Little San Vicente Mountain P300
San Vicente Mountain P750
Indian Head P300
Stone Mountain P300
Spangler Peak

May 17, 2022
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profile


Today I headed northeast for some peaks around Barona Mesa and Four Corners. The area has a variety of land uses - two indian reservations, USFS, BLM, upscale neighborhoods and rural backwaters. I liked the fact that there are few fences and No Trespassing signs other than at the private residences. Seems the folks around here like their empty spaces open. Most of my routes today were following GPX tracks provided by Michael Sullivan on PB. The longest outing wasn't even two miles, but I had plenty to keep me busy during the cooler hours of the morning before things warmed up.

Little San Vicente Mtn - San Vicente Mtn

Unofficially named Little San Vicente is located on a BLM parcel, while San Vicente is within the Barona Indian Reservation. The area around Thunder Mtn Rd where I parked is sparsely populated, with about half of the parcells undeveloped or abandoned. This hike was almost entirely cross-country with brush ranging from light to moderate. I hiked up to Little San Vicente to start, from the northeast with the heaviest brush I would see on the day. Still, it wasn't too bad with a careful pace, and I only had one small section that I had to crawl through, probably avoidable. 25min saw me to the summit rocks partly buried in coastal fog. I found the first of several Mark Adrian registers from 2018. No other signatures in this one. I then dropped off the west side of the summit, with moderate brush, a bit better than the north side. I crossed a small vale into the reservation property, pausing briefly at a forgotten utility road before continuing up the East Slope to San Vicente Mtn. The going here was steeper but less brush, the slope easing for the second half. It took about 45min between summits. San Vicente had a larger summit block and another Mark Adrian register. The fog was starting to clear and let some sunshine through, but views were still weak. I went back down the East Slope before working my way to the northeast, giving the home at the end of Painted Rock Rd a wide berth. I did not hear the dogs that Michael described in his TR. About an hour and three quarters for the roundtrip.

Indian Head

Found a little over a mile north of San Vicente, this one is all cross-country too, but easier than it looks. I parked next to the Rancho El Cascajo, a rural homestead with a handful of noisy dogs that aren't much of a threat, just loud barkers. I hiked a short distance west on Painted Rock Rd before plunging north into the modest brush. I followed the ridgeline northwest, favoring the right side or along the crest for the ascent. It took about 25min to find my way to the summit. The last bit is steep, brushy and blocky, too. A fun bit of challenge that I enjoyed. I went up one line and down another just for the added fun. I left a register on this one as it seemed deserving. I thought this was the most enjoyablei summit of the day.

Stone Mountain

This is an easy hike with a trail going to the top from Watt Rd. The Stone Mtn Trail circumnavigates the base of the small mountain. There are numerous accesses to this trail, I used one of those off Watt Rd that Michael had used. There are few signs, as this is mostly used by the local community. It helps to know where to find the unsigned use trail forking off the main trail. Less than 15min got me to the summit with nice views of the surrounding communities and mountains.

Spangler Peak

This one overlooks San Vicente Valley on the north side. All the GPX tracks on PB utilize a dirt road up from the east and north, almost five miles roundtrip. I investigated this first, hoping I might be able to drive at least up to the summit ridge. Vehicles not allowed, I found. Noting that the summit is only a quarter mile north of San Vicente Rd, I decided to take the steep but short way up from the south. This worked out nicely, up grassy, overgrown slopes with some scrambling through boulders and some modest brush. It took only 25min to make it to the summit block, probably half the time it would have taken via the longer route. A register left by Larry Edmonds was found between the highest two blocks, with more entries than any of other registers today. The higher west summit is easy class 3. Only 15min for the return back to the Jeep. It wasn't yet 11:30a, but I was done for the day - all that cross-country tired me out and left me smelling of chaparral on the drive back to Rancho Bernardo...


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