Ascent of Lightning Ridge High Point on 2020-05-27
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Wednesday, May 27, 2020|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
|Peak:||Lightning Ridge High Point|
| Elevation:||5800 ft / 1767 m|
Ascent Trip ReportThis should be called Lightning Ridge, as that's how it is referenced in other sources. Also, nothing on the map identifies it. It is simply Chula Vista Reservoir. More about that later.
Trailhead is at Junction 5637 near the Horse Heaven Campground. I chose to hike up the road to the Laguna/El Prado Campground and wind my way from there. Laguna/El Prado was closed and some construction workers told me I was in the wrong place. I found an ancient trail that took me to the top of the ridge. At the top are some interesting features (1) a kind of brick cistern-looking structure, (2) a water tank or, perhaps, reservoir with a distinct turtle-back design (3) a solar panel, (4) another rockpile that might have marked the true peak, and (5) some kind of rustic shelter that looks like a dug-out pit, surrounded with rocks, and a primitive covering of branches.
Trail down is gravel road that leads directly back to Junction 5637. From there, I followed a well-used trail up to Foster Point. Foster point has a kind of monument on top with a direction finder pointing to the principal peaks in the area. View from Foster Point is spectacular as you can see everything from the desert floor to Cuyamaca Peak. The Pacific Crest Trail passes by and there is a directional sign to Foster Point, which is off the main trail. Pay attention when going down because it is easy to miss the turnoff back to 5637.
Technically, this is one hike with two peaks, but both hikes begin and end at Horse Heaven. Separate entries are made for both peaks.
Take an extra minute to visit the lookout which is just down the road. You will have a spectacular view of the desert floor and Garnet Peak.
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