Bell Bluff

Ted and I were back at it. Today’s summit was Bell Bluff, located just a bit south of Alpine. We parked the car a bit away from the trailhead, as parking can be tight along the road. The trail passes better two homes before crossing the Sweetwater River. When we did the hike the riverbed was almost bone dry. However, the river bank was a bit steep, thankfully a rope was available for an assist.

As we crossed the sandy riverbed, we could not find the exit. We spent a good 20 minutes wandering looking for the trail. Finally we found it a bit further to the west. We followed what appeared to be an old Jeep trail for some time. Bell Bluff loomed before us in the distance.

Then the double cairns marked the turnoff toward the summit. The gentleness of the previous miles was replaced by some 700 feet of gain over about a half-mile. Partway up we have to work our way up one Class 3 section.

The summit had its benchmark still intact, and a register safely stored in an all too familiar red can.

We could see the north side of Lawson, which we recently summited, and Gaskill which still beckoned. Working our way back to the car, laughing at our earlier misadventures with the crossing…

Climbing back out of the river on the way back 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, Central Coast, 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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