Mt. Soledad - Soledad Mt. Road Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

3.4 mi
736 ft
4.1 %



This is the much milder approach to the Mt. Soledad Veterans War Memorial (A Beacon of Freedom since 1954) and the best location to view San Diego, La Jolla, the Pacific Ocean, and more distant points of San Diego County.  This climb is all about the views at the finish - the route to the top is through city neighborhoods which become more prestigious the higher we climb. 
This climb is mild with a 4.1% average grade that never reaches double digits.  2.2 miles (64.5% of the climb) are in the 0-5% range of average grade and the other 35.6% (1.2 miles) is in the 5-10% average range.  This is a rare consistent gradient that has no descent and no grade above 10%.  The steepest quarter-mile is 7.5% and steepest continuous mile 5.8%.

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

Traffic:  Mild to moderate.

Parking:  On the main climb or a side street. 
Not applicable - this is a city climb in the city of San Diego which has a wonderfully mild climate and many locations for food and beverages. 
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.
Plan on spending time at the Veterans War Memorial at the top of the climb - it is moving by itself and the views from it and the 360 degrees around it are extraordinary.  I have ridden to the top of this climb (or from the steeper Mt. Soledad - Via Capri) well over 100 times and my favorite day of the year to do this climb and visit the memorial is Veterans Day, as there is a ceremony and many American flags flying on the grounds from early in the morning until sunset. 

You may enjoy staying in nearby La Jolla, where there are also many options for vacation rentals.



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

Cycling Mount Soledad - Soledad Mountain Road

Ride 3.4 miles gaining 748’ at 4.1% average grade.  

Climb summary by PJAMM’s John Johnson.

Best views of San Diego and La Jolla anywhere!

Before heading to San Diego 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 Veterans 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).

Flat road and road sign for Soledad Mountain Road

The less steep approach to Mount Soledad.

Wooden sign for Mt. Soledad Park

Turn left and head to the cross at mile 3.3.

Approaching the top, Veteran's Memorial with large cross

 Veteran's memorial - large white cross and wall of black and white images of veterans

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.

View of La Jolla looking down from climb summit, LDS temple seen in distance 

LDS Temple, La Jolla - visible to the northeast from Mount Soledad.

View looking down from summit, Scripps Pier and the Pacific Ocean

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, 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.  

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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