Brush Mountain

With Sawmill Mountain such a long drive from San Diego, I looked to do it as some kind of overnight adventure. I knew I was not ready to backpack it again, so I convinced my good friend Dave to come do it as a traditional camping trip. He has an awesome off-road trailer and a Jeep to pull it, so we would have a very comfortable stay. Initially, I reserved a spot at Campo Alto Campground, but due to some tree hazards, they canceled us. Looking around I found Marian Campground. The campground is primitive, and despite what is stated on the website, there are no pit toilets. I met Dave at his house and transferred my gear to the trailer and we set off. After a quick stop to pick up his oldest son in Santa Monica, we made it to the campground in the late afternoon. The drive up the dirt road was not a problem, and we only dropped into 4wD due to the weight of the trailer and the four of us. We pulled in and had our pick of the five spots. After setting up, I went off to bag my first peak. Just to the west of the campground stands Brush Mountain, #115 on the Sierra Club Hundred Peaks Section list. I followed the steep road toward the summit, enjoying the views. Once I reached it, according to my GPS, I looked around for a register but came up empty.

I decided to continue along the road to Brush Mountain-North Peak, as I thought I read the register was there. Again no luck, but still had rewarding views. I retraced my route and was greeted by the rest of my campmates busily finishing up making dinner. Grilled chicken, veggies, and rice. A nice step up from a Mountain House Meal! We enjoyed a nice fire for a while, then around “hiker midnight” we turned in. Tomorrow we were driving over to near the campground we initially wanted to stay at and hike Sawmill Peak from the West Tumamait trailhead. I have never hiked this section so it was going to be an adventure!

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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