Walkabout Wilderness Standard Hike

posted in: Subscriber | 0

Walkabout Wilderness Standard Hike
Wednesday, December 7, 2022

“Pretzel Hike”
Trout Pond, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Start time: 9 AM

Today’s hike is 11 miles with approximately 1500 feet of total elevation gain. 

The first half of the hike is mostly a gentle climb; then we descend to gentle rolling and flat terrain. There are some areas of small rubble for which poles may be helpful. This is a high elevation hike (4650 to 5675 feet) where we have often seen snow, although there will be none for this hike as of December 4.

This hike takes the shape of a weird figure of eight. We will cross the highway heading southwest on Milk Ranch Road to the park boundary where we will pick up the Middle Creek Fire Road heading north, progressing nearly to the summit of Middle Peak, previously devastated by fire, and then we will connect to the Black Oak Trail south for our descent. Throughout this part of the hike there are fabulous views west into the wilderness and excellent examples of fire recovery, including multiple species of evergreens and tiny oaks. We will then cross over Milk Ranch Road south to the Azalea Spring Fire Road and then we will turn northeast to the Azalea Glen Loop Trail which will show us some of the loveliest untouched forest in the park. We will pick up the California Hiking and Riding Trail above the Paso Picacho campground, crossing the highway and proceeding to Los Caballos Trail and Los Vaqueros Trail back to the parking area. This part of the hike gives you a fine view of Lake Cuyamaca and traverses territory where bald eagles have been seen wintering and nesting (we have seen only a nest).

Make sure that you review our information in the wilderness section of the Walkabout-int.org newsletter.  www.walkabout-int.org/wilderness-hikes/

There is no Mission Valley carpool.

New hikers must have the permission of the leaders to join.

You must be fully COVID vaccinated to come on this hike.

Pack snack, lunch & water. Forecast for Wednesday is partly cloudy and calm with a high of 49.

Directions:‚ÄčTake SR 79 North from Interstate 8.  We will meet at the Trout Pond parking area in Cuyamaca State Park. This is past the Paso Picacho campground on Route 79 just short of Lake Cuyamaca. Route 79 makes a 90 degree turn at the parking area.

Hike leaders:
Scott Opis 202-257-2833
Andy Allen 501-527-4997
Please text with any questions.

Thanks to Gail Anderson who pioneered this hike a few years ago.