I spent most of last week in San Diego for a work thing, so last weekend was quite mellow. This weekend though we decided to finally hike Dog Mountain. People have been telling us since we moved here that you need to do this hike when all the wildflowers are blooming. We finally set aside a couple weekends for options and this is the one that worked out the best.
Since dog is in the name of this hike, we of course had to bring Codi. We were not the only people with dogs either. I’d bet there were at least 30+ dogs during today’s 7 mile loop. That also meant that there was a crap load of people hiking too. We got a decent start from Rhodes HQ this morning and still had to park along SR 14 just past the main parking lot because it was PACKED with cars.
Mia had to use the facilities while Codi and I stood there and watched at least 20 people start the loop to the right (counterclockwise). It is the shorter, but also steeper option. We opted for the slightly (0.3 miles) longer trail to the left (clockwise loop) and only passed 8-9 people going up and maybe 10 going down. Compare that to us going down the trail that most people started going up and I bet we passed 100+ people coming up or down. Total nuts!
The wind was brutal today too. Out of the west for the most part and probably a constant 25-30mph with gusts much higher. A couple times I felt myself being tossed around a bit as the wind grabbed my backpack. That’s always fun! The wind was bearable, but the dust and sand being kicked up was probably the worst part. I feel like someone lightly scoured me with super fine sandpaper right now.
The first3 miles or so for us was in the woods with a couple viewpoints, but then the last mile was along a ridge and open fields with a ton of color. The yellow dominated everything today.
We ducked into the woods for a snack at the top, and to get the heck out of the wind. We didn’t dilly dally, probably spent about 15 minutes at the top before descending. Enough to take in the view, feed ourselves and Codi, and do a little people watching.
In summary, okay hike for 3 miles, beautiful hike for about a mile. Wicked crowded on the weekends, go on a week day if you can.
All the pics here
Thanks for reading,