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Monserate Mountain – Peak #22 – A look into Fallbrook and Bonsall

Elevation: 1,567′Miles: 3.2 Trailhead

I had some time in the afternoon today, so I headed up the 15 freeway to conquer a less-well known peak. At the trailhead, there are no real signs telling you where you are. After going up what I was pretty sure was the trail, I came upon a gate confirming my location.

The Monserate Mountain Trail from the road

This hike has a trailhead to summit net elevation gain of 1,183' in 1.6 miles, so it can get pretty steep at times. I ran into a few locals on the way up, most notably Garth, a very friendly guy who was born and raised in the area and pointed out his brother's sprawling nursery on the ridges below the peak. He has been up this peak many times over the years and has seen the area changing with development.

Garth's brother's nursery is below

I was appreciative of the breezes, but was still amazed at how warm it still is here in San Diego, as we are fast approaching the holiday season. I passed some trails markers, and was curious as to where the other trails went, but was happy to have mileage indicators at various points along the trail.

Monserate Mountain Trail Sign

Another trail sign on Monserate Mountain

The roar of the freeway slowly faded, but did not disappear as I made the summit. There was evidence of campfires, as well as a large pile of stones, but there was no summit register that I could find. A sad sight to see was the benchmark hammered down to an illegible pulp. This vandalism was likely done in the last 2 years, since I read a trail report for Monserate Mountain from 2007 that included a picture of an intact benchmark.

It is hard to believe that someone would hike all that way up to the top of a mountain and still feel like they have to destroy something that has been there since 1939, 70 years.

Disturbed by what I saw, I was still able to enjoy the view of the area surrounding Fallbrook and Bonsall. I could see the sun glinting off the ocean and a reservoir high upon a mesa. There were pretty good views, considering the trailhead was pretty close to San Diego and the 15 freeway.

Ocean and reservior glinting

A view into Fallbrook and Valley Center

A sad sight of vandalism

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/7804502[/vimeo]

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