NOTE: Due to the Valley Fire of 2020, this peak is closed. The closure order is set to expire in October 2021.
Peak Name: Corte Madera
Distance: 6.9 miles
Date: September 24, 2017
Summit: 1,562 feet
Known as the Half Dome of San Diego, this was a fun hike with Dave and Ted in tow. Located in the Pine Mountain Wilderness, we found one of the few parking spots and began our hike along a dirt road under the shade of coast live oaks. Once we reached the Espinosa trail, we began to slowly climb up toward the saddle between Los Pinos Mountain and Corte Madera.
Turning northward, we passed near the summit of Coulter Peak, working our way through the chaparral along a single-use trail. Eventually, the trail reaches the summit of Corte Madera.
We took a nice break, enjoying some snacks and the view. Corte Madera’s dramatic south face plays host to a number of nesting birds of prey, including falcons, hawks, and golden eagles. These birds tend to nest during the late fall, winter, and early spring months. Cleveland National Forest has introduced seasonal closures along the mountain’s sheer cliff. We did not spot anything flying while we rested.
Returning back to the saddle, we considered adding in the extra miles and elevation to Los Pinos Lookout. But, we were tired and decided to save it for another day.