The plan for today was to summit two nearby peaks, Sheephead Mountain and Manza Benchmark both in the Lagunas. The first peak of this two-fer was going to be Sheephead. With the weather beginning to become fall-like, I did not need to be at the trailhead at sunrise. I drove down the semi-paved Kitchen Creek Road off of Sunrise Highway.
The trail seemed very familiar as the pine needles crunched under my boots. When I reached the other Kitchen Creek road, I made sure to leave a mark to find the use trail back up the ravine. I missed it the first time I summited.
As I cruised down the road, a few cows were hanging around and scampered off as I approached. Ignoring the locked gate and its warning, I continued down the road. Double-checking my original GPS route, I spotted a faint use trail and headed hopefully toward the summit.
I spotted the boundary sign and knew the entrance to the use trail. Now the real effort would begin, the trail would climb some 600 feet in about .3 miles. The trail was overgrown, in fact, I lost a bandanna somewhere in that mess. Maybe after the challenge is over I might return and do some maintenance.
Finally, the summit revealed itself before me. Conditions were much nicer this time, so I enjoyed the views without feeling I was going to be blown away…
I signed the register and took my photos before heading back down. I kept an eye out for my missing red bandanna, figuring it would be easy to spot, but alas I never found it. But I did find a pair of sunglasses. Too bad I need prescription ones.
The trail deposited me back on the road and I headed back up the road. The cows were still hanging around as I neared the turnoff to the trail to make my way up the ravine. I was pleased about getting another peak out of the way. That was peak #73 of my #100PeakChallenge. Now for the short drive to the trailhead for Manza Benchmark.
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.