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2021 Palomar High Point in the Sunshine

Peak Summited2021 High Point
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadOak Grove
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsIntermittent snow - not hard to cross
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition
Additional Informationhttps://www.instagram.com/coachdalehill/

Today I wrapped up the “San Diego Six” with a trip up Palomar High Point. I arrived at the Oak Grove Trailhead around 7:30 and was surprised to see several cars in the lot (after hiking Hot Springs on the weekend, I intentionally wanted to do this one when it was quiet…like a Tuesday morning 🤣) I really enjoy this trail, the first two miles on the Oak Grove Trail warms you up quickly picking up 1,428 feet of elevation along the single track trail. At mile 2 you pop out on the Oak Grove Truck Trail, a nice wide, graded fire road, you're still going up, but it's kinda like walking around the neighborhood. At the 3.5 mile point, after navigating around a locked gate, you pick up the High Point Truck Trail that will take you to the summit.

Once I hit about 5,000 feet of elevation, I slipped on my microspikes as I didn't feel like messing around with the patchy snow and ice on the road, it definitely helped and I wasn't preoccupied with the possibility of falling on my butt! 🤣I didn't see anyone on the trail the entire way to the summit, I paused a few places along the way to look for some survey markers, but overall I made good time reaching the top.

As I made the final turn, I heard voices up above me, and lo-and-behold I ran into a group of fellow Challengers, some I'd met on previous hikes, others who were IG friends. It was nice to visit, share stories, and actually MEET social media friends IN PERSON 😊. We chatted a while longer before they headed down then I set to locating survey marks that I'd previously been unable to find – unfortunately, I came up empty. Reference Mark 2 is in great shape but was the only one I was able to find, based on its location (and the info on the datasheets) I was able to get a good bead on where the Station Disk SHOULD have been, and from there where the remaining marks SHOULD have been but I was unsuccessful in locating them and figure they're just plain ‘gone'.

I ended up spending 2.5 hours at the summit, it really wasn't my game plan, but in addition to visiting with other challengers, I spent a while talking with the Ranger manning the Lookout Tower, he was interested in my survey mark hunting. Then, as I was fixing lunch, a young couple with their toddler daughter drove up in a Jeep, and we chatted for quite some time over lunch. Eventually, knowing that I still had a 6.5-mile descent, I geared up said my goodbyes, and headed down the hill.

It was an enjoyable day, the weather was perfect, and while all my hiking was solo – I had the opportunity to visit with a lot of great folks! WIN-WIN 😊 Now that the San Diego Six are done, I'll be turning my attention to the SoCal Nine, I'm really looking forward to getting back out on all of those peaks!

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