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Sunday, January 24, 2016

El Cajon Mountain

El Cajon Mountain Trail
Lakeside, California
Mileage 11.1
Time - 2:06
AEG - 4,000ft

Over new years weekend I was in San Diego visiting my sister and knew I could find something interesting to explore. The view of the mountains to the East of our hotel in Mission Beach was like the cereal aisle in the grocery store...so many options it makes it hard to choose. All I know is that those peaks were calling my name.

San Diego county has a lot to offer, and I love the amount of open spaces and preserves so close to the city. Naturally, I looked for the tallest, toughest, most accessible mountain to climb. El Cajon would be perfect. Starting as a hike, it quickly turned into a trail run once I got out there. Since the trail is really more of an old jeep road I could run a good portion of the miles. Now don't get me wrong, it's washed out and a bit more rugged than I imagine it used to be, just not terribly technical. The trail was surprisingly busy, everyone seemed to be in good spirits and oddly encouraging as I passed by during the ascent.

After an hour I reached the five mile junction with the peak visible and a mere half mile scramble to get there. This was without question the best part, and seeing the summit sign is always a welcome sight. The true peak is one large boulder you can climb up to clearly establish your accomplishment. I had enough time for a few pictures and a snack before anyone else arrived. Then I was off running again. The second hour seemed to go by much quicker and before long I was back at the trailhead ready to call this one good.  


Overlooking San Diego to the West

Cuyamaca Peak from El Cajon Mountain Summit

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