Ascent of El Cajon Mountain on 1994-10-22

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Saturday, October 22, 1994
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:El Cajon Mountain
    Elevation:3675 ft / 1120 m

Ascent Trip Report

Like most lower coastal mountains in San Diego county, El Cajon Mountain is covered in thick chaparral which makes it necessary to follow any available trails. A suitable approach is from the west through the El Capitan Open Space Preserve. To reach the starting point, take highway 67 north from El Cajon through Lakeside to Willow Road and turn right (east). Follow this for 0.85 mile and turn left onto Wildcat Canyon Road at the 4-way stop. From here continue on this winding paved road up the grade for 3.2 miles to the top of the hill and turn right into a parking lot for the preserve. The lot is open from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Hike up the dirt road heading east where in a short distance you will pass the Blue Sky Ranch. The trail then turns to the right through a gate and switchbacks steeply up a hill. From here it's a roller coaster road of 5 miles to the summit. The old mining road is well marked as it makes its way around the hills and some sections are very steep. After about 2 3/4 hours you'll come to a three-way fork at a hill top with a sign "Park Boundary, Private Property Beyond". Continue straight for about 200 ft. and then left at a cairn onto a use trail through the chaparral up to the summit. The ascent time is about 3 hrs. and the return takes about 2 1/2 hrs. Take plenty of water and avoid the summer months. Jerry Schad has more details on pages 80-82 in his book "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County". Schad says the elevation gain/loss is about 4000 ft. on this hike. 10/94 RLC
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