Friday, January 20, 2012
El Capitan Open Space Reserve
at the El Cajon Mountain Summit, El Capitan Open Space Reserve, San Diego County
Trailhead: 13775 Blue Sky Ranch Road, Lakeside, CA 92040 (parking lot closes at 5 pm)
Mileage: 11.2 miles round trip (to El Cajon Summit )
Elevation gain/loss: 4100 ft
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous Day Hike
The El Capitan Open Space Reserve is one of the difficult day hikes in San Diego. Just a few minutes drive from the city, this trail is considered a good training ground for major day hikes such as Grand Canyon. There are three destinations in this trail at about 5.2 miles, El Cajon Summit to the left of the trail, the secondary summit to the right of the trail, and El Capitan drop off if you go straight of the trail. Our hike has so far brought us to El Cajon summit (3675 ft), so we have several reasons to go back this trail to get to the other two destinations.
Uneven trail at El Capitan Open Space Reserve
At about mile 3.8, there is a junction with burnt sign. If you take the trail to the left instead of proceeding straight, you will see a cool three mine shaft, which has a geocache in the middle shaft. This would be a good quick detour and snack.
Me and Hubby At Three Mine Shaft
At About Halfway of the Hike
Boulders at El Capitan Open Space Reserve
These boulders give me another reason to go back to El Capitan Open Space Reserve, it would be fun scrambling up some of them when legs are not so tired from hiking.
View from El Cajon Summit
The Joy of Reaching the Summit ( I was pointing to the geodetic survey's mark by the US Coast and Geodetic Survey - )
there is a $250 fine or imprisonment if this mark is disturbed
Planking at the Summit
After 5.6 miles and 4000 ft up and down climb, I needed the rest before tackling another 5.6 miles and tackle up and down climb back to the trailhead.