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Re: 52 Hike Challenge 2017- AKA: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 6:44 am
by BorregoWrangler
#55 Windansea Beach
1.25 miles

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Windansea Beach is below Neptune Place in La Jolla at the west end of Westbourne, Nautilus, and Bonair Streets. The name is a shortened version of “Wind-and-Sea” and comes from a hotel once located nearby that burned down in the 1940’s. Like a lot of La Jolla’s beaches this one is just large enough to spreadout for sunbathing. Winter storms can remove a lot of the sand here so it’s quite different between summer and winter. Windansea is an expert surfing spot and due to rocks and strong currents, it’s not a great swimming area. That said, this is a picturesque beach with sandstone points sticking out into the surf at both ends. At the south end of the beach is a simple surf shack with a palm roof for shade that has been designated as a historical landmark.

Re: 52 Hike Challenge 2017- AKA: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 6:48 am
by BorregoWrangler
#56 Pinyon Mountain
2 miles | +500'

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"The austere-looking Pinyon Mountains are the northwestern component of a large and complex range, the Vallecito Mountains, which lie across the geographic center of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Although the Pinyon Mountains are largely within state wilderness boundaries, vehicle use is permitted for some distance up several sandy washes that drain from them. Parts of these mountains have probably never felt the impact of boot or moccasin." -Jerry Schad

Re: 52 Hike Challenge 2017- AKA: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 6:57 am
by BorregoWrangler
#57 Cuyamaca/Julian Mines (Outdoor Adventure USA 2017 BorregoFest)
2 miles | +400’

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This was my first time attending this run and I gotta say that I had an absolutely fantastic time! A big thanks to Dave for leading us and to the property owners who graciously allowed us to explore these historic sights.

Not long after the United States conquest of California, prospectors turned to the Cuyamacas in search of gold. They had observed that these mountains display promising sierra-like granite that might hold a bonanza for the lucky finder.

In the late 1800’s miners would take about $1,700,000 in gold from the area. However, the 20th century has not been kind to Cuyamaca mining. After the boom of the 1890s, a hundred years of 20th century gold production was only a small fraction of what 30 years in the 19th century had yielded.

But the mines cannot be forgotten. They changed the face of the mountains with excavations and mine buildings, roads, private inholdings, brought a surge of prosperity to what would’ve been only a modest ranching and farming district, and attracted a mixed population of emigrants and settlers from other regions who would never have come if gold had not drawn them to the mountains.

Most importantly, we can see that the mines created something else; a colorful community unique in Southern California and one heavy with reminders of the past. In expectation of enriching their own lives, modern visitors in unexpected numbers come to savor the areas past, vicariously to live again in the world promising the lure of hidden bonanzas, to understand something about the trials and triumphs of early Cuyamaca gold-mining.

Re: 52 Hike Challenge 2017- AKA: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Posted: Sat May 05, 2018 8:48 am
by BorregoWrangler
#58 Lower Cottonwood Canyon
5.5 miles | +625’

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On the last day of my long desert weekend, I enjoyed a hike up lower Cottonwood Canyon. You can look down the length of this canyon from above at the Pioneer Mail Picnic Area, or from Kwaaymii Point. From my vantage point below, I could see the concrete retaining walls of the old Sunrise Highway roadbed high above, which is now part of the PCT.

I made my way up to the first grove of Cottonwood trees, sat down in the shade and enjoyed the breeze. Along the way, I found an old rock house (remains of a bee keeper's place I'm told) and over a dozen morteros. There is a spring in the area that I wanted to find, but that'll have to wait for another day.

Re: 52 Hike Challenge 2017- AKA: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 4:30 pm
by BorregoWrangler
#59 Chiquito Peak
2.75 miles | +920’

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There's not much info on Chiquito Peak. I simply came across it while studying a topo map and decided to climb it. Located in Descanso, it overlooks Interstate 8 and offers great views of Cuyamaca Peak to the north, Guatay Mountain and Long Valley Peak to the east, and Lawson Peak to the south. Be prepared for a bit of rock climbing and bushwhacking on this trek.

