|Guide||♦||1 Triplog||Mine 0||0 Topics|
Peak, Wine and a bit of pie!
The first 1.4 miles is uphill through oaks, manzanita, and grassland. It's a steady climb. You'll get good views of the surrounding area as you climb. At 0.55 miles, you'll see the Five Oaks Trail, a 1.2-mile offshoot trail that's more shaded and a more gradual climb. The path continues until the Five Oaks Trail intersects at the 1.3-mile mark. From here, it's a more open, gradual climb through grassy hills. At 1.85 miles, there's an overlook to the west with a telescope. Another ~0.5 miles leads you to the summit at ~2.4 miles. There's also a lookout with views to the east of the Salton Sea, Mt. San Jacinto, the Pacific Crest Trail, and Granite Mountain.
I arrived around 7:30 am, cool and clear, but comfortable conditions. About 60 degrees to start. I left my fleece and long pants in the car, knowing it would get warmer as I hiked. Reasonably clear for a SoCal day, so I had decent views of the area. I took the Summit trail going up, a steady, uphill climb. The trail is a good path, used both by hikers and bikers; reasonably wide. It took me about an hour to reach the summit. There's a small tower at the summit surrounded by a fence. On the way down, I took the Five Oaks Trail to see what it was like in comparison. More shaded, a more gradual descent. It's a hiking-only trail. Lots of birds and lizards. I returned to the trailhead a few minutes after 10 am.
An Added Bonus
Menghini and Volcan Mountain Wineries are located very close to the trailhead. Tasting rooms open at 11 am. They make for a relaxing post-hike stop. The staff at both wineries were amicable. Another worthwhile break is Mom's Pie House in both Julian and Wynola. Their bumbleberry (blueberry, blackberry, and boysenberry) crumb pie is wonderful.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.