Ascent of Otay Mountain Wilderness High Point on 2019-06-11

Climber: Jeffrey Swain

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Otay Mountain Wilderness High Point
    Elevation:3551 ft / 1082 m

Ascent Trip Report

Near the Pio Pico Resort, RV Park, and Country Store is an innocuous sign that says Coyote Canyon Cafe. Next to that sign is an unmarked gate that leads into the Otay Mountain Wilderness. The dirt road has some pavement erosion at first, but soon turns into a narrow, gravel road. This reminds me of the Highway of Death in South America. There are enough visibility and parabolic mirrors to see oncoming traffic. There is no guardrail, only the occasional marker to warn you away from the edge. Not recommended for night driving. This road will take you to Doghouse Junction, which is a good place to start your hike. Gravel roads serve several routes up the mountain, making most of the peaks and minor bumps drive-ups, especially to a 4WD vehicle.

Leaving Doghouse Junction, I approached my destination by following the gravel road clockwise around the ridge. The High Point is not immediately visible at this point. The gravel road pointed downhill and, for a minute, thought it wise to ascend the ridge on my right. I found a rock wall that would shorten the bushwhack to the top of the ridge. After a scramble, a bushwhack, and a dead end, I looked south and saw a dirt road leading off from the gravel road. I returned to the gravel road and walked to the dirt road. This would not be accessible to a family sedan. Dirt road took me to a point where I could bushwhack up a small bump. There are two bumps here. The one with the small antennas is not the High Point. The High Point is actually lower than the antennas by a stroll of 89 feet.

Being close to the border the smog was pretty thick down at sea level but views from the High Point were pretty good. I could see Cuyamaca and Cajon Mountain, but nothing on the coast.

I followed the dirt road back to the gravel. On the opposite side of the road was another dirt road, which led past two minor bumps before returning to the gravel road and Doghouse Junction. The day was hot and there was little shad, so I curtailed further exploration.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
I chased the brown dot on the map to this point just below the radio towers on Otay Mountain. Of course, I visited the top of Otay Mountain and I don't really understand why this was a separate peak and a separate hike. It certainly wasn't the high point on the ridge (2018-11-08). Photo by Jeffrey Swain.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:372 ft / 113 m
    Total Elevation Loss:370 ft / 112 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.7 mi / 4.4 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Hot and smoggy on the coast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:372 ft / 113 m
    Distance:1.4 mi / 2.2 km
    Route:Otay Mountain Truck Trail
    Start Trailhead:Dooghouse Junction  3179 ft / 968 m
    Time:1 Hours 46 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:370 ft / 112 m
    Distance:1.4 mi / 2.2 km
    Route:Otay Mountain Truck Trail
    End Trailhead:Doghouse Junction  3181 ft / 969 m
    Time:1 Hours 46 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Jeffrey Swain
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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