Last Saturday my friends and I decided to explore Black Mountain, which would be something new for the three of us. In San Diego County there are two Black Mountains, a small one in Rancho Penasquitos and then a bigger one near the town of Ramona. We read up about it in Jerry Schad’s book and there’s also an article in the San Diego Reader. At first, I was a little unenthusiastic about this hike since there aren’t that many great trails in Ramona, but I was wrong. Driving through Pamo Valley on the way to the trailhead was beautiful and with the recent rains, the meadows were beginning to turn green. If we get more rain, then we should have a really spectacular spring. It was cold by San Diego standards on Saturday, with a low of 23 and a high of 54 degrees, but at least the sun was out. The trail is basically a dirt fire road up to the summit. My GPS calculated 14.44 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 3,100 ft. The views of Lake Sutherland, Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve, Toro Peak, the snow-dusted San Jacinto Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean really stood out on that clear winter day. I was glad to have hiked on a new trail for the second time in a row this year and I hope to do more of that. If you are looking for something in the Ramona area, then I recommend tackling this mountain.
Archive for January, 2013
To start out 2013 I continued my ritual of hiking on New Year’s Day (a tradition I picked up during my days with the Bloomington Hiking Club). I had no idea where we would be going, but I was always curious about the Ramona Trail and Thomas Mountain whenever we drive past it on our way to Idyllwild. This time we decided to check it out. Over the last weekend southern California got a lot of rain so I was expecting some snow. Thankfully we didn’t need yak trax or snow shoes. My gosh, the trail was breathtaking! The views of the San Jacinto Mountains were amazing and the transition from manzanita trees to pine trees was beautiful. I really enjoyed this trail. Here are a few pictures from my first hike of 2013. Thank you 2012!