Snow Day on Santiago

Peak Summited2020 Santiago Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadMaple Springs to N Main Divide Rd
EncounteredWildflowers blooming, Fall foliage
Road ConditionsRoad recommended for high clearance only
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsIntermittent snow - not hard to cross
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

I experienced ALL the weather California has to offer today. It was cloudy with bursts of sunlight when air arrived at the bottom of the canyon. Within 30 minutes I was center of the clouds with a constant slow light rain. It really was beautiful.

I didnt want to take my car up, so I started 3 miles into the maple springs trail after the visitors center gate. This is where any pavement possible ends, and the dirt trail starts gaining elevation.

I hiked up maple springs truck trail to main divide road, it's a couple mile stretch of fire road with some great views. After main divide the storm became a bit more aggressive. Luckily I give myself a B+ for packing appropriately today, so I had the gear needed to make the weather bearable.

But the time I was over 5,000 ft, the rain drops began freezing where they dropped. Of course I now knew I would get to see snow at the summit.

Flurries started to pick up speed the last 1/2 mile from the summit. I almost turned back at the towers without finding the summit marker, the snow started to stick to the ground a visibility was minimal.

I was stoked to see so many people out enjoying the gorgeous weather despite the cold and rain. There were a decent flow of offroad vehicles, mountain bikes, and dirt bikes.  Back near main divide on the way down I met some awesome people who took me in their badass car on a fun ride back down to my car 3 miles below.  All in all it came to about 13 miles this trip and a 45 min scorching hot bath to get the chill out at home.

Epic local summit, and great way to make the hike more challenging


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