Steepest Gradient (%)
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Cycling Mount Soledad - Soledad Mountain Road
Ride 3.4 miles gaining 748’ at 4.1% average grade.
Best views of San Diego and La Jolla anywhere!
Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial
Honors veterans from the Revolutionary War to present.
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 ½ 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 2nd Amendment problem).
The less steep approach to Mount Soledad
Turn left and head to the cross at mile 3.3
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.
LDS Temple, La Jolla - visible to the northeast from Mount Soledad.
Scripps Pier visible to the northwest.
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, etc. 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.
Traffic and roadway surface: 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!!