My fellow admin of the San Diego Hiking Society wanted to climb Sitton Peak, and as I also needed to climb it again for this year’s Six-Pack of Peaks, we arranged to hike it together. We met in the parking lot under overcast skies. After grabbing our gear we carefully crossed Ortega Highway and onto the trail. I signed the back-country register and we continued making our way on the trail.
Wildflowers still dotted the sides of the trail. The grey skies provided some nice relief, as there was not a lot of shade to be found while we worked our way to the peak. The entire route was still marked with white signs at each of the junctions.
We passed one person who appeared to have spent the night camping. Soon we found ourselves at the turn-off to the summit. Here is where you earn the summit by gaining about 400 feet in 3/10 of a mile. I lead the way up and it was easier for me this time.
Soon the summit came into view and we had a well-earned break. The clouds had burned off near us, and while the marine layer still socked-in the coast, Santiago Peak stood out clearly to the north of us. After a nice break and snapping our photos, two more hikers joined us at the summit.
We let them enjoy the summit to themselves and began our descent. As we made our way back I spied a nice 3-foot rattlesnake coiled on the trail. We paused at a safe distance and waited to see if it would decide to move out of our way. The hikers we had met at the summit, along with two more, came up behind us. At this point, the snake was mostly off-trail and we could pass safely.
A bit later we found ourselves back at our cars and headed back to San Diego. It was a fun 9.4 miles in 4:31. That was my second peak on my 2021 Six-Pack of Peak Challenge.
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.