Hot Springs & Corral Benchmark

Since I am halfway done with the San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks, I figured I would cross another one off the list, Hot Springs Mountain. If I was going to do this peak, I had to sync up with Gina Norte and do it with her again. I met her at her house and then drove up toward the summit. The upside of being the trail manager for Los Coyotes is you have some additional access. We parked the car, grabbed our stuff, and headed toward the summit. The bugs were out and I had a few extra bits of protein along the way. I almost broke out the bug net but opted not to.

The summit was empty and we spent just a little bit of time here before heading over to the abandoned lookout tower for a bit. We surveyed possible routes for an attempt to summit Obie Benchmark, but that was for another day. As we cruised back down from the summit, the first wave of hikers began to make their way up. We chatted with some before parting ways.

Our next goal was to visit Corral Benchmark. This peak sits off the main trail. Since I was with Gina, we could climb it. The route up was pretty straightforward and we soon found ourselves at the summit. A register sat off to the side, and a tribal benchmark was affixed to a nearby rock. We had a snack and took in the views. May Grey socked in the coast. In fact, I had a little rain on my way here. Off to the west stood SquareTop, Collins, and Knob. To our southeast, Cody, and Pike. These were some stunning vistas. I was honored to be able to view them.

We grabbed our packs and rejoined the main trail. Soon we were back at Gina’s car and making the drive back down. I bid farewell and began driving back home, with a stop at Dudley’s for a well-earned sandwich.

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. 

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