Ramona Benchmark

One of the advantages of doing this challenge again is for many of the peaks, I have a sense of the trail and the amount of effort it takes to reach the summit. Another factor is where the peak is. Since the heat in Anza-Borrego postponed my first attempt, I also needed to be aware of the heat for many of the inland peaks. Ramona Benchmark fell into that category.

Since I had an event in the afternoon, a short hike was exactly what I needed and this one fits that perfectly. The entire hike is just 3.5 miles and the actual elevation gain is around 880 feet. The “June Gloom” had been chased away as I quietly crossed the grasslands toward the service road to the ridgeline. A few bunnies scampered about in the early morning light.

The service road worked it is way upward, I was concerned that the rains might have rutted the road. I was pleasantly surprised to find it in good condition.

Once the road reaches the ridgeline, the trail turns north and gently works its way to an iron bench that denotes the top of the peak.

After a quick break, I headed back down the ridge. I did encounter two other hikers photographing the remaining wildflowers.

I made my way back to the car, glad to have done this peak in the early morning, as this one could be a really hot one.

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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