4/27/19. I bagged my alternate 6 Pack of Peaks Challenge. I hiked up to the Santiago Peak alone via Cadillac and Joplin trails. When I first saw the elevation of this Peak, I said this will be a piece of cake for me. Looks can be decieving! This Peak Challenge hike kicked my butt. This was my first time peaking this summit.
At the get-go (Mile 1 & 2 of the Cadallic Trail) , I experienced a quick uphill ascent. This year's rainy seasons didn't helped much. There were alot of erosion and drop offs. This drained me out. Miles 3 & 4 (Cadillac and Joplin Trail) were more pleasant to me. The Santiago Creek runs parallel and through the Trail. This section of the hike is shaded with trees. The Santiago Creek provided more breeze and coolness. Miles 5 & 6 (Joplin Trail) is a hardest for me. It has a steep grades, very rocky, and alot of bugs. I did an ugly spill at this point. Finally, Mile 7 and 8 are just a fire road. However, this is my Achilles' heel. I dislike it so much even though I am just 1+ miles away. This section is exposed, rocky and took forever. I recommend one should start really early and get off Santiago Peak by 12 p.m. If you get off the Peak after 2 p.m., you will encounter alot of Motorcross riders on the way back to your car. Also, bring alot of water because your are exposed to the sun most of the time and you need to be hydtated.
However challenging it was, I pull through and finished strong. And the reward at the Peak is all worth it! The views at the Santiago Peak is phenomenal. #sixpackofpeak2019 #socalhikers #sixpacksofpeaks