Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve

It had been way too long since we went hiking. So this Saturday, four of us headed out around 9am.

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[source]

The forecast called for 93-degree heat so we knew we should bring extra water. Dan recently bought a hydration system and I picked up a pack to carry it. We’re real hikers now!

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Volcan Mountain is just a few miles outside of Julian, a mountain town known for its seasonal weather (all four seasons, and sometimes snow!) and apple pie. So just over an hour after leaving San Diego, we were at the trailhead.

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It’s about a five-mile round trip, starting up the summit trail and taking a nice alternate route called Five Oaks Trail on the way down. The ascent was steep and unrelenting. It wasn’t technically challenging in the rock-climbing kind of way, but I was not in good enough shape to power straight through — despite the trident.

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That was okay though, because I enjoyed the amazing view each time I stopped to catch my breath. There were oak groves and apple orchards and mountains reaching as far as the eye could see.

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Great bushes of white sage lined the path — the air was scented with it!

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At the summit, we had views all the way to the desert and the ocean (though it was clear inland, the marine layer kept us from seeing the water).

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There were lots of shaded parts too, though I didn’t get any good photos of them. Overall we wished it was 10 degrees cooler, but it was one of the more beautifully vegetated hikes in San Diego County.

On the way back, we ate at the Bailey Wood Pit Barbeque. Other than the enormous stuffed cow’s head mounted on the wall atop a giant circular saw blade (wish I’d gotten a photo), it wasn’t remarkable.

Can’t wait for our next hike!

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