Volcan Mountain May 2017

Vicki and I took a drive to Julian for a fun dayhike to the summit of Volcan Mountain, which lies within the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve.  Along the way there were plenty of excellent views, large old oak trees, and breezy grassy meadows.  It was a beautiful park and a fun climb.

Relaxing on a stone bench in the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve

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Hot Springs Mountain April 2017

Now that we’re back in shape, and while the weather was still cool, we decided to take a day-hike to the summit of the highest mountain in San Diego County:  Hot Springs Mountain, elevation 6533 feet.  Unlike other summits, this mountain resides within the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, and so a visit requires permission from the tribe.  Currently this is easy to get:  Just pay ten dollars for a permit at the reservation’s entrance and drive a few miles to the trailhead.

After that, it’s merely a matter of hiking five miles each way and ascending about 2000 feet.  It sounds much easier than it is, however, so don’t fool yourself:  You’ll be in for a solid day of hiking.

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El Cajon Mountain Dec 2013

Vicki and I day-hiked the El Cajon Mountain Trail in the El Capitan Preserve (a San Diego County Park) on December 21st 2013. Although the mountain is only 3675 feet in elevation, the 5.5 mile trail to get there (which we had to hike back) never stays flat for long, and the total elevation that we climbed that day was over 4000 feet! Whew! Needless to say, it was a long but satisfying day, and we were glad to take advantage of December’s cooler weather.

Me sitting on the comfy granite summit block of El Cajon Mountain

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Laguna Mountain Sept 2013

Let’s face it: We were bored. And lazy. So we thought about the laziest way to camp in the local San Diego mountains while still getting in a bit of hiking, and we could come to only one conclusion: Car Camping. We thought that the campgrounds in Cuyamaca Park might be full, so we opted for the Laguna Mountain campground. There was some easy hiking around the nearby lakes and meadows, which was just what we wanted. Lazy and easy. So away we went.

Resting on a rock while looking out at Big Laguna Lake

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Cuyamaca Peak May 2012

This is yet another simple dayhike, a part of our plan to get out hiking nearly every weekend that we can this summer. We’d prefer to backpack and stay overnight (thus getting TWO days in the mountains) but life doesn’t always allow us such luxury. A dayhike would have to do.

Cuyamaca Peak, at 6512 feet elevation, is the second highest mountain in San Diego County. Its summit overlooks all of San Diego, and on a clear winter day one can see the ocean to the west, the higher peaks of Los Angeles to the north, the desert to the east, and off into Mexico to the south.

Climbing Lookout Road on the way to the Cuyamaca Peak Summit

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Mount Woodson May 2012

Tales of Derring-Do on Woodson Mountain, May 5, 2012

This is a satirical trip report, loosely modeled after the awesome exploits of Burchey, that amazing mountaineer, a true master of trip reportage, and one of my personal heroes. The more adventures he undertakes, and the more trip reports he publishes, the happier I am. Really! (OK, Burchey, you can stop blushing now!)  In this report I do the opposite of Burchey, who makes extreme mountaineering adventures seem like merely a tough day’s work; herein I take an easy hike and make it, well, let’s just call it semi-fictional…

Challenging the Heavens on Potato Chip Rock near the Mount Woodson Summit

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Monument Peak July 2011

Vicki and I decided to get in a bit of extra “elevation acclimatization” for the following weekend’s multi-day backpacking trip by heading up into the local San Diego mountains for a day hike. We drove up to the Laguna Mountain area, arriving at dawn, and parked at a pullout on highway S1 (Sunrise Highway) just west of the Laguna Mountain Campground (National Forest Pass required to park there).

Dawn on the PCT (HDR Photo) near Monument Peak

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Garnet Peak May 2010

We bought a new tent and a pair of matched sleeping bags and wanted to test them out, so we headed to the Laguna Mountains on Memorial Day Weekend, on a Friday night, and had to stealth-camp in the woods near the PCT.  The next day we packed up and took a day-hike along the PCT and climbed Garnet Peak, which had great views out over the Anza-Borrego Desert.

Vicki on the summit of Garnet Peak in the Laguna Mountains

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