Eagle Peak – Peak #10 – Double-Digit Milestone

After a wonderful drive through some of the most scenic areas of San Diego County, including East Ramona and Santa Ysabel, I arrived at the trailhead. I didn’t pass anyone on the road, and there were no other cars on the trailhead. I was happy to have some quiet time on the trail.

While on the trail, I turned and looked behind me and could see Cuyamaca Peak looming up and calling me with its siren song.

Cuyamaca Peak from the trail

Cuyamaca Peak from the trail

Looking down at the trail, it was clear that not many people had hiked this way recently, since I saw mostly paw, bird and reptile prints criss-crossing all over any man-made prints. There was, however, more disturbing evidence of man’s presence here.

Yet another mylar balloon in the backcountry

Yet another mylar balloon in the backcountry

Yes, on two out of 10 hikes, I have found mylar balloons snagged in the brush. Like the other balloon, as well as any other trash I find on the trail, I stashed it in my pack and moved on.

As I walked along the trail, I was yet again reminded of the huge fires that swept through much of San Diego County in the last decade. The Cedar Fire from 2003 completely charred the area south of Julian (among many other places) and evidence lined the trail.

A burnt tree from the Witch Creek Fire of 2007

A burnt tree from the Cedar Fire of 2003

Some oak trees provided some shade (yes, shade in San Diego!), before I scrambled up to the ridge line and was presented with 4 false summits before I actually made it to the top. I was laughing to myself at how deceived I felt, yearning to reach the summit only to find that the ridge continued beyond my current position.

On the top, there is a summit register:

The summit register with Ramona's Four Corners area beyond

The summit register with Ramona’s Four Corners area beyond

Soaring condors, ravens, and hawks:

Red-tailed hawk over Eagle Peak

Red-tailed hawk over Eagle Peak

Drill bits from climbers:

Drill bits on top of Eagle Peak

Drill bits on top of Eagle Peak

One of the benchmarks:

A benchmark dated 1959, threatening a $250 fine or jail time for disturbing it

A benchmark dated 1959, threatening a $250 fine or jail time for disturbing it

A vertigo-inducing drop-off on the south side of the summit:

The high wind prevented me from hanging any further off

The high wind prevented me from hanging any further off

But the view into Boulder Creek was one of the best I’ve seen so far in San Diego:

Boulder Creek with El Capitan beyond

Boulder Creek with El Capitan beyond

I enjoyed my quiet time with the soaring birds before I made it back down the trail, having seen no one for the entire hike.

Eagle Peak Trail Map

Eagle Peak Trail Map (Click to Enlarge)

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Comments

  1. Barbara says

    This area was torched by the Cedar Creek fire of 2003. Witch Creek was started east of Ramona near 78 and burned west due to Santa Ana’s. Please change the text and your pictures tagged with the wrong info.

    Love the trail map you did. Taking a group this Wednesday.

    I laughed when you mention the false summits. I remember doing that on my first trip prior the 2003 fire. Lot more trees then. The one main oak on that first ridge to the left before turning to go to Three Sisters used to have a memorial plaque on it. I went out there after the fire in 2007 it was no longer there. I do have a picture of it as I found it interesting put in the middle of no where but that was pre digital days.

  2. Nick says

    Drill bits are liking from Climbers. The south side is heavily bolted for sport climbing. The tape on the bit tells them they are deep enough to set the anchor.

  3. joanna says

    It would be helpful to.provide how long it takes to hike each hike on your sd list of peaks as well as a map with pins of them all to see how close each is from the person looking at your blog. Thanks! I like the simplicity of design

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