Peak 3,349ft P300
Peak 4,076ft P300

Jun 5, 2022
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profile


I headed to the Santa Ysabel area between Ramona and Julian today, tagging a couple of unnamed summits there before having to return back for family business. Temperatures were cool in the early morning today, and the fog did not penetrate as far inland as it had the previous day, leaving good summit views. I was up early per usual, starting to the first peak on foot at 6a.

Peak 3,349ft

The only beta I found on this one was that Mark Adrian had recorded an ascent on LoJ in 2021. It does not appear on PB, as yet. It lies on private property, only about 1/3mi off SR76. There is a barbed-wire fence along the highway, but I found it unsigned, at least in the vicinity of where I started on the south side of the summit. There are no roads or use trails to aid in the ascent, the going moderately brushy with poison oak to avoid. I ascended to the northwest to reach the summit ridge, then along the broad, brushier ridgeline to reach the summit in less than 25min. I found the expected register from Mark at the summit rocks, no other entries. There was considerable fog in the lower valleys to the west. The San Ysabel Valley can be seen to the northeast and east, though views east were washed out in the early morning sun. Cuyamaca Peak can be seen about 12mi to the southeast. I returned back via the same route, for a roundtrip time of about 50min.

Peak 4,076ft

This summit is found within the Santa Ysabel East Preserve on the east side of Santa Ysabel Valley and SR79. I parked at the TH just south of the Santa Ysabel Mission and Santa Ysabel Creek. I followed a route first described by John Strauch in a 2016 TR on PB. It follows the OSP trail system to an ornately signed trail junction, then forks off to the east on an old road that parallels the creek on its south side. Grass and some brush grow on the road, but a use/cow trail makes following the ill-defined roadway easy enough. After about a mile, the trail drops down to the creek, crosses it, and ascends a short distance up the north side to meet another road. A log across the creek makes for an easy crossing. There wasn't much water flowing, but it was too much to allow one to jump across. Where the other old road is reached, the cross-country begins, going up the south ridge through moderate brush. Some care is needed to avoid the heavy stuff, and there is more and more poison oak encountered as one climbs higher up the mountain. This is not a trivial affair, but not brutal, either. The uppermost part of the mountain is grassy, leaving open views from the small rock outcrop that marks the highpoint. I spent about 35min on the cross-country portion, and a total of an hour and a quarter from the TH to the summit. The highpoint sits just outside the boundary of the Santa Ysabel Indian Reservation. There are easier ways to reach the summit from the east via the reservation, but John's route all lies within the open space preserve. A group of ten Monday Maniacs left the register here in 2016. There were two other entries from 2017 and 2020. To avoid dropping back down the wrong ridgeline as others had done, I paid close attention to my GPSr on the return, following the ascent route carefully. The return went more quickly thanks to gravity, getting me back to the Jeep in an hour. It was 9:10a and time to call it a day. I headed back to Rancho Bernardo where I was due to help transport family members to the airport and train station...


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