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.

Click on the photo to read the complete Trip Report

 

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Bristlecone Pines August 2011

Vicki and I took a visit to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest while on our way to the trailhead of White Mountain Peak.  We’d always wanted to visit these amazingly old trees, and this was our big chance.  The lower, more famous grove was closed due to construction, so we decided to visit the upper, Patriarch Grove instead.  And the trees were, indeed, amazing.  We got to visit “The Patriarch” tree, the world’s largest (but not oldest) bristlecone pine, up close and personal.  And we learned a lot about the trees and ecology of the White Mountains.  Fun!

Vicki standing next to the enormous trunk of The Patriarch, the world's largest bristlecone pine tree

Click on the photo to read the complete Trip Report