False Gower

Since my wife and daughter were driving up to LAX to pick up my son from his trip to Florida in the Subaru, I was somewhat limited to my peak options. Thankfully, Mt. Gower near Ramona fit the bill.

I opted to start the hike by using the water tank short cut. Parking at the culdesac, I tried to be respectful of the homeowners, as I readied myself. I headed up the access road to the water tank, then pass around the fencing to join the trail. For those wanting a longer hike, there is another trailhead near the end of Gunn Stage road.

The trail will basically follow a ridgeline eastward, rising and following, but generally working its way up. After passing a small meadow, you will begin the push up the peak. Along the way, you will pass Mt Gower’s famous teeth.

A short time afterward you will reach a wide flat granite slab. This is where the defined trail will end. I took a moment to enjoy the view. A pair of hikers were working their way back to the trailhead, we briefly chatted and continued on our way.

Following Scott Turners’ advice, I checked my GPX route and began working my way up the slope. It was a mix of digital routing matching and experience to reach the top.

Mt. Gower is an interesting peak. There are actually three peaklets here. False Gower is the first peaklet that you will encounter, and for most this is good enough, even for the 100 Peak Challenge.

There was a bit of breeze at the summit, as a storm was due in later that night, so I did not linger.

I decided to work my way through the brush southward to the true summit. My phone weighed out, so no route data, and no photos. It took a bit to make it there. Like the reports on peakbagger.com, no benchmark or register was located.

Checking with the family, to hear my son landed safely after being delayed from the previous day, I began heading back down. As I drew closer to my starting point, I encountered a few more hikers beginning their ascent of Mt Gower. Back at the car, I loaded up and headed home.

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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