Today was going to be a two hike day, the first up was completing this year’s Coast to Crest Challenge by hiking the Kanaka Loop out in the Santa Ysabel East Preserve. I pulled into the parking area, which is just north of the trailhead to Volcan Mountain. As I gathered my gear, another hiker was returning from the trail. Turns out he was trying to finish the challenge for the deadline. He was off to do his last hike. I wished him well and headed off myself.
The trail gently worked its way toward near a still flowing stream, the trail crosses it before beginning to work its way up the hill. Once atop the hill, I found myself on a nice pasture. The challenge requires you to take a selfie at a specific spot, in the case of a distinct fallen tree. I continued up to it and took my photo. I surveyed the view. Initially, I was just going to hustle up to the photo spot and hustle back down. My main goal was to get another peak done on the 100 Peak Challenge, but I was so taken by the beauty of this hike, I decided to continue the loop.
This area is an active pasture, so as I strolled along the trail, cows dotted the area. I kept a respective distance.
I soon found myself back at the junction to descend from the pasture. This might have been one of the nicest hikes of the challenge.
Making my way back to the car, I ran into a grandfather and his grandson out enjoying the trail. We chatted some, turns out he used to be a ranger for the park. I bid farewell and headed back to the car. Another challenge in the books! I stopped off at Wynola Pizza before heading down to summit Arrowmaker Ridge.
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.