After the hard climb up Sunset Mountain yesterday, I was looking for something a bit tamer. So, I decided to continue working on the San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks list, and Volcan Benchmark seemed like the perfect fit. Plus, I might try to get in another WBC hike afterward, along with a stop at Calico Cidery as well. Susie was fine with this, and we set off together.
We had a slightly later start as we did not need to worry about temperatures for this hike. There were about 8 cars parked along Farmers Road when we arrived. We grabbed our gear and set off. This would be my 5th time up, and Susie has lost track of how many times she had been to the summit. After using the porta-potties, we began hiking up the familiar road. Once we reached the 5 Oaks side trail, we switched to it. We caught a couple of other hikers as we cruised up the shaded trail.
Once we rejoined the road, we felt the infamous wind that usually blows across this ridge. We continued chatting as we came to the old air beacon that sits on the summit. Susie snapped my photo for the challenge. Off to the southwest, a nice field of poppies beckoned to be photographed.
After snapping our photos, we headed back down, this time staying on the main road for the entire descent. We passed several folks making their way up, and one pair of hikers also descending. Once back at the car we noted that we both might have set PRs for this peak. I know I did, and Susie was pretty sure as well. Since the Santa Ysabel East trail is just a few minutes down the road, we opted to drive down and add in some more miles. For Volcan, I logged us tracking 5.2 miles in 1:59 and gaining 1,241 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.