Tag Archives: San Diego County Hiking

Fortuna Mountain Trail

MISSION TRAILS REGIONAL PARK

Activity: Day Hike, Peak Bagging

6.3 Miles, elevation change 1,364’, duration 3.5 hours, rated Moderate

I was invited by my new trail friend Ahmed to join him and some of his buddies for a reunion hike in Mission Trails Regional Park. Ahmed and I hiked together recently with 3 other backpackers to Bear Camp in the Angeles National Forest. It turns out the buddies were all friends from the Big Apple, NYC, and were now spread out all over the country.

I immediately wanted to head up to the two peaks being North and South Fortuna Mountain. Ahmed wasn’t sure his friends were up for that, but Karl, James and Matt “Ox”, surprised him and said they wanted to see the views from the top. The views from the top were sensational yielding not only a bird’s eye view of the park’s surrounding landscape but Mexico to the South, Downtown San Diego, Point Loma, as well as peaks and mountains all around. The park wasn’t too far from Mira Mar and we saw a couple ‘Top Gun’ Pilots strutting their stuff.

While the hike did indeed feel pretty Moderate in most cases there were a few places, one that had a little bit of scrambling, and another nick named “Stair Way to Heaven” that were probably pushing that envelope. I will note that park signs along the way called the hike “Difficult”. So it may just depend on what sort of shape you are in and like beauty it is in the eye of the beholder. Also my personal tracker said that the trail, Fortuna Mountain Trail was closer to 8 miles.

This was my first time to Mission Trails Regional Park and I have to say that I was impressed. This is a great area to get out into and experience some of the wonders of nature. From easy broad dirt paths to steep rocky trails, from peaks with fantastic views, to a little oak tree grove in the bottom of the canyon- there is some nice variety to enjoy. It appears that you can really mix and match the trails to fit your needs as far as how difficult, and how long you want to hike.

Ahmed, Karl, James, Matt “Ox”, and Roger enjoy Mission Trails Regional Park.
“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.” – Isaak Walton

Thanks for joining Ahmed, Karl, James, Matt and I as we found ourselves ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’ on the top of North and South Fortuna Mountain in Mission Trails Regional Park. What a great outdoor gym, place of worship, hospital, and sanctuary all wrapped up in one. In other words a place to find balance from the crazy world below and outside those gates filled with schedules, deadlines, meetings, alarms going off, traffic and just responsibilities. When you are ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ it is like a hall pass to fresh air, sights, smells, and a chance to breath… breath in nature… breath out stress. There is always more to come so be sure to COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW. Go to the menu for lots of places across the West to breath in nature… breath out stress… Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. You will want to look good and feel good when you are renewing and resetting so checkout the SHOP APPAREL online store for all your adventure wear needs proudly displaying the mantra and logo: ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’! Shout it from the mountain tops!

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Lake Calavera Loop Trail

CARLSBAD HIGHLANDS ECOLOGICAL PRESERVE

Activity: Day Hike

Distance 4.8 miles, 650’ elevation change, duration 2+ hours, rated Moderate

Feb. 26, 2020

Not every hike can be an epic hike, nor should it be. There needs to be local hikes close to your home, and hikes where you are training and building up towards that epic hike, or just maybe you are only interested in nice little local hike, and have no desire to traverse a treacherous trail barely etched into the side of a mountain, nor plant a flag thus conquering a massive peak.

Lake Calavera Loop Trail is a nice hike for Carlsbad locals. When you stand on top of the Cerro de la Calavera you see that you are surrounded by houses in every direction. The saving grace is down below this area you are left with another impression. You still realize you are in an urban setting, but from the get go you drop down into a bit of a canyon, and because there is a good amount of vegetation you lose that urban feel and it’s more like you are going for a walk in the country.

The Preserve has trails going all over the place, so you can really mix and match your hike to what you would like to do, and how long you want to hike. If you want to hike to the top of Cerro de la Calavera- so be it, or you may want to go over to the little pond like Lake Calavera. You can hike more in the open or more in the bush. So lots of flavors to choose from.

I wouldn’t travel to hike this spot, but if you are in the area it could make for a pleasant afternoon, and it sure beats walking around the neighborhood.

