North Fortuna Mountain


On Saturday four of us tackled the north approach to Fortuna Mountain in Mission Trails Regional Park. It’s amazing that such an extensive set of trails is available only 15 minutes from home! We felt like we were way out in the desert, but could see subdivisions and the downtown skyline from the summit. We’d all hiked the popular Cowles Mountain, which is in the opposite corner of this park, but this was a totally different feel — much more natural, and far fewer people. It was hot and dry and sunny, a nice change from the June Gloom that’s been pervasive downtown the past couple weeks.


We parked on the west side at the end of Clairemont Mesa Blvd and chose a loop that took us about 6 miles around the park, through various slopes and valleys. There was a lot of elevation change so we agreed with the Afoot and Afield evaluation of “moderately strenuous.” I would definitely recommend printing and bringing the trail map, because the signage wasn’t very consistent or helpful. We stayed on track by using the giant power lines (dashed gray line) and SR-52 as landmarks.


More people joined us in the afternoon/evening for games, and we all enjoyed some veggie sweet potato chili. Hooray for Saturdays!


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