The Mesa
Dehesa BM P300
Peak 1,783ft P300
Peak 1,958ft P500
Peak 1,833ft P300

Wed, May 18, 2022
Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX

Continued...

Today I headed to Dehesa Valley area south of Interstate 8 for a small collection of peaks. Unusually, there was no bushwhacking required today as all the summits have trails or old roads leading to the top.

The Mesa

Located south of Dehesa Valley and the Sweetwater River, the summit is part of a wildlife conservation area. Parking is a bit limited, but the area sees little public use. A woman was picking up trash along the roadway when I arrived. Her dog decided to follow me up to the summit, despite my (modest) pleas for him to return. I appologized upon my return to the waiting woman, but she took it in stride with a smile and said he likes men. Doggo and I followed an old ranch road up to the top, taking a cross-country short-cut on the final stretch to save an extra quarter mile or so. Doggo seemed quite used to this sort of thing. He would run out ahead of me to explore or get stopped by a wall of brush. His vantage point low to the ground didn't allow him to pick the best ways through the brush, but he would figure it out and was generally ahead of me most of the way - lots of energy in this one. It took only 30min to reach the summit and slightly less on the way back. Fog was starting to lift, but not enough for decent summit views.

Dehesa BM - Peak 1,783ft

It's not clear (to me) who owns the land around these two summit, located a few miles north of The Mesa. A white fence has been erected along South Lane that was not there when Google Streetview was last done. There is a locked gate with an adjacent pedestrian access portal, though a steel chain is slung across it (not really stopping one from stepping over it). Only signage suggests permission to use is revokable. I parked at South Lake County Park nearby, but could have just parked next to the gate. I followed a road/trail to a use trail that goes up to Dehesa BM, the higher of the two, in about 20min. Graffiti at the lower north end of the summit ridge has been painted over with poorly chosen colors. More graffiti has been left since. The highpoint at the southern end is unremarkable, just a small boulder in the brush. I found one of the reference marks, but was unable to locate the benchmark. After my failed search, I continued on the use trail down the southeast side of Dehesa BM. I regained the main trail heading south across a saddle between the two summits, then up what appears to be a very old road, now mostly reclaimed, going up the west side of Peak 1,783ft. The old road ends short of the summit, but the remaining stretch is light on bushwhacking. I spent about 35min getting between the two summits and another 30min to get back to the Jeep.

Peak 1,958ft

This summit northeast of Alpine and adjacent to I-8 lies on private property. The good news is that access is easy and it doesn't seem there is a landowner who cares anymore. A house under construction near the summit was torched either on its own, or by a wildfire sweeping over the mountain a decade ago. It appears to have been abandoned for many years now, and the road to reach it is quite overrun with brush. The entrance at the bottom of the hill was built from cinderblocks and still stands, a high chain link fence across the opening. The left side of the entrance is easily breeched while the right side is quite brushy. Complicating things, Arnold Way where I parked was currently being repaved. I told the construction boys I needed to "go check on my property" and they happily let me through on foot to do so. I spent 25min hiking the neglected road to the summit. A water tank sits on its side, the wooden supports probably having burned in the wildfire. There is a decent view of the Interstate and community of Alpine below. Sensing my day was drawing to a close and wanting a bit more adventure, I decided to take a short-cut off the summit on the east side, working through brush and down large boulders. Good fun.

Peak 1,833ft

This final summit is located a few miles west of the previous one, starting from Flinn Springs County Park. The entrance fee has been reduced to only $3 and free to seniors. I headed across Los Coches Creek and through the delightful park, then up to the pair of ballparks where the start of the main trail is found. The trail is an old ranch road that climbs up to a saddle on the east side of the summit. A steep use trail then leads up to the summit, about 35min for the ascent. Oddly, I did not find a single register on any of the peaks even though Mark Adrian had been to all of them. Returning back via the same route, I finished up back at the park by noon. It was above 75F now and too warm for my liking, so I headed back to Rancho Bernardo to relax the rest of the day...

Continued...


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