Hiking, backpacking, and camping throughout Southern California and beyond

Pyles Peak - Peak #8

At 854' in .75 miles from trailhead to summit, this hike was straight up the whole way. It wasn't until I got almost the whole way up that I saw a sign reading that the trail was closed. So basically I followed game trails until I hit a highly used ridge that met up with the main trail. It was then I looked back and saw the sign telling me that I would have to use a closed trail back to the car. On my way up, I saw a red-tailed hawk feather on the trail. Some Native American tribes consider the feathers sacred and use them relgious ceremonies. I considered it as an auspicious sign, snapped a picture, and left it where it lay. Conisdering that I was on a game trail and the trail was closed, it is possible that this feather may be there for years to come.

Red-tailed Hawk feather on the trail

I continued scrambling up the ridge until I turned a corner and noticed that the clouds had gathered over Cuyamaca Peak and were in the process of emptying their precious water cargo all over the range. The temperature was definitely hotter than yesterday. I am sure the firefighters in the county definitely welcomed any precipitation during this endless heat wave.

Rain falling over Cuyamaca peak

I scrambled up to the peak and was greeted with a view of Cowles Mountain Summit, as well as Fortuna Mountain. Some clouds drifted over the sun and a nice breeze cooled me off while I looked around and caught my breath. I saw yet another red-tailed hawk gliding below me. Around me, I could still see brush that was damaged in the Cedar Fire of 2003, but were well on their way to recovery. I drank some water and headed back down a trail that I knew to be closed. I will summit this peak from a different approach on a later date.

Fortuna Mountain with burnt sage brush in the foreground


Kwaay Paay Peak - Peak #9

Cowles Mountain - Peak #7