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Santiago Peak – Bumpy Ride but the view was totally worth it!

Peak Summited2021 Santiago Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadMaple Springs
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a dog, Hiked with a group
Road ConditionsRoad recommended for high clearance only
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

First of all, you would need to have a high-clearance car to reach the trailhead marked on AllTrails. My friends had to park about 4 miles before the trailhead and they joined my car. My vehicle wasn’t an off-road type vehicle but it was a good enough SUV to make it to the trailhead. If you don’t have a high-clearance vehicle, you can also park at the original trailhead but you would need a parking pass to do so and it would mean a much longer hike to the peak. But if you have an off-road type vehicle, you could just skip the whole hike and just drive up to the peak.

My group and I started our hike around 7.30 am. I am glad that we started early because there weren’t as many cars or bikes passing by like when we were on the way down. It gets really dusty and smells really bad whenever they pass by.

In spite of the sand and smog, the view was totally worth it! All the way up, we were above the clouds and they just look so soft and fluffy. They cleared up on our way down so definitely come early or when it’s more cloudy! We reached the top around 10 am. We stayed at the peak for a while enjoying the view and ate some snacks before heading back down. There were some flowers along the trail but the view of the clouds was my favorite!

Also, I’m glad that we were early driving up to the trailhead because some of the roads are narrow, and having to share the road with big trucks/jeeps was tough. The truck/jeep drivers were really friendly though knowing that it was my first time driving off-road.

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