North Pinyon Mountain (Peak 3640)

Decided to go hike another peak that Susie had already done, this time North Pinyon Mountain (Peak 3640). This peak’s trailhead is along the eastern spur of Plum Canyon. As I was driving in, I was surprised to see someone driving out, especially this early in the morning. Turns out he was camping at the road’s end. I let him know my plans and we parted ways. I parked a polite distance from his camp and began gearing up. It was a touch chilly, and given the first part of the hike was up a wash, I knew I would be in the shade for a while. Tossing on a thin fleece, I set off.

The route would follow this wash until its end. Along the way, a few dry waterfalls would need to be traversed. Only one required me to bypass it, and the rest were fun diversions. The elevation gain was nice, but noticeable when I would stop and look back. I was getting a tad warm, so I stowed my fleece.

I was now ready to leave the wash and climb up to Peak 3300. From here I was rewarded with a beautiful view of Granite Mountain to the west. Since I had cell coverage again, I shared the photo with my wife.

My route now turned easterly. Crossing the summit, I now had to mind the agave, cholla, cat’s claw, and other hazards. From here I drifted to the south toward the saddle that would allow me to begin my ascent of North Pinyon.

About 100 feet of elevation loss later, I was ready to start the climb. The slope was not too steep, nothing like yesterday’s peak. I knew from the previous trip reports the true summit was hidden behind a false summit. 

As I crested it, I could see it was would be an easy stroll over. There was a bit of breeze, so I was glad to have the fleece for my break.

There is no benchmark here, but a nice register can was filled with familiar names. I soaked in the views; Granite, Grapevine, Whale, Sunset and so many more.

I signed in and had a quick snack before heading back down. Along the way, I picked up someone’s lost wool cap. I wonder if it might be Matt’s. The rest of the return was uneventful, except for a blister on my right pinky toe. Oh, the joy of new shoes. With that #78 of the #SD100 down! 4.26 miles in 3:00 hours, and gaining 1,546 feet.

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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