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.
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.
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.
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:
Soaring condors, ravens, and hawks:
Drill bits from climbers:
One of the benchmarks:
A vertigo-inducing drop-off on the south side of the summit:
But the view into Boulder Creek was one of the best I’ve seen so far in San Diego:
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.