This was the first of a three-peak day. I arrived at the trailhead just as the sun was beginning to rise.
As I followed the fire road up toward the peak, I spotted several deer enjoying some meadow grasses.
Once covered in pine and oak trees, Middle Peak, like the rest of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, was hit hard by the 2003 Cedar Fire. As the summit loomed, the lack of trees did offer some sweeping views. With the trees gone, much of the mountain is now covered in ceanothus, and the charred remains of blackened trees line the slopes. Near the summit, I began looking for any routes through the thickets to the true summit. I worked my way partially toward the summit but eventually decided to call it.
In part, I knew there was no view to be had, and I had two more summits planned for the day and began back down the fire road to the car.
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.