The Thimble

With the forests closed, we opted to try for a pair of peaks—The Thimble and San Ysidro out near Ranchita. We knew it was going to be a warm one, so hit the trail just before sunrise.

We worked our way up the old road to the saddle. From there, Ted got his first look at The Thimble. Having summited this peak before, I outlined the basics of our ascent for Ted. There is no trail to the summit, so this climb would be a true adventure for us. We left the old road and began crossing toward the base. Carefully crossing the boundary fence into Anza Borrego State Park, we began weaving past the brush and boulders as we made our way up the 30-50% grade. 

Soon we found ourselves at that wall of brush. The right edge still provided a narrow passage past the thicket. From there it was a quick scramble to the summit.

Greg Gerlach had left a new register earlier this year, which we happily signed. The views were tremendous. I took the opportunity to scan my upcoming route into Hellhole Flats and San Ysidro East Peak. 

After a pleasant break, we began our careful descent. Since Ted had spotted a baby rattlesnake on our ascent, we were mindful of that as we retraced our route.

We kept looking for a route that would allow us to vector toward the route up to San Ysidro. Nothing revealed itself to me, so we went to the base. We then evaluated if we should go for our second peak. The day was certainly warming up. I looked over the distance and gain, along with needing to be back in town for my annual flu shot scheduled for early afternoon. With that, we would leave San Ysidro for another day.

Once back in the car, the thermometer read a toasty 88. Turning back was the right call.


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. 

2 thoughts on “The Thimble

  1. I tried bagging the thimble summit today after visiting Bonny and White but I was unable to find a clear path to the summit. I approached from the East and was left facing the southern face not too far from the top.

    Advice would be very welcome!

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