South Fortuna*

Since all the construction blocked my access from the West Fortuna Staging area last week, I decided to use the southern approach. This route crosses the San Diego River, since we hadn’t had any rainfall in some time, I knew it would be safe to cross. This is not a route to take if there is any real water flow. Sadly, this crossing can be deadly. 

Once safely across, I began the steep climb to connect with the Suycott Valley Trail and then dropped back down to link up with the South Fortuna Trail. From there I started climbing up toward the infamous “South Fortuna Stairs”. 

At the base of the stairs, I took the photos I needed for the trail guide I am writing for SoCal Hiker and headed back. I really had no desire to summit this peak again, as I had been there since the new summit marker was installed. The return to the car went quickly, and a few more folks were milling around the river as I crossed back over. 


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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