After I finished the 100 Peak Challenge back in 2019, a couple of the peaks were swapped out. SquareTop and Rock Mountain were dropped and Paradise and Oriflamme Mountains were added. While I had previously done Paradise, I had never hiked to the summit of Oriflamme. While it can be done as a side trip when doing Roost Benchmark, I never made the extra effort. So, I finally decided to cross this peak off my “unclimbed” list. I drove up in the early morning and parked next to the Lucky S Ranch. While it was in the upper 30s as I passed through Julian, it warmed up to the upper 40s as I set off down the dirt road toward Oriflamme.
A lot of the route was the same we took on our first trek out to Roost Benchmark. This hike is an inverted one, meaning you hike down and then have the “fun” of hiking back up to the trailhead.
After about 2 miles, it was time to leave the road and begin the cross-country climb to the peak. A cairn marked a good opening through the brush. Thankfully the brush was about knee-high, so spying the path of least resistance was fairly straightforward. The slope posed no issues as I weaved my way up, spotting a cairn from time to time. Finally, the rocky pile that denotes the summit came into view. I scrambled to the top to soak in the views. The register can was safely tucked in a crevice. I signed my name and strolled around the summit, enjoying the panoramic view.
I needed to get back, so I headed down toward the road, again just weaving through the brush and moving mostly down and to the west. I actually exited at the same cairn I used to begin the cross-country section. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket?
The climb back up was uneventful. It certainly was easier than the last two times I trudged up that road. My tracker logged this hike at 4.4 miles in 2:00 hrs with an elevation gain of 1,288 feet.
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.