Peak 1,953ft P500
Peak 1,580ft P300
Jamul Butte P300

Thu, May 19, 2022
Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profiles: 1 2 3

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I headed down to the Jamul area along SR94 (Campo Rd) for a trio of summits that had me worn out by noon. Lots of tall grass and stickers in this area. My shoes were inundated with the little hitchhikers and took some effort to clean out later. Much of the land in this region is protected, but it's a patchwork of agencies and not all are open to the public. Signage can be ambiguous or non-existent.

Peak 1,953ft

This is one of two summits in the Jamul Mountains south of Jamul. A road on the south side off Otay Lakes Rd goes to the summit in two miles. The road starts across the road from Skydive San Diego. The dirt road it gated but unsigned. I went over the gate and followed the road up to a Border Patrol monitoring station about 1/4 of the way up the mountain. It appears to be fairly new, high-tech, and expensive-looking. They must do well in budget negotiations. The road gets steeper and more rutted above this and does not appear to be used by vehicles any longer. I made a short detour to visit the PB-only Pt. 1,665ft on the way. By this time I had breeched the fog layer, leaving no views, just a white-gray haze in all directions. It took a little over an hour to reach the summit of Peak 1,953ft where I found a Mark Adrian register from 2018 - seems he did a lot of these unnamed summits in San Diego County that year. I was back down to the Jeep about ten minutes shy of the two hour mark.

Peak 1,580ft

This minor summit is found within the Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area managed by the CADFW. Hunting is allowed and one is supposed to have permission before entering. I parked off Honey Springs Rd and followed a GPX track provided by Michael Sullivan on PB. The route drops a short distance to an old and forgotten paved road that is washed out in places and overgrown, but still useable for foot traffic. Poison oak can be found along the road, but thankfully not higher on the mountain. I followed the old road for perhaps a quarter mile before crossing the dry creekbed and starting up the opposite slope characterized by tall grasses, some at head level. I used my trekking poles to part the grass ahead of me, wondering how many snakes my be lurking unseen underfoot. It took me 30min to reach the summit, the fog having cleared by this time, but views still hazy. Otay Mountain dominates the view to the southwest. Another of Mark's registers from 2018 was found in the usual glass jar. I returned the same way.

Jamul Butte

This summit is also located within the Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area, about 4mi northwest of Peak 1,580ft. It is prominent on the northeast side of SR94. I parked on Rancho Jamul Dr and used another Michael Sullivan GPX track. The hike is the easiest of the three I did today, but was the grassiest. Most of the mile-long distance to the summit is on flat pasturelands loaded with tall grasses and thistles. Every pore in my boots was stuffed with the pointy seed pods. The somewhat brushy climb of the butte itself felt like a relief from the unrelenting grasses. I took almost 40min to reach the summit where I took a short break for views. Mark had left a register here the same day in 2018 he had climbed the previous summit. The other handful of names in the register I didn't recognize. I finished up back at the Jeep at 11:40a and decided to call it a day even though I had other peaks planned. That was enough cross-country through grass for one day...

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