San Diego Trail Tramps Scheduled Hikes for 2010

Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve Hike

Date:    June 20th, 2010  09:00 AM -  05:00 PM , Eve of the Summer Solstice (Don't forget the sunscreen!)
Group:    San Diego Trail Tramps
Info urls:    Volcan Mt. Preserve Foundation, The Trust for Public Land~Volcan Mt., Conservation Land Group


Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve is located near Julian, about 60 miles East of San Diego. Driving time is a little over an hour from San Diego. Hikers leaving from the Hillcrest carpool at 9:00 am, take Interstate 8 East for about 35 miles, then turn north onto CA-79 following signs thru Cuyamaca Rancho State Park towards Julian. When you arrive in downtown Julian, go north from town on Farmer Road about 2.2 miles. Turn right on Wynola Road for about 100 yards, then turn left, back onto the continuation of Farmer Road. Proceed 100 yards more, turn right and park in the area and the end of the road by the preserve sign. We'll start hiking about 10:30 am.
Parking Area: Latitude/Longitude: 33degrees 06'18.44" N, 116degrees, 35',57.65" W

Click HERE for maps.

The Hubbell Gateway (stone, wood and metal sculpture) is at the entrance to the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve. The stonework and "gate", including an open-air "kiva" for use during interpretive programs, were created by artists James Hubbell, Bill Porter, and Mirko Mrikajek along with a crew of local volunteers.


The hike is of easy to moderate difficulty with an 800' elevation gain/loss and will take about 2.5-3 hrs. roundtrip, plus a lunch break near the top. It’s topped by a distinctive 15-mile-long ridge that stretches from Lake Henshaw to the Anza Borrego desert. The hike is about 5 miles roundtrip to the 5353' Volcan Summit, which offers spectacular views from the desert to the coast.

The single trail is an old jeep road and the first 1/2 mile of trail may be strenuous for some because of the steep terrain. Hikers should dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes and bring water. There are no restrooms at the site. To protect Volcan's plant and animal habitat, dogs or horses are not allowed on the Mountain.

Rising over 5,000 feet and covering more than 25,000 acres, this majestic 15 mile ridge lies in the heart of San Diego County's backcountry, stretching from Lake Henshaw to the Anza Borrego Desert with the historic town of Julian at its feet.

The Kumeyaay occupied sites on Volcan for more than 1,500 years. Permanent and seasonal summer villages were strategically placed along Arkansas and Banner Canyons, Santa Ysabel Creek and Dan Price Creek.

Volcan Mountain has mixed evergreen forests on its highest ridges (several species of conifers, including white fir, big-cone Douglas fir, Coulter pine and incense cedar), southern oak woodlands (black oak, canyon live oak and coast live oak) found on the western slopes, and the mixed desert chaparral slopes which sweep east to Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Enjoy watching birds of prey soaring over the grassy slopes, and admire the view in the northwest of rolling hills and wooded hollows on the upper Santa Ysabel Creek drainage, as well as the townsite of Julian and the dusky Cuyamaca Mountains to the south.

For more detailed info. on the area, refer to the 3 info. urls listed above, as well as "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County" by J.Schad, 1998 Edition, Area M-6, Julian: Volcan Mountain, Trip 3, pp.168-169.



Time permitting, we will also pay a visit to 1-2 nearby wineries before leaving the area. (It's Summer Solstice time. Let's celebrate!) They're open about 11am-5 pm on weekends. (Menghini Winery, 1150 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian, CA 92036 (760) 765-2072) & (Jenkins Winery, 1255 Julian Orchards Drive, P.O. Box 2094, Julian, CA  92036, (760) 765-3267) They usually have weekend wine-tasting and art shows to enjoy. ;^) For more on wine tasting in the area, please click HERE.