Combs Peak

The goal for today’s hike was Comb’s Peak, the fifth highest peak in San Diego County and also one of the most remote. As I punched in the route to the trailhead, it actually routed me up through Temecula, then back into San Diego County. I was looking for a shorter hike, as my left foot was a tad sore from last weekend’s hike to Wilson Benchmark.

As I drove on the dirt road toward the trailhead, I actually entered Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. I began hiking north along the PCT, gently leaving Long Valley Road behind.

Comb’s Peak soon came into view to the northwest as I continued to make my way toward a saddle near the eastern shoulder of the peak.

The trail then works its way up through the thick chaparral to the summit. In just about .5 miles, I gained some 600′ of elevation.

There were a few rocky sections that took a touch of care (mostly on the descent).

Atop the summit, I could see snow-capped San Gorgonio and San Jacinto to the north. To the east, I spied the Salton Sea. The wind was blowing, so I did not linger. The benchmark and register were both found.

While descending, I thought I heard voices. Something I was not expecting for such a remote hike. Upon reaching the saddle, I encounter three other hikers. One of the gentlemen was actually beginning his PCT thru-hike. Since the winter had been so mild, he figured he would get a head-start. We chatted some, while they rested. So, they continued on their trek north, and I returned south back to the car.

My left foot began to ache more as I descended. I later learned that I had developed a case of plantar fasciitis, and it would sideline me for the next several months.

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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