Chariot Mountain is an interesting summit as it is an inverted peak, meaning that you start at a higher elevation than the summit. I got to the trailhead right off Sunrise Highway.
The trail headed through a nice wide meadow until it intersected the Pacific Crest Trail. However, you are only the PCT for a very short section. I initially missed the trail down to the summit, but I found the slightly over-grown trail.
The trail to the summit quickly dropped down a steep ridge to the Anza-Borrego desert. I picked my way down the path, thinking I much this ascent is going to hurt.
The peak was visible across a small valley. The quiet gave me time to reflect on some things weighing on me.
Soon I was at the foot of the mountain. There was a faint use trail that I followed to the summit. There is no benchmark, but there is a register. The views were quite spectacular from the summit.
As I made it back toward the base of the ridge for the ascent up the ridge, I did consider following the Mason Truck Trail instead of the PCT. This would have been a longer route, certainly less steep, but I opted to take the ridge.
I debated my discussion as my legs felt the climb and the road gently climbed to the south. Finally, I reached the PCT and strolled back across the meadow toward 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.