The sweet sound of traffic
Monserate Mountain is part of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, a private non-profit organization, which has quite a few separate parcels of land set aside for open space, trails and natural habitat. Monserate, a big steep hill, is part of the rugged Coastal Ranges in San Diego County.
At first the wide trail goes straight up the side of the hill. It goes through an open gate, with several signs saying to keep dogs on leashes, no horses, etc. Soon it starts switchbacking, following an old road. Reaching a paved section, bear to the left, and when pavement ends, bear right again. There are very helpful sign posts at several of the trail intersections that have been installed by a local Boy Scout troop. Nearing the summit there is no sign post for the last turn, which is to the left, to reach the top. But it's easy to see you are almost there. Arriving at the summit you'll find a very large rock cairn next to a metal box with a hikers' register inside.
The view from the top is very panoramic, and on a clear day you can see the ocean. Many of the larger mountains of Southern California will also be visible, including the Angeles National Forest high point, Mount San Antonio (aka Mount Baldy) 10,064. You can also see Mount San Gorgonio, (Old Greyback), 11,503 and Mount San Jacinto, 10,834. I could see all those the first time I climbed it, plus some of the San Diego County high peaks, which are all under 7,000 feet, including Palomar and the three Cuyamacas.
This hike is listed as one-way to the summit. There are numerous side trails and also a hike to a water tank, which I have not detailed here. Round trip to the summit and back is about 3.4 miles. It's very good for a quick, steep, short workout, whether hiking or trail-running.
For more information contact the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, PO Box 2701, Fallbrook, CA 92088. (760)728-0889. www.fallbrooklandconservancy.org
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.