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Afoot & Afield: San Diego County
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
© Jerry Schad/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.
Definitely a good hike. Starts off with a nice switch back section for almost a mile and then seems to get mellow for a while. Some of the uphill sections are steep, straight and long. When you get towards the end there are three trails. Go to the left for the summit of El Cajon Mt. The trail is almost non-existent. Just follow the stacks of rocks and remember the general direction should be "up". Views are great and the hike out is nearly as difficult since this trail is continuously up and down. Drink plenty of water the day before and bring plenty with you (about 3 liters).
The trek up El Cajon mountain is steep and challenging, but the views from the top are well worth it. Bring hiking poles because loose gravel makes many of the steeper sections slippery. This trail is made more tricky by the fact that not all of the up is on the way in. It is about 3000' of elevation gain on the way to the peak and about 1500' on the way back, so save some energy for the journey home.
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