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Ascent of Mount Gower on 2010-12-27

Climber: Brian Brigham

Others in Party:Lindsey
Date:Monday, December 27, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Gower
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:3103 ft / 945 m

Ascent Trip Report

My wife and I started this 4 hour hike from the terminus of Gunn Stage Road. I would recommend starting from one of the culde-sacs on Watt Rd/Ramona Oaks Rd to cut off at least one mile from this hike. Best time of year is def. the winter to avoid the heat and to increase your chances of good views.
To climb Mt. Gower take the southern trail from Gunn Stage road parking area. For the first mile it gentle climbs a peaklet (1976) to the south. Before topping out the trail descends into a valley (Swartz Canyon) before steeply climbing up to a ridge line. The trail now follows a gentle ridge line up and down several peaklets (4-5) before turning sharply south. At this point (maybe 2.5 miles in) my wife and I left the trail heading due east for perhaps 0.3 miles along giant granite slabs until intersecting a use trail that makes it way up to the false Mt. Gower. We took this trail approximately 0.3-0.4 miles, with some short but easy class 2 scrambles until we reached the summit (false Mt. Gower) most easily visible from the trail. The weather was fine and we relaxed here for some 20 minutes with great views of El Cajon, Indian Head, and many peaks of the Cuyamaca park. From here it is a rather unpleasant 40 minute bushwhack eastward to the real Mt. Gower (which I wouldn't recommend).
Overall, this is a straight-forward hike with some substantial distance off-trail that has a wilderness feel unparallel an sub-urban San Diego.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1300 ft / 396 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route:Southern Trail --> East Bushwack --> Use trail to
    Trailhead:Mount Gower Open Space Perserve Staging Area  1803 ft / 549 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 



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