“We live in a fast-paced society. Walking slows us down.” – Robert Sweetgall

This was a nice afternoon in the Carlsbad area ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’, stay tuned to San Diego Hiking or perhaps checkout the menu above. PBTA goes adventuring all over the West. Each location is a separate site and thus needs to be FOLLOWED separately. Speaking of which… please COMMENT, FOLLOW, SHARE and LIKE. Like my hat? You can buy it at SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Santa Margarita Preserve Trail

Fallbrook, California

Activity: Day Hike

Date: June 12, 2019

Distance: 1.2 miles, 40 feet elevation change, less than one hour duration, rated Easy.

What stood out to me on this quick little jaunt was how lush this area was with foliage. I am sure the river keeps everything well irrigated.

This hike is green and lush, at least in early summer. The trail is good, a lot of it sand. It is short enough to be fun and interesting for kids. The end of the trail, at least as it is marked on this map, is the river and it is very nice. A great place to take off your shoes and enjoy the cool water.

It does appear that if you cross the stream there is a trail that continues on the other side beyond what is marked on the map. If you look ever so closely at the picture you will see a cowboy on horse back just entering the picture below. After speaking with him I turned back on his recommendation of an adventure more suited for what I was looking for. He let me know the trail we were on was better for horses and that more serious hikers choose the Santa Margarita River Trail, which is at another location nearby.

Santa Margarita Preserve Trail map

Welcome to the Preserve.

A very lush area along the Santa Margarita Preserve Trail. This looks like a portal into another dimension, and it is if you think about it as we get in touch with nature, and perhaps ourselves while we are at it.

Good information regarding what to do in case of a rattle snake encounter.

Blooms along the trail.

There is always a chance of a bad encounter with nature, but highly unlikely.

Cactus in the Santa Margarita Preserve

Santa Margarita River, I would call this a stream but no one asked me when they named it.

There were no logs, branches, or rocks to help me ford the stream, so off came the boots.

I had just cross the stream barefoot, as I didn’t want to get my hiking boots wet, when a cowboy on horseback moseyed across the stream. He was kind enough to inform me of a hike that I would enjoy even more, the Santa Margarita River Trail, and that it wasn’t far from this location.

Thanks for Pursuing Balance Through Adventure with me in San Diego County. Please COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, and SHARE.

– Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Double Peak Trail

Double Peak Trail via Discovery Lake

San Marcos, CA

Activity: Day Hike

Date: June 9, 2019

Distance: 4 miles (Added Cima Dr. Trail 1.5 miles making it closer to 6 miles), elevation change over 1000’, duration 2.5 hours, rated Moderate

This hike had good mileage and elevation change. Double Peak has great views of the entire area, 360-degree sights from the top such as San Maros Peak, Lake San Marcos, San Bernadino Mountains, Mount San Jacinto, Palomar Mountains, Mount Whitney, Volcan Mountains (Julian), and there was some haze from marine layer so it wasn’t clear, but Catalina Island, San Clemente Island, Coronado Islands, and Tijuana.

This loop hike did a good job of feeling the nature aspect, but I have to say there was more urban to this hike then I like.

The hike starts out with a nature feel, but it goes through a couple nice neighborhoods, and when you get to the top you see that you could have driven there as well, and there is urban sprawl in every direction. However, it is a great hike for that area and perhaps to train for other hikes.

Near the end I wanted to add more mileage so I opted to take Cima Drive Trail that had a nature feel, but basically skirted some nice neighborhoods.

Views of mountains, and hillsides covered with chaparral.

Map of hike, back near the end I added the Cima Drive Trail which was another Loop.

The trailhead started out next to Discovery Lake.

Double Peak Trail

The different type of trails were rather diverse. This picture shows wide open almost like a manicured fancy horse trail. Other times it is dirt or rocky, and sometimes you have the option of taking a steep dusty trail with loose rocks or a roadway.

This shows some of the vegetation. The one thing that was a bit of a bummer was there were some annoying flies. I saw some people with a branch with leaves which I discovered they were to swat at the bugs. I suppose it’s all part of nature in the early summer.

Rattlesnake country, but I didn’t see any nor did I meet anyone that had on this day.

Wildflowers

Some of the ridge line.

More wildflowers

Trail and more wildflowers.

Along the trail

Much of the hike was exposed, but there was some shade.

Just a reminder that nature could eat you.

This is stepper than it looks, but I could have taken the roadway as an option to this stretch.

Nice view of the hillsides.

I wanted more mileage so I took the Cima Dr. Trail. It added something like 1-2 miles.

This part was more like a nature walk, but still it was nice.

Thanks for joining me ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. Will you favor me with a LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and please FOLLOW me. Until my next adventure here to wishing you find some adventure of your own.