Up the hill, a little late in the day

Woodson Mountain Travel Blog

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Gate on the path up the mountain is always open now
I had to work out east of Ramona, about 50 miles inland today. It was kind of nice, the task was to look at a creek and decide if there was a chance of anything endangered living in it...

On the way back, the line of cars starting to pull away from the Mount Woodson trailhead reminded me that I hadn't climbed the mountain in a while. There's the regular trail, an 8-mile deathmarch through dusty, chaparral covered hills, up from Lake Poway, or then there's what the hiking types consider cheating, the old communication site access road up the back that climbs the quarter mile of elevation gain in about 2 miles, from 1600 feet to about 2900 feet. I prefer the cheating way, I just want to get to the top.

It was 6:30 in the evening before I got started up, so I had to sprint up pretty quick to make it for the sunset.
The Ramona Grasslands - famous for it's hawk population, and the Ramona Airport, home to the aerial firefighters of the CDF
Sprinting up's a little tough, it's super steep. I forgot how nice it was there. The mountain's pretty much a huge pile of boulders with chaparral and pines growing up between. During the day the trail can be crowded, but in the evening, after I said Hi to the last few people hurrying down, I had the mountain to myself. It's funny to see the level of equipment the urban hikers have for the two-mile hike - full packs, bandoleers of water bottles, $300 mountaineering boots, trekking poles, crisp earth-tone and neon "outdoors clothing" emblazoned with logos... : )

The sun set right as I got to the top, which was nice. I spent a little too long taking pictures, and ended up walking most of the way back down in the dark. That's okay, there was a big moon and the road is steep, but paved, so there's not much to trip over except potholes. Once it was completely dark, I remembered that Mount Woodson is sort of the mountain lion capital of the region... I did a lot of looking over my shoulder and trying to look scary as I passed by dense chaparral and under oak canopies, probably teeming with hungry lions, realizing that they eat deer, and I'm a whole lot smaller and softer than a muledeer : )

If you like hiking and are in San Diego, this is a nice short, but strenuous hike with a nice payoff - a view of most of western San Diego County on a clear day.

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Gate on the path up the mountain i…
Gate on the path up the mountain …
The Ramona Grasslands - famous for…
The Ramona Grasslands - famous fo…
Path up the hill
Path up the hill
Evidence of the dynamiting it took…
Evidence of the dynamiting it too…
Long, narrow access road to the co…
Long, narrow access road to the c…
Whew, its the first hot day of th…
Whew, it's the first hot day of t…
The shadow of the mountain is visi…
The shadow of the mountain is vis…
The upper part of the mountain is …
The upper part of the mountain is…
I like this cracked, 50-foot diame…
I like this cracked, 50-foot diam…
There is still a lot of open space…
There is still a lot of open spac…
Were these patterns eroded into th…
Were these patterns eroded into t…
Still light, but quite a ways to t…
Still light, but quite a ways to …
The moon rises above the boulders …
The moon rises above the boulders…
Like most California mountain, thi…
Like most California mountain, th…
I traded picture taking with the o…
I traded picture taking with the …
The smaller antenna farm
The smaller antenna farm
Sun begins to drop into the Pacifi…
Sun begins to drop into the Pacif…
Palomar Mountain
Palomar Mountain
I think this is Dana Point, about …
I think this is Dana Point, about…
Low, but still bright!
Low, but still bright!
Antenna arrays slipping into darkn…
Antenna arrays slipping into dark…
Big moon over the microwave relays
Big moon over the microwave relays
Shadows are getting long...
Shadows are getting long...
Lake Poway
Lake Poway
The stiff breeze was just warm eno…
The stiff breeze was just warm en…
Sun sets behind Black Mountain in …
Sun sets behind Black Mountain in…
Downtown San Diego on the left, Po…
Downtown San Diego on the left, P…
The surrounding cities start light…
The surrounding cities start ligh…
Okay, its getting a little dark..…
Okay, it's getting a little dark.…
At least there was a big moon over…
At least there was a big moon ove…
8 km (5 miles) traveled
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Woodson Mountain
photo by: cneoridium