Ascent of Volcan Mountain on 2017-05-19

Climber: James Barlow

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, May 19, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Volcan Mountain
    Elevation:5719 ft / 1743 m

Ascent Trip Report

After an excellent day of mountain biking at Big Laguna with Larry and Nick (we covered just under 25 miles), I found a camp spot along Pine Mtn Rd off Sunrise Hwy and settled in for a spectacular sunset over Cuyamaca Pk while I finished my dinner. I was up with the sun (and wind) and headed to Volcan Mtn for today's adventure. This may be one of the most enjoyable hikes I have done in San Diego County! I started from the Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve parking lot (open 8am-sunset) around 8:15am. Right after you start down the preserve trails, you can go to the right and go through a non-barbed wire fence to the stream and cross. From here it is straight uphill for a while passing through beautiful grass fields, oak trees, and pine trees. Eventually, you reach the highest portion of the paved road. I crossed the road at a lower switchback but was not on it for more than a few meters. I followed this road for a short distance before I cut up through open forest to more grass fields and a higher version of the same road. In spite of walking on a paved road, it was thoroughly pleasant in the pine trees with the breeze and green grass everywhere. This wet year has definitely been great for California! I followed this road all the way up to the communications junk on the sub-peak. From here, I went through a gate on to the reservation and initially followed a dirt road, but it was going the wrong way. So, I side-hilled through open forest until I encountered a dirt road by a reforestation sign. I followed this road to a saddle, but continued east so I could get a view of the mountains to the east. I doubled back to the saddle and cut straight up through alternating grass fields and open pine forest to the summit. A single fence must be passed over/through to get on to the reservation for the final short distance to the top. I looked all over for the BM, but no luck. No register either. I settled on a group of rocks with an amazing view to the west of the summit in the shade for a nice 40 min break to eat a snack and just relax in the woods breathing the fresh air. The dirt track that passes the re-forestation sign goes straight back up to the paved comm tower road. You can access this dirt track by looking for 2 utility boxes on the left side of the paved road right as you arrive at the gate to the comm tower facility. I took an alternate route down, which was much less enjoyable because it passes mostly through burned forest with no shade. I ended up on the legal section of Farmer's Rd when I saw that I could cut the final switchback to the road below. I passed right by a house that seems abandoned on the east side of the road. Future peakbaggers can get up via either of these routes, though I would recommend my ascent route over my descent route to avoid the ugly burned sections of forest. Still, Volcan Mtn was one of the best hikes I have done in SD County. No humans spotted car-to-car. Pics
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2239 ft / 682 m
    Total Elevation Loss:480 ft / 146 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2239 ft / 682 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1759 ft / 536 m; Extra: 480 ft / 146m
    Loss on way in:480 ft / 146 m
    Route:Via Oak Ridge
    Start Trailhead:3960 ft / 1207 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
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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.

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