Mt. Soledad - Via Capri Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

1.6 mi
725 ft
8.8 %



There are several routes from San Diego and La Jolla to the top of Mt. Soledad and the Mt. Soledad Veteran's Memorial (A Beacon of Freedom Since 1954).  The short, but STEEP, route from La Jolla and Hidden Valley/Via Capri Roads is by far the most difficult of all segments to the top. This is probably the best climb and repeat segment in the La Jolla/San Diego proper area.  Views at the top of the climb are the best and only 360 degree hilltop views anywhere in La Jolla and the City of San Diego.  
This climb has an 8.8% average grade and no descent.  The ride seems much more difficult than 8.8% and that is certainly do to the 0.6 miles above 10% (7% at 15-20%).  The steepest quarter-mile on this route is 13.6% - the toughest sections on the climb in my opinion are (a) the 90 degree right turn at mile 0.5, and (b) the 14.3% 0.6 mile wall beginning at 0.9 miles just as you pass Rue Adriane on the right. 

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  Excellent.

Traffic:  Mild to moderate.

Parking:  Nearly all cyclists that do this climb ride there from somewhere else, but if you do intend to park at the bottom and ride to the top from there, or better yet do intervals (my staple for my daughter's four years of college in San Diego) park on Ardath Road just to the left after at the start of the climb - MapStreet View. 
I would not try this climb with a standard chainring and and racing cassette - but, hey, I'm 64 years old . . . 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
This is the best climb in the city of San Diego or La Jolla.  The other climb in the area that we enjoy is Black's Beach 2.3 miles north. 



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Cycling Mount Soledad - Hidden Valley-Via Capri

Climb 1.6 miles gaining 720’ at 8.8% average grade.

Before heading to the San Diego area on your cycling adventure, be sure to rely on our list of Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip, and use our interactive checklist to ensure you don't forget anything.

Mount Soledad Veteran's Memorial at climb summit

Mount Soledad Veteran’s Memorial

Honors veterans from the Revolutionary War to present.

~2,400 plaques.

The cross was originally built in 1913 and has been rebuilt twice since.  Until 2016, the land under the cross was owned by the government which led to a court case which found the cross unconstitutional (Trunk v. City of San Diego, 2011) in which the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote:

“"The forty-three foot cross ("Cross") and veterans' memorial ("Memorial") atop Mount Soledad in La Jolla, California, have generated controversy for more than twenty years. During this time, the citizens of San Diego (where La Jolla is located), the San Diego City Council, the United States Congress, and, on multiple occasions, the state and federal courts have considered its fate. Yet no resolution has emerged. Indeed, we believe that no broadly applauded resolution is possible because this case represents the difficult and intractable intersection of religion, patriotism, and the Constitution.”

But, wait!!!  The 43’ cross is still atop Mount Palomar . . . what gives?  Well, after the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case, a group called the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association purchased the half-acre under the cross from the US Department of Defense for $1,400,000, thus separating the government (the State) from religion (the church - i.e., the Second Amendment problem).

aerial drone view of 90 degree turn along climb

The 90° turn at the half-mile mark is 16%.

cyclist climbs on two-lane roadway on the steepest portion of the ride, at climb's beginning, Pacific Ocean in background

Steepest quarter-mile is 14% beginning at mile 1.

Wooden sign for Mt. Soledad Park

Turn left and head to the cross at mile 1.5.

 plaque for Mount Soledad Memorial

There are several routes from San Diego and La Jolla to the top of Mt. Soledad and the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial.   The short, but STEEP,  route from La Jolla and Hidden Valley/Via Capri Roads is by far the most difficult of all segments to the top.  This is probably the best climb and repeat segment in the La Jolla/San Diego proper area.  

Cycling Mt. Soledad via Capri, San Diego, California - bike parked on low white retaining wall along roadside overlooking sweeping views of the city and Pacific Ocean

While this is a rugged, albeit brief, climb, there are a few spots with stunning views along the way.  

The views from the top (the cross) are the most spectacular in the San Diego area, offering 360 degree views of San Diego, the Pacific Ocean, La Jolla,  UCSD, Miramar, and more.   This climb is a must for all cyclists in the San Diego/La Jolla area, or anyone visiting the area.  Carbon fiber mid-level bicycles can be rented for reasonable prices at UC Cyclery in La Jolla.  

aerial drone view shows panoramic view of Veteran's Memorial atop Mt. Soledad, with Pacific Ocean in the background

Traffic and Roadway Surface Report:  Early in the morning is the best time to climb any side of Mt. Soledad as traffic can pick up later in the morning and day.  The Soledad Mt. Road side has excellent pavement while the Via Capri side is a bit broken up and cracked for the last half.

That’s a wrap!!

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