West Mesa Loop Trail

Descanso, California

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Oak leaves fluttering in the sunlight, pine needles soughing in the breeze, gray squirrels scurrying, and pungent-sweet fragrances in the air. These dependable pre-fire experiences are now a work-in-progress. The rate and extent of post–Cedar Fire forest renewal will depend largely on the amount of future rainfall. Meanwhile, the springtime (especially April and May) wildflower bloom throughout the West Mesa area is likely to please your senses. The looping route, almost never steep, sticks to old fire roads traversing the southeast flank of Cuyamaca Peak. If snow happens to fall at low elevations (down to 3000 or 4000 feet)—an event most likely in January, the route can be ideal for early-morning cross-country skiing—for a day or so anyway.
Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)

Oak leaves fluttering in the sunlight, pine needles soughing in the breeze, gray squirrels scurrying, and pungent-sweet fragrances in the air. These dependable pre-fire experiences are now a work-in-progress. The rate and extent of post–Cedar Fire forest renewal will depend largely on the amount of future rainfall. Meanwhile, the springtime (especially April and May) wildflower bloom throughout the West Mesa area is likely to please your senses. The looping route, almost never steep, sticks to old fire roads traversing the southeast flank of Cuyamaca Peak. If snow happens to fall at low elevations (down to 3000 or 4000 feet)—an event most likely in January, the route can be ideal for early-morning cross-country skiing—for a day or so anyway.

©  Jerry Schad/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Descanso
Distance: 7.2
Elevation Gain: 1,100 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 3.5 hours
Season: September through June
Local Contacts: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Local Maps: USGS Cuyamaca Peak
Driving Directions: Directions to West Mesa Loop Trail

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May 2018