El Cajon Mtn Never Disappoints

Peak Summited2022 El Cajon Mountain
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadEl Capitan Open Space Preserve
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a group
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

This was not our first hike of El Cajon Mountain so we knew what to expect…for first-timers please read below. We started the hike at 6:10 am in an attempt to beat the heat and finished at 11:45. At 9:30 it was HOT. At 10:00 it was AFRICA HOT – but again we knew what we were getting into. The day was sunny and clear and there were bees and butterflies at the summit. Other than the heat it was a relatively uneventful day other than assisting a newbie who only had 1 bottle of water and was dressed in all cotton and no hat. He started an hour earlier than us, smart, but still paid the price at the end. We were happy to help.

El Cajon Mountain if you've never been…

It is a relentless series of inclines and declines of steep to very steep terrain – in BOTH! directions. Most of the trail is mild but there are a number of loose and rocky sections with a teeny bit of scrambling to reach the summit. In the warmer months an early start is a must to beat the heat that can easily get to triple digit temps. I would recommend at least 3 liters of water and though I see that there are now coolers on the hike it would be wise not to have to rely on them. There's very little shade. In short, this hike is an ass-kicker, be prepared…


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