shops, and museums. Then, we’ll bicycle to Julian and back to Chula Vista via the Sunrise Highway.

Featuring a multitude of training opportunities, this ride will leave you feeling well prepared for the summer cycling season. Sign up today for this unforgettable springtime warm-up!

Start Date: Mar 15, 2015 End Date: Mar 21, 2015
Start Location: Jamul, CA End Location: Jamul, CA
Total Days: 7 Riding Days: 6
Rest Days: 1 Miles: 267
Average Daily Mileage: 44.5 Surface: Paved
Riders: 13 Elevation Alert: High Point: 6000'
Airport: San Diego International (SAN) Tour Leader: Tammy Schurr, Gary Anderson
Meals: Shared cooking Accommodations: Camping/Indoor
Type: Supported Physical Difficulty: Intermediate+
Level of Support: Van Supported Cost: $1,139.00

Day 1

Jamul. We'll meet up in Chula Vista, about seven miles southeast of San Diego — to the west sprawls the picturesque bay, to the east rise the inspiring San Miguel Mountains. At our gathering spot, we'll enjoy a scrumptious dinner and take part in our first map meeting. The tour mechanic can help make sure our bicycles are in top-notch operating condition for our up-coming bike adventure, and when it's time to crawl into our tents, we'll be dreaming about the great cycling to come.

Day 2

Jamul to Julian, 54 miles. Today we'll edge around the Otay Reservoir and Lake Cuyamaca, as we ascend steadily toward our destination, the historic gold-mining town of Julian. Tonight we’ll delight in the indoor accommodations of the Julian Lodge and Julian Hotel! Don’t worry if you don’t have time to explore, as we’ll be back later this week.

Day 3

Julian to Butterfield Ranch Resort, 35 miles. From Julian we’ll ride into history through an area known as The Great Southern Overland Stage Route. The morning will start by descending the “The Banner Grade” to the desert floor, as we turn right onto rolling Great Southern Overland Stage Route. Lunch will be served at the Vallecito Stage Station County Park with an option to ride further on to enjoy the soothing waters at Agua Caliente State Park.

Day 4

Butterfield Ranch Resort to Borrego Springs, 42 miles. Today begins with retracing our route back on The Great Southern Overland State Route to parallel the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail briefly before we descend into the massive Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We'll continue east past palm trees, dry washes, and blooms of desert wildflowers to our destination of Borrego Springs, an intriguing village completely surrounded and protected by gorgeous 600,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Day 5

Layover day, Borrego Springs. Ride or relax! This can be a day off the bike: Perhaps you're itching to lace up your hiking boots, grab your binoculars, and explore the desert state park, where wildflowers and a wide variety of migratory birds can be spotted. If you'd rather jump on your bike, you can ride a stellar 34-mile loop up to Tamarisk Campground and back on Yaqui Pass Road — plenty of elevation change in a relatively short distance!

Day 6

Borrego Springs to Julian, 33 miles. We'll take a different route out of Borrego Springs as we point our bikes homeward and pedal through the desert sands toward Julian. A relatively short ride allows you time to explore Julian more thoroughly. Visit the Julian Jail; built in 1914, it was known for being the only indoor toilet in town for many years, or reward yourself with a bite of the famed “Julian pie” at one of the many pie establishments!

Day 7

Julian to Chula Vista, 69 miles. We'll begin the day with a bit of uphill riding on the Sunrise Highway to Mt. Laguna, followed by a long drop into Pine Valley. After a short ascent into Descanso, it's mostly downhill to Chula Vista, where we may opt for a celebratory dinner at one of the area's seafood restaurants — after all, we've earned it!

This is a new tour, or one we have not offered in awhile. Sign up and be one of the first cyclists to contribute to this testimonials page! For now read what past tour participants have said about some of our other trips.

"This was my first organized biking trip as well as my first camping experience, and all round it was a very good experience.  You must be doing lots right!"

2008 Tour Participant

"It makes me sad I waited so long to do something like this. The bar has been set ridiculously high for future rides!"

2012 Tour Participant

"I think that the level of support for the price was outstanding compared to other tours I've done."

2008 Tour Participant

“I love the fact that you can eat ice cream or milkshakes every darned day and not get fat.”


Photo by Russ Rocca