After climbing Bishop Peak in the morning, I drove over to Montaña de Oro and set up camp at the Islay Campground. The general plan for the afternoon was to relax at the campsite for a while, then head over to the trailhead to hike up Hazard Peak. I hoped that the marine layer would stay away long enough so I could enjoy the view of Morro Bay directly to the north of the peak. As I woke up from a short nap, I could see that the clouds were starting to roll in, so I gathered my gear and made the short drive to the trailhead. The route I wanted to take starts next to Camp KEEP (Kern Environmental Education Program) which is a residential outdoor science program. The camp was quiet, I am guessing due to it being Labor Day. I did not see any signs prohibiting me from hiking along the service road to the camp, so I continued on. I reached the Heidra Trail and left the service road behind. The trail was a bit sandy until it reached the junction with the Hazard Peak Trail. There another surprise greeted me, a lovely swing hanging from an eucalyptus tree. I snapped a few photos for my friend Amber who is obsessed with hidden swings, then continued on.
I got a few views of Morro Bay and its famous rock before the cloud cover obscured the view. The trail was pleasant and I cruised along toward the summit. I reached the junction with the Canyon View trail. If I had wanted to come directly from the campground, this is the trail I would have used, but it is a bit longer. From this intersection, the summit was just about a mile away.
As I looked up toward it, I wondered if I would be fully in the clouds or not. I soon drew near and spotted the two benches and picnic table that reside at the summit. I was not in the clouds but had no view to speak of. I took a short break, snapped my photos, and headed down. Some mountain bikers had joined me, and I let them pass before starting my descent. A couple of trail runners raced upwards as I made my way back. Soon, I was back down, and as I neared my car, I spotted several deer nearby. That was a nice surprise. I snapped a few photos, then made the short drive back to my campsite. I finished getting ready for the evening, made some dinner, enjoyed a fire, and went to sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a big day with an attempt at Alan Peak, over 11 miles of hiking, and the largest elevation gain to date for my foot. Hazard Peak was 5.25 miles round-trip and a mere 970 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.