Tag Archives: San Diego

Pyle’s Peak Trail

MISSION TRAILS REGIONAL PARK

Activity: Hiking, Peak Bagging

5.5 Miles, 1778’ elevation change, >3 hours duration, rated: Moderate

Date: April 2, 2021

It seemed everyone in San Diego is getting their workouts Friday morning by climbing Cowles Mountain.   The trail is certainly buzzing.  Maybe it is because it is Good Friday of Easter Weekend.  The trail is deliciously rocky and rugged with good incline, but way too many people for my taste.   The second portion of the hike continuing beyond Cowles Mountain to Pyle’s Peak was much more enjoyable with only a few hikers.  I guess that Cowles Mountain being the San Diego High Point is the draw.  

The park calls the hike Difficult rather than Moderate, and I will also add that my personal tracker seems to have added almost another mile and a half in contrast to the information that I had from my app.  I must admit, I took a side excursion to Cowles/Plye’s View Point and with all the cars at the trailhead it was a bit of a hike to the trailhead, which addresses some of the extra mileage.  

Purple wild flowers adorn the mountainside, add a sprinkle of yellow and red here and there and you get the feeling that Spring has definitely sprung.

Besides being such a popular hike the other issue I had is the sights are very urbanish looking down from Cowles Mountain unlike the Fortuna Mountain Trail, that I had taken a few weeks earlier in this same park.  That trail had a more natural and thus Zen like feel, but still Pyle’s Peak Trail is an excellent hike.

Going up Cowles Mountain is a very popular hike. Be forewarned that parts of the trail are quite rugged.
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Fun hike in San Diego, however if you can go mid week do it. It was pretty busy going up Cowles Mt, but it thinned out dramatically from there which is not unusual for hikes. The farther you find yourself ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ the more trail that you will have to yourself. I do want people to be able to experience the things that I experience, to have time to themselves to ponder, to unload some of that stress, and stretch the legs, clear the mind, take a deep breath and smell the sweet wildflowers… just not necessarily at the same time and place that I am, lol. It’s all good and to find more of that good then here is what you need to do: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. Go to the menu above and find a location that you want to find that good at, to get inspired, and live life. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. While you are soaking up all that good you will need a hat and a shirt with the mantra that will set you free: ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’. You can find first rate, high quality adventure wear at SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Carlsbad Beach Hike

CARLSBAD STATE BEACH

Activity: Beach Stroll, Walk, Hike or just enjoying the beach

Southern California has so many great beaches, and in particular San Diego’s Beaches are wonderful to be sure. Carlsbad is certainly in that category. Carlsbad is a combination of tourist and local beach. In some ways it is a big tourist destination, but it still has a quaint neighborhood beach feel about it.

If you want to get some exercise, enjoy the beach, and the salt air, or if you are preparing for a big hike somewhere off the beaten path then Carlsbad has a path for you, in fact several. What I mean by that is there are options for your beach hike. Up close and personal with the sand between your toes and your feet in the water is always a favorite for me, but there is a section up a little and out of the sand called the Carlsbad Seawall Trail. Then on the top of the bluff there is a section which you can walk along with the view from above. This portion is dog friendly.

If you like the beach, and who doesn’t then this is a good one with it’s flowering bluffs overlooking the blue Pacific and the many beach activities below, surfing, boogie boarding, skim boarding, volley ball, sunning, beach combing, swimming, and the like.

Thanks for accompanying me on this glorious day at the beach, getting some exercise while taking my Vitamin-Sea. Please LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW, and SHARE. If you enjoyed the beach then you might want to go to the menu above and checkout OC Beaches. I have a whole website devoted to the beaches of Orange County. While you are at the menu you might find inspiration for your next hike as PBTA ventures to many hikes and backpacking spots all over the West. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. If you want to keep the sun out of your eyes then checkout the fabulous PBTA caps and Adventure wear at SHOP APPAREL. You won’t get burned with PBTA long sleeve high performance shirts with UPF50+ protection.

Checkout the Free Drawing for Free PBTA Merch which runs through 11-15-20.  

Life’s a beach!

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

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.