Santiago Peak (aka “Saddleback Mountain”)

There is one kind of hiking that I am not fond of, hiking on active roads. Unfortunately, Santiago Peak is one of these. To offset this, I decided to hit the peak early and drive partway up, The Subaru Outback had no trouble making it to a nice wide flat area just before the trail to Modjeska Peak. I will say there is a section of road after Maple Springs Trail Road meets the Main Divide Road that is a bit rocky. If you are unsure about your car’s tires, then I would recommend parking at that junction.

Once there, I set off down the road, the summit and it’s myriad of towers off to the south-east. Unfortunately, my knee was really out of whack. After about a quarter-mile, I decided that I was not going to attempt it on foot. I hopped back in the car and continued driving up. The road was not an issue again until the final summit. There, another rocky section had to be navigated, but you could find a parking spot and walk the last bit.

Once on the summit, I parked and walked to the southern end of the peak, and took in the views. The June Gloom spread out before me. I walked back up to the summit to snap a photo of the summit sign and one reference mark. As was getting ready to leave, two more cars made their way to the summit. While driving back down, I encountered five more cars working their up. While, my hike was not as planned, the summit was obtained. Now to see what is up with this knee, got more peaks to climb! 


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. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.