Although I did not make out to Ant Benchmark the day before, I opted to summit Viejas Mountain instead. This peak is just to the west of the casino, so it was an easy drive to the trailhead. Mark and I arrived at the trailhead a bit after sunrise.
There is no disguising what this hike is, it is just a steady climb upward. It was a cool morning with a bit of a breeze blowing. Soon, we reached the summit and took in the views while we rested. There is a rock wind shelter that has been built, sadly from rocks that used to denote the winter solstice by Kumeyaay Indians.
I was able to find two markers, but not the formal benchmark nor a register. A few others had joined us on the summit, and after chatting some, we headed back down the trail. In the distance, El Cajon Mountain beckoned for another day…
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.