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McGinty Mountain - Peak #23 - Rain, Mud, Hail, and Wind

Elevation: 2,183′Miles: 4.8 Trailhead

For the first time in 164 days, San Diego got rain. The forecast said that there was to be some small showers here and there, but nothing much.

Before I went to bed last night, I committed myself to going on a hike today. A little rain never hurt anyone, right? Several times during the night, I woke up to the sound of massive amounts of precipitation pounding on my roof. I rolled over and went back to sleep, dreaming of the trail I would hike the next day. The storm should blow itself out.

Well, the forecast and my assumptions were wrong. It rained pretty heavily on and off throughout the day, but, as I said before, I was committed.

I drove to the trailhead, getting caught in several downpours. I had to wait in the car for about 20 minutes for the latest torrent to stop coming down. Sensing a break, I put on my rain gear and headed out. I got about a half a mile along the trail before it started to sprinkle and the wind started to blow. It wasn't that bad and I already had a pretty decent view of the area.

Eucalyptus on McGinty Mountain

As I reached the ridge line, the trail got muddier, and my shoes were intent on picking up as much mud as possible, getting heavier and clumsier as I went. I had to stomp my feet and scrape them on any rock I could find. Some of the steeper parts caused me to slide backwards a bit with each step.

Several times along the way, the sun would poke its head out to say hello and present me with a rainbow. Rainbows never get old.

Rainbow over Jamul from McGinty Mountain

Rainbow over Rancho San-Diego from McGinty Mountain

I continued on, thankful for the lack of a full downpour when I heard an odd noise to the west. It sounded like some construction was being performed in the valley below. It was a few minutes later when I heard something on the hillside below me. I knew what it was. Within seconds, I was being pelted by pea-sized hail, angling sideways with the wind. I turned my back to it and waited it out.

Small hail is way better than torrential rain. After I reached an area on the ridge next to a large house, I looked up and could see the trail leading all the way to the peak.

The trail to McGinty Mountain

I continued on, stomping my feet and putting my back to the wind now and then until I made it to the summit. I couldn't spend a relaxing time on top because I was worried about lightning and was afraid my good weather fortune would not persist. I headed back down and did not get wet.

San Miguel Mountain from McGinty Mountain

The ridges from McGinty Mountain

I've been hiking in miserable weather many times over the years, but this is the first time for me in a while. It was a great opportunity to test out some gear. Overall, completing a hike in this type of weather is pretty invigorating.

I also finally wore out my trail running shoes. The mud was too much for them.

McGinty Mountain Trail Map (Click to Enlarge)

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I should have waited to go to Middle Peak