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Ascent of Mount Gower on 1996-03-24

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Sunday, March 24, 1996
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Gower
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:3103 ft / 945 m

Ascent Trip Report

The peak is in Cleveland National Forest. The hiking route described below starts to the west of the peak in the 1,574 acre Mt. Gower Open Space Preserve which is owned by the county of San Diego. The trails are open to the public from 8:00AM to 5:00PM daily. The trailhead is on the San Diego Thomas Bros. map on page 33Q section E2.

To reach the trailhead from San Diego take highway 67 in El Cajon north to Ramona. In the center of town turn south (right) onto San Vicente Road. This intersection is where highway 78 from Escondido joins Main St. Drive on San Vicente Road to the San Diego Country Estates where you turn left after 5.8 miles onto Gunn Stage Road Then drive 1.9 miles and the pavement ends at the start of the Preserve marked by a large sign. Continue on a good dirt road for another 0.3 miles to a parking area. UTM here is: 519470E, 3654080N. The summit is visible on a bearing of 105 degrees and is only 1.3 miles, but the trail wanders for over 3.5 miles before you are on the summit ridge. Start the hike by the kiosk with a posted map and regulations for the area. The trail is very good with marker posts every half mile. After walking about 5 minutes go right at the first junction. At about 3/4 mile go straight ahead at another sign. Then just beyond the 1.0 mile post go left at a junction and descend to Swartz Canyon. After crossing the seasonal stream the trail goes up steeply past a water tank and then turns NE following a ridge with many ups and downs. At about 1/4 mile beyond the 3.5 mile post you encounter large boulders and slabs. Continue up a steep spot on the trail and then leave the trail when you pass close to a large boulder on your right. Go up to the ridge top and then turn left (E) over slabs and on a use trail to the northern summit. The route is about 4 miles one-way with a gain of 1350 ft. The ascent takes about 3 hours and allow 2 hours to return. 3/96 RLC
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