The North County Sierra Club has been running the 50 hikes for 50 years Challenge, where over the course of a year you hike a list of 50 hikes and earn some prizes along the way. I did not learn about the challenge until it was well underway, plus the peaks of Anza-Borrego tend to call my name during the winter. I was able to do 25 of them and earn a patch (I am a sucker for patched). But several folks were able to hike all 50! On Friday, I was able to join two of them, Yosina and Annie as they hiked up Clevenger Canyon North.
We were joined by some of their other friends at the trailhead and set off down past the graffitied boulders until we reached Santa Ysabel Creek. A trickle of water was still flowing as we crossed over and would now start our climb up the canyon wall.
Toward the summit, we spied some young turkey vultures hanging out just ahead of us. More were off to the east. They took flight once we passed, their massive wings carrying them away. Soon, we were at the summit and we took a break. The ladies broke out their signs and smiles and took their completion photo together.
After the short break, we headed back down the trail. This is the best part of the hike, not because you are headed back to the trailhead, but instead of just looking at the canyon wall, you are now rewarded with the vistas of the San Pasqual Valley.
After the short climb up from the creek, we were back at our cars and parted ways. I logged the hike at 5.3 miles with 1,490 feet of gain.
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.