The latest edition of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy’s Coast to Crest Challenge kicked off on July 1st, so I knew what much of holiday weekends plan were now. I decided that I would start the challenge off by hiking from Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, then up and around Lake Poway. This was going to be a nice 5.2-mile hike. I have not hiked Blue Sky in a long time, so I was looking forward to it. I pulled in about 8, and the lot was almost full, but I found a space. I applied my sunscreen, grabbed my gear, and set off.
I cruised along the wide trail for a bit until I came to the junction with the Creekside Trail. I was looking at my map and deciding if I want to take it. Two women ask for an opinion on the trail options. I told the Creekside trail would be better coming back, as it should have a touch more shade. I told them I was continuing on the main trail, then heading up to the Lake and around. We headed off together. I began chatting about the hike and the C2C challenge. When we reached the turn-off to Lake Poway, they asked if they could tag along. I welcomed the company. We started our ascent and I learned they were fairly new to hiking, so I began giving probably more information on hiking San Diego than they bargained for. I pointed out some various landmarks as we made our way to the lake. But more importantly, I showed them what poison oak looks like.
We cruised around its shoreline. I took my required selfie for the challenge near the southern end of the lake. The trail was busy but not crowded. We dropped back down from the lake onto the main trail. Soon we were back at the parking lot. I gave them some more suggestions for their next adventure and bid farewell. All told the hike was 5.27 miles and we did it in 1:59.
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.