Van Dam Peak

Peak Name: Van Dam Peak
Distance: 3.0 miles (1.8 miles)
Date: June 1, 2017
Summit: 1,113 feet

Another short hike that is perfect for an after-work excursion. This peak sits near the end of the 56 freeway and the 15 in Poway. The trailhead I started from was at the end of a cul-de-sac. Passing through some house, I could imagine the adventures the neighborhood kids would have in this open space (or the mischief ).

The trail quickly rises up to the ridgeline. I opted to head north to the principle summit and the graffitied slab. The sounds of the freeway’s afternoon traffic were muted, but still noticeable. That was offset but the crunch of dirt under my hiking boots. After enjoying the view, I headed back toward the car, making a detour to the south summit.


I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea-kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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