Highland Valley Trail

Distance: 4.1 miles
Date: January 1, 2020

With the 100 Peak Challenge complete (still wrapping my head around that), a simpler hike seemed to be in order. My wife is embarking on a 52 5K Challenge, so I thought the Highland Valley Trail would be a nice workout to kick off the New Year.  This trail is one of the five hikes that make up the current San Dieguito River Foundation’s Coast to Crest Challenge. We set off along the trail. The weather was almost postcard-perfect as we paralleled Highland Valley Road. 

A few mountain bikers passed us as we continued on. The trail would gently rise and fall as it made it way eastward. Once it reached Sycamore Creek, the trail turned southward. Soon we reached the trail’s end and we took a well-earned rest on the picnic bench.

Once Anita was ready we began our return. A few more mountain bikers passed us along the way, but soon we spotted the I-15 and shortly thereafter the trailhead. I am really proud of my wife, she did great for her first time really hiking. Here is to many more together…


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. 

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