Rancho Mission Canyon

After enjoying a nice biscuit I picked up from Rise, I grabbed gear and set off up Middle Rancho Mission Canyon. The trail was nice, with a few wildflowers here and there, and the sound of flowing water from time to time. Soon the trail made its short climb up to Cabaret Street. Two workers were there doing some trail maintenance, and we chatted a bit before I thanked them for their efforts and retraced my route. I wanted to log each route fully so I passed the junction to Lower Rancho Mission Canyon, went back to the trailhead, and reset my tracker.

I again walked for about 1/10 miles until I reached the junction for Lower Rancho Mission Canyon. The trail turned south and quickly encountered the stream that was flowing through the canyon. Thankfully the stream was not flowing too heavily so crossing it was easy, and from there, the trail climbed up a ravine. It was clear that the trail had been “upgraded “ for mountain bikers enjoying their downhill ride. Being mid-week, I doubted I would encounter anyone. The trail eased and passed some nearby houses for a bit before continuing to work its way toward Navajo Road. Some palm trees rose in the distance and from scouting this hike on Google Maps, I knew I was almost at my turn-around point. I tapped the sign at the trail’s end at Navajo Road and returned back down the canyon.

Back at the car, I checked my watch and had a little bit of time before the scheduled lift-off of the last Delta IV Heavy rocket from Florida, but would need to be mindful of the time while I hiked Upper Rancho Mission Canyon. This trailhead was next to the playground, which was just above the other trailheads. After a short climb from the playground, the trail eased up and worked its way along the side of the hills. As the countdown neared zero, I found a shady spot to watch the launch. Once the broadcast was done, I continued cruising along the trail. Soon I was greeted with a sweeping view of the Mission Trails Regional Park, just to my north. Finally, I reached the trailhead at Hemingway Drive, tapped that sign, and retraced my route back to the car.

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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