October Summary

Sierra View in the Inyo Mountains During the month of October, I hiked 112.8 miles and gained 19,410’ of elevation, making this the second time I have hiked more than 100 miles in a month this year. I took 20 separate hikes this month, spending approximately 49:25 hours on the trails. My average hike was […]

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Trabuco Canyon-Horsethief Loop

Trabuco Canyon is the major drainage of the Santa Ana Mountains north of Los Pinos Ridge/Highway 74. The canyon and lollypoop loop created by climbing the West Horsethief Trail, merging with Main Divide Road, and coming back down the extension of Trabuco Canyon Trail features some of the best variety on any hike in Southern […]

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Stanley Peak

Stanley Peak is the high point of Daley Ranch, which also makes it one of the highest points in Escondido. There are many ways to the top, but this route travels up the Caballo Trail from the parking lot near the Escondido Humane Society. There might be good views here, but I didn’t get any […]

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Inaja Memorial Trail

This brief trail memorializing fire fighters who died fighting the 1956 Inaja Fire scrambles around a rocky, chaparral studded promontory that offers good views of the San Diego River Canyon, Santa Ysabel Valley, and the Volcan Mountains. Distance: .5 MilesElevation Gained: 100′Difficulty: EastTime: 20 minutesCritters: None Get there like this. Details: The Grand Canyon of […]

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Kelley’s Ditch Trail

Kelley’s Ditch Trail is a trail through a remote park of the Cuyamaca Mountains that connects Cuyamaca State Park and William Heise County Park. The route travels through forests incinerated by the 2003 Cedar Fire along the west slopes of North Peak before dropping down into Heise Park. The views, though partially obstructed by dead […]

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Cuyamaca Reservoir, Fall Edition

The Cuyamaca Reservoir collects water draining from the north side of various peaks and creeks in the valley between North Peak and Stonewall Peak. It offers fishing, boating, hiking, and picnicking options, and features one of the few unburnt parcels of forest in Cuyamaca State Park. Distance: 3.6Elevation Gained: 200Difficulty: EasyTime: 1:30Critters: Egrets, Herons, Ducks, […]

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Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch

Sycamore Canyon, which also contains Goodan Ranch, is a fairly substantial open space preserve sandiwched between Poway and Santee. It features rolling shrub-covered hills, wide, grassy meadows, riparian ecotones supporting willows, oaks, and the eponymous sycamores. It’s also the site of an old ranch and orchard, both of which were scorched during the 2003 Cedar […]

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Manzanita Flat

About half-way up the east flank of Mt. San Bernadino lies a flat stretch of terrain coated in manzanita, dotted with Jeffrey pines, and, on this day at least, frosted with 6 inches of snow. The flat itself is a good stop and rest point for a longer trek up to San Bernadino Peak, or, […]

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Monserate Mountain

It’s a great big hill! Distance: 3.9Elevation Gained: 1,220′Difficulty: ModerateTime: 1:45Critters: None Get there like this. Details: Oh, the bear went over the mountain,The bear went over the mountain,The bear went over the mountain,To see what he could see. And all that he could see,And all that he could see,Was the other side of the […]

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Relict Species: Foxtail and Bristlecone Pines

Relict, n: a remnant or survivor. Species, n: a distinct sort or kind Pinus balfouriana and Pinus longaeva Great Basin Bristlecone Pine Foxtail Pine In the upper regions of the two highest ranges in California, two closely related trees exist in isolated remnant pockets. These trees are famed for their longevity, with one, the Great Basin bristlecone pine, known to […]

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