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. 

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  1. You have such a unique way to have a rest.

  2. My stomach tightened every time I see you stood on top of a rock! Beautiful photos as always Betchai!

  3. What a beautiful place, Betchai. I love the picture at the summit.

  4. Funny picture, you touching the summit point.


  5. I enjoyed looking at the pictures and even showed them to Jeff hoping he would be interested to go there with me. I wish !!!


  6. The scenery there is so beautiful. I love how you live so close to so many different climates.

  7. be careful not to roll down while planking, Beth! hehehe! i so love that photo of yours and Khai. ;)

  8. Finding the geocache there would be incredibly fun.

  9. hi there Liz and Angels! You two look younger and younger to me with your cheerful, child-like make me think of how beautiful life really is when one embraces the simple joys of nature...what can I left me breathless again...super love your smiles look so pretty there while pointing at the geodetic survey's mark :-)

  10. Spectacular views! Looks like you had a wonderful time. :)

  11. I am a far cry from this hike. The view from the top is so exhilarating! You have the strength and stamina to be able to conquer the top!

    Nice photos!

  12. you have a wonderful climb..thanks for sharing...

  13. What an awesome place- and only a day hike!

  14. Interesting about the mark. How would they know who did what? Just curious. I wonder if I would make it up there...

  15. Gorgeous walk...
    Best regards from France,


  16. i've never seen such beautiful boulders before!
    so difficult to choose a fave from the photos! particularly love that happy pic of you and Khai, the first photo and 3rd to the last photo. :D

  17. Amazing rock formation but the trail looks difficult nga. PS:I like your "planking" photo.

  18. seems like the hike were so much fun, no wonder why its the difficult trail because by the time you'll reach the top, you'll see amazing scenery to enjoy..i love the planking there too daredevil.

  19. Ang tibay mo! Your endurance is really something. Hindi ko kaya yan :-)

  20. Awwww you guys rock the mountain, literally!

  21. Wow! What a beautiful view of the mountain Sis :-) Those rocks are huge :-) You rocking it so well with your post :-) You both are very inspirational couple :-)

  22. Wow! Another laurel on your cap sis Betchai and the view from the top is breath-taking! Also, the sign shows 1938 and it's a very good mark to celebrate, being at the summit! You rock! No pun intended. :)

  23. It must have been very fulfilling to reach a summit after the hard climb. congratulations!