Jacumba Mountain

Decided to tackle Jacumba Mountain today. This was a peak Susie, Ted, and Matt Hanan all needed. I initially was going to take the Subaru out to the trailhead. It made it to a different trailhead back in 2019, so I had some confidence that it was up to the task, but Matt offered up his actual 4×4 again, so I was happy to turn the driving over to him. We pulled off the 8 at In-Ko-Pah and backtracked to the dirt road that would take us back into the Jacumba Wilderness. The road was rough and took some care as we navigated around the rocks and ruts. We made it to the trailhead and parked. Off to the north stood the summit Jacumba. The route appeared fairly straightforward and without any major concerns other than it looked steep.

After climbing over some initial boulders, we dropped into a nice wash that took us toward the base of the mountain. Spying some cairns, or homemade markers, we began climbing the western side of Jacumba. We took a couple of short breaks to catch our breath, but also to take in the views.

Once we crested, the windmills of Ocotillo were spread out to our east. This is where this route connected with my previous route. Now it was a simple stroll over to the summit. We climbed up the summit block and took in the sweeping views. It was a fairly clear day, so we could see the Salton Sea off to the east. 

After a nice break and signing the register, we retraced our route. The descent went fairly smooth, until almost the end. We left the wash too soon and spent a bit of time scrambling over the rocks. Oh well. Once back in the car, another off-roader was nearby and inquired a bit about our adventure. We made our way back down the dirt road, which seemed a bit easier in this direction. Back on the 8, we made a bee-line to Alpine Brewery’s Outpost for some food and drink. The hike was just over 3.1 miles in 2:56 total time and an elevation gain of 1,280 feet. Nice to cross this one off the list!

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. 

4 thoughts on “Jacumba Mountain

  1. Hey Chris, another great report. Andrea and I need that one, have 8 left to go on the 100 Peak Challenge (32 on the Sierra Club SD100) and we need this one. Would the CrossTrek make it to the trailhead you think?

    1. Maybe? A lot will depend on how comfortable you are with driving off-road. There were some rough sections to get through. One option could be to hike in from where you stop being comfortable driving, or if you have mtn bikes, use those. The route for “real” hike is so much better than either of the other routes. Also, get to Mortero Palms can also have some issues.

  2. Thanks Chris, good idea, looks like the hike is fairly short from where you started. We’ll give it a shot soon I think.

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