Grasslands Loop

Decided to do an early morning hike along the Grasslands Loop Trail in Mission Trails. However, this time I opted to start from the East Fortuna Staging Area which has plenty of parking for both cars and horse trailers. This staging area has several horse pens and a dedicated larger horse corral, as the Grassland Loop Trail is horse-friendly.

I started from the trailhead on the northwest side of the parking area. This flat dirt trail meanders past a vernal pool before linking with the North Fortuna Perimeter Trail (the other option from the parking area). After a short distance, I turned south toward the Grassland Crossing Trail to join the Grassland Loop North Trail. The now golden grasslands spread out before me. Kwaay Paay stood proudly to my south, and the Fortunas rose to the west. Others were also out enjoying the trails as well. The trail now turned south, and paralleled Oak Canyon, which was to the west. While a short connector trail would take me over to it, I remained on the Grasslands Trail. Soon I came to the Old Mission Dam Overlook. While the bench was inviting, I had chores to do back home.

From there I headed northeast, passing a collection of morteros, before rejoining the Grasslands Connector trail. I considered taking this short spur over the San Diego River but opted not to. I found myself back at the North Fortuna Perimeter Trail heading back toward the parking area. A nice easy 2.5-mile loop to stretch out my legs.

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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