#60 Secret Canyon Trail
3 miles | +400’

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I'll have to come back to hike the length of this canyon sometime soon. I didn't get as far as I wanted to today because the poison oak just kept getting worse and I only had shorts on. Forgetting my pruning shears didn't help either. So next time I'll better prepared.

Re: 52 Hike Challenge 2017- AKA: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 4:34 pm
by BorregoWrangler
#61 Chariot Mountain
10 miles | +1700’

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From Sunrise Highway, near Cuyamaca Lake, I took the California Riding & Hiking Trail to the PCT down into Chariot Canyon, around the north side of Chariot Mountain and made my way off-trial up the ridge to the summit. The views were especially clear today. Granite Mountain loomed just to the northwest and beyond that were the Santa Rosa Mountains, San Jacinto Peak, and San Gorgonio Mountain. Whale Peak stood proudly to the west and further south I could see Carrizo Mountain in Imperial County and Mount Signal in Mexico. After taking in the sights I continued south along the summit ridge, back down to Mason Valley Truck Trail which looped back up towards my starting point.

Re: 52 Hike Challenge 2017- AKA: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 6:59 pm
by BorregoWrangler
#62 San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area
9 miles | +600’

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My first time exploring the San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area. Hiked 9 miles for the quail opener. No birds but still an absolutely beautiful place!

“The approximately 17,800-acre San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area supports a unique blend of diverse habitat types including desert riparian woodland, chaparral, oak woodland, native grassland, alluvial fan sage scrub, acacia scrub, and midex hardwood/conifer forest.

This variety of habitat types supports a tremendous diversity of species including the federally endangered Least Bell's vireo. Mountain lion, bobcat, gray fox, Southern mule deer, golden eagle, San Diego mountain king snake, migratory birds, and upland game birds such as dove and quail also inhabit the property.

The San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area is a critical link in a large network of open space and wildlife habitat that stretches from the Pacific Ocean through the coastal range and inland forests to California's resource-rich desert. The wildlife area is surrounded by other open space lands including the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Cuyamaca State Park, the San Dieguito River Park's Volcan Mountain Preserve, Cleveland National Forest, the Santa Ysabel Indian Reservation, and BLM lands. The area provides important foraging and fawning habitat for resident mule deer and preserves riparian, oak woodland, and upland habitats used by a variety of game and non-game species.”

Re: 52 Hike Challenge 2017- AKA: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 7:04 pm
by BorregoWrangler
#63 PCT: Sunrise Highway to Scissors Crossing
16 miles | +1100’ -3300’

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From the Pedro Fages Monument on Sunrise Highway in the Cuyamaca Mountains, the route begins as the California Riding & Hiking Trail. It skirts a meadow, links briefly with Mason Valley Truck Trail then with the Pacific Crest Trail, and dips, winds, and climbs through Chariot Canyon.

Rounding the north side of Chariot Mountain, the trail descends into Rodriguez Canyon before dropping down into the desert along the north shoulder of Granite Mountain in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Spectacular views of the desert below open up before you.

Leaving the chaparral slopes behind, the trail levels out amongst bushels of catclaw, cholla, yucca, agave, beaver tail cacti, and juniper trees. Eventually, the route crosses Highway S2 and reaches a water cache under the bridge at Scissors Crossing along Highway 78.

Re: 52 Hike Challenge 2017- AKA: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:06 am
by BorregoWrangler
#64 Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area
3.75 miles | +425’
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Headed out after work to a nearby wildlife area to see if I could bag some rabbits. Didn’t see any but I was able to check out a part of this area I haven’t seen before.

Re: 52 Hike Challenge 2017- AKA: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:14 am
by BorregoWrangler
#65 Cowles Mountain
3 miles | +900’

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Another beautiful San Siego sunset!

#66 McCain Valley & In-Ko-Pah Mountains
8 miles | +600’

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Unfortunately, much of this beautiful landscape is being torn apart in the name of “green” energy and soon giant unsightly wind turbines will dominate the area.