Chollas Lake

Decided to explore Chollas Lake in the morning. The parking lot was surprisingly full as I pulled into one of the last open spots. I grabbed my gear and headed down to the edge of the lake. I followed the lakeshore for a bit until a side trail called my name. The trail was nicely shaded under the eucalyptus trees as it worked its way up and then back down toward the dam.

From there, I left the lake behind and entered a wide urban canyon. I came to a signpost highlighting various destinations both near and far. While the trail continued along the canyon floor, another trail made the short climb to the top of the mesa. From the mesa, I had a sweeping view of the canyon, as well as a nice view of downtown San Diego. The wide trail looped around the baseball field, where a team was having a practice session.

Once back on the canyon floor, I crossed the parking lot to link back up with the trail. I took the single-track option to make the gentle climb to Gloria’s Mesa, rather than the direct trail along the canyon floor. Once at Gloria’s Mesa, I explored the amphitheater and the lovely wildflowers in bloom. I headed down a flight of stairs past a wooden gazebo near the southwest corner of the lake. Turning east, I followed the wide path back toward the start. I was amazed at the number of picnic tables and pavilions that were located along the lake. This area certainly had plenty of spots to come to enjoy the scenery. When I got back to the parking lot, there were cars actively waiting to park. If this is an issue when you visit, drive down to Gloria’s Mesa, and you will probably not have any issues parking there.

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. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *