Arena Benchmark

After “warming” up on Foot and Walker Benchmark and Shake Benchmark, our third peak on my list was Arena Benchmark. I drove back up the S2 to the turnoff that the third peak on my list was Arena Benchmark. I drove back up the S2 to the turnoff that normally one would tackle to hike Whale Peak. Taking a quick left, I drove along the dirt road to the trailhead. There were a couple of spots where I had some need for my high clearance, but nothing too extreme. Once we parked, we scanned for a good route up. We again quickly found ourselves on the ridgeline and followed it east toward the summit.

The ascent was an easy climb, just avoid the cactus and keep climbing up.

The views were breathtaking from the top, the air was extremely clear, and the Salton Sea was easy to see off to our east. Our southern view was now dominated by Whale Peak. We signed the register and took our photos and headed back down. The plan next was to head to Borrego Spring and continue our multi-peak adventure, next up Ship Benchmark.


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. 

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