Old Survey Road 97

Ted Markus and I had a chance to hike the Old Survey Road out on the Ramona Grasslands. This hike requires a permit and is limited to 50 per day. The trail is only open on weekends and for just a few months of the year. While we knew today was going to be warm, it was just about our last chance to explore it.

We arrived just before 8, and a group of four hikers were ahead of us, waiting to have their permits checked by the ranger. Once signed in, we headed down the dirt road. Cows to the left, Bulls on our right. The trail worked its way back to the northwest, past the ruins of a house and a lovely picnic bench under the shade of some oaks. 

The main attraction is the chance to possibly see some Golden Eagles. This the main reason for the closure dates, to allow for proper nesting in the nearby rocks.

We climbed a small hill and were rewarded with a nice view of San Pasqual Valley. The Safari Park’s hot air balloon was clearly visible, as was much of the trail I took on Thursday.

We had a decent descent to the trail’s end. After snapping a few photos and waiting for the group that was ahead of us to have a chance to make some progress climbing back up, we set off. Neither of us was in a rush. A few more people passed us by as we made our way back, including one horseback rider. 

As we drew closer to the car, we both commented that the day was certainly heating up. After checking back in with the ranger we tossed our gear into the car and turned on the AC. The thermostat read about 94 at just after 10 am. If you can get a permit and can do it, it was a really pleasant stroll.

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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