Elevation: 2,128′ Miles: ~3.56 Trailhead
Sometimes the stars align and things just work out right. Normally, my work keeps me away from the trail. This time, I had a client out in Ramona that was 2 minutes away from a trailhead that is on my list. Although I got a later start than usual, there was a wonderful cool breeze blowing from the west that kept me from overheating.
I parked at the trailhead, which looks like a dirt path in a vacant lot between houses. There is a trailhead to the north, as well. After a couple minutes of hiking, I came upon the entrance sign to the Simon County Park.
The wide trail leads up to the grassy ridge that is Ramona Peak. Looking around, I was glad that this particular ridge was saved from development, as other similar ridges within sight were dotted with large ranch homes with panoramic views.
The pictures on the county's website for the park show a green grassland area. If I had done this hike about two weeks ago, perhaps I would have had that experience. However, as we are rapidly approaching summer, the area has turned brown, but that didn't detract from it's beauty.
As I started upward on the trail, I saw some quail and plenty of lizards; the typical small animals that scurry away from you at every turn in San Diego. Soaring along the ridge was a red tail hawk at about eye level. Once atop the ridgeline, there are some power lines, but that doesn't detract from the view, either. Along the trail is the rusted chassis of an automobile. The tapered shape and the rear bracket for mounting a spare makes me theorize that this is an older car, possibly from the 30's or 40's, but I could be way off.
I followed the gently rolling ridge to the peak (more like a flat highpoint than an actual peak). I could see deep into the east, including the difficult Mount Gower and looming Cuyamaca Peak.
I decided to follow the ridgeline to the south and attempt Spangler Peak, but that trail petered out and I was unsure of the legality of my approach due to the adjacent avocado and citrus orchards. I will have to do some research and attempt it again at a later date. I would gladly hike this gentle ridgeline hike again.
The days are getting hotter and I need to get used to the idea that I am going to be roasting on the trails again. Not a deal-breaker, but just a mindset and a reminder to load up with water and sunscreen.
This is definitely a hike for a someone who wants a gentle stroll with some moderate elevation gain to get to the top of the ridge. I didn't shoot video for this hike. Just didn't feel like it.