19 May 2014

Hiking on Mount Woodson

May 2014

There's plenty of trails in San Diego County for hiking. Books like aFoot and aField, 50 Best Short Hikes, 60 hikes within 60 miles, to name few, cover well county's most popular trails.  (Almost) All of these trails are for day hiking, few minutes from your home.

Have visited almost all most famous ones, except one, Mount Woodson. Previous hikes on Blue Sky Reserve and Iron Mountain, both of its neighbors, have been nice places.

One can access Mount Woodson from east side, from where ascent is fairly short, and from west side starting at Lake Poway, which is longer and contains more ascent.

On a Sunday morning, exercising some artificial weight to a new backpack and trying to get more comfortable with it, headed to Lake Poway.  Sunny, not too hot, clear blue sky. Lots of water, some snacks. Simple recipe.

A few people had already arrived at the park of Lake Poway, all preparing Sunday barbecue.  Some were fishing from a shore, some had rented a tiny boat and waited fish to catch a bait.

Took a trail which circled the lake from a south side.  Quite many people were on trails early in the morning.  Took some snapshots of the lake and its neighborhood and then headed to Mount Woodson trail.

There's not too much shade on trail, neither any places to get more water, basically, you were on your own.  Although the trail from Lake Poway to the top of Mount Woods was short, about 6km in one direction, there's enough ascending to get your heart to pump more blood.  Lake Poway lied about 200m above sea level and top of the mountain was on about 850m. So, something about 600m to ascent which guaranteed sweating while keeping relative pace.

Leaving the lake behind the trail got more narrow and more steep. Strong characteristic of the mountain was large and rounded stones which covered slopes of the mountain. Sizes bigger than human looked pretty cool.

Being a Sunday morning, the trail had some heavy traffic. Even some trail runners had found their way here.

Higher you ascended, better scenery it provided to 360 degrees, plains of Ramona in east and higher mountains behind it, the sea on west, and the sun above.

Wind blew stronger on top. Huge antennas covered the peak. Masses of people took some sip of their drinks before heading back down.  Hummingbirds had busy time in bushes near (around red flowers).

Took the same trail back to Lake Power but circled the lake now counter clockwise. The lake is actually a reservoir, like most of the other lakes within the county. It meant one limitation for which kids were not fond of, i.e. no swimming on the lake.

Turkey Vultures were common view, but when one saw a couple of them circling above you, just like in the old western movies, a sight became less attractive.

The trail twisted on a foot of the dam before it started to ascend back to the park. A small spot of water seemed to be a hideaway for red dragonflies.  Two square meters of microclimate proved to be enough for them.

Back to the park on the lake. Circling the Lake Poway and going back and forth Mount Woodson was about 15km hike.  Good and short and easy one. Definitely a good place for day hiking.

Some snapshots

Trail from Lake Poway to Mount Woodson

It's only the beginning

Salomon dominated b/w trail runners


Don't push them, please

A passage

Peak of Mount Woodson


Getting courage

Lake Poway down there

Gone fishing

Plenty of room and a view

A Turtle taking swimming lessons

Red Dragonfly shy on camera

Snakes have good disguise 

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