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.
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.
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.
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...