Santa Ysabel West Preserve

Besides working on completing the Sierra Club San Diego 100 peaks list, I am also working on completing the San Dieguito’s River Foundations’ Coast to Crest Challenge. I knocked off three of the five hikes around New Years’. With my usual peak-bagging partners occupied, I decided to go do one of the remaining hikes, Santa Ysabel West Preserve.

Dave Myron and I pulled into the empty parking lot just before 8 am. Thankfully, the gate was already open. We geared up and headed off. The entire trail is about 5.5 long and follows a lollipop pattern. This challenge requires a selfie at a particular spot along the trail, in this case near the top of the lollipop.

After a short flat section, the trail makes its first small climb. The trail then continues to work its way up and down the hills. We carefully crossed a nicely flowing stream before the final climb to the selfie spot. The grazing cows barely gave us notice as we passed by. The views were quite nice with Volcan Mountain rising to the east, and Cuyamaca to the southeast.

Upon our return, we meet a couple of groups of hikers, also enjoying the trail. Soon we were back at the car and headed back into town. I had hoped to get the final hike in on Sunday, but rain showers had other plans.

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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