|Peak Summited||2021 Santiago Peak|
|Type of Hike||Day hike|
|Hiking Companions||Hiked with a partner|
|Road Conditions||Road recommended for high clearance only|
|Bug Status||No bugs|
|Snow Conditions||Snow free|
|Trail Conditions||Minor obstacles posing few problems|
I picked Santiago Peak as one of my six right from the start HOWEVER, all the reviews talked about it being an extremely long hike. I'm in decent condition and hike a lot, but I wasn't sure I could hang with an 18 miler. I had been seeing various posts about starting at Maple Springs and some long dirt road. After reading many reviews and studying Google Earth, we decided to just go for it! Find the dirt road, drive up to Maple Springs, hike 10 miles and bag our 4th peak…..well….not without a little adventure before the main adventure. I've been off-roading but never the driver and NEVER in my own truck. That dirt road is no joke. Very long, a lot of blind curves and narrow for the most part. Passing vehicles coming in the opposite direction left a view scratches on my paint from over hanging trees and shrubs….that's the big pisser of this hike. Left with some scratches on my truck.
The hike from Maple Springs is just simply a truck trail. The higher you get, the most rocky the road is….lots of rocks. We were above the clouds the entire time. It really was a beautiful day. We only ran into one other set of hikers. The rest of the time, it was vehicles and dirt bikes going to the peak. Once to the peak, it was a tad underwhelming with all the radio towers and no clear 360 degree view, but we got over that. We searched for the “Santiago Peak” sign but couldn't find it anywhere….if it's even still there. We took a different path on the way down. It shaved about a mile off the hike and the scenery was better with more shade. That little trail didn't last long….maybe less than a mile. All in all, I am SO GLAD that we were able to complete this one. I had just about given up on doing it because I couldn't figure out that damn dirt road to drive up!