San Diego Trail Tramps - Scheduled Hikes for 2011

San Miguel Mountain Hike

Date:   Sunday, April 17, 2011  09:00 AM -  05:00 PM

Hike Group:    San Diego Trail Tramps

Info. URL:   Current NOAA weather forecast for the Mt. San Miguel area

Location:   About 12 miles east/southeast of San Diego, NE of the Eastlake area
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84): 32° 41' 47'' N; 116° 56' 11'' W, 32.696456, -116.936405 (Dec Deg)
505961E 3617639N Zone 11 (UTM)

Hiking time, distance, elevation gain, etc.: NOT a walk in the park, this is a "sturdy" hike... The approximate length of the up-and-back hike is 7 miles R/T, with an elevation gain of about 1765'. It will take about 3 hours to complete the R/T hike (1.5-2 hrs. up, 1 hr. back), plus time for breaks. The trail is narrow dirt and at some points very rocky. Therefore, hiking boots with good ankle support are recommended, rather than sports shoes.

Location & description: This hike follows the southern route from Proctor Valley, initially following a ridge line just east of the golf course, then up to 2,559' Mt. San Miguel. It is topped by multiple antennas and satellite dishes for communication and TV stations, and is surrounded by serious fences, topped with razor wire.

It's also a landmark for commercial jets while turning on approach to Lindberg Field in downtown San Diego. While hiking up, there are stunning views of eastern and southern peaks, from Otay & Tecate, to Cuyamaca, El Capitan, etc. The scenic payoff is at the top, with splendid views of Sweetwater Reservoir and downtown San Diego to the west, and Lower Otay Lake & Tijuana to the south.

Directions to the trailhead: The fastest route is via the 125, but it's a toll road--$2.50 in exact change. To avoid the toll, take the H Street exit off the 805. Keep going east and you will cross route 125. East H Street becomes Proctor Valley Road. Continue on Proctor Valley Road. The trailhead is on the left, midway between Ducan Ranch Road and Coastal Hills Drive. Take a left on Duncan Ranch Road. Find a place to park and don't worry about your car, as it is a residential neighborhood. Walk back to Proctor Valley road and take a left. Walk about 1/4 mile and look hard for a trail up and to your left. It can be hard to find because this initial part of the trail is covered by ground cover landscaping. This google map link shows the rest of the trail:

Directions to an alternate traihead: Carpool to the trailhead, driving east on Proctor Valley Road (the eastern extension of H Street in Chula Vista). On Coastal Hills Drive, turn left (north).  After about a half mile is an intersection with Butterfly Court to the right and Iron Gate Lane to the left.  Turn left and almost immediately there is a gate on the left side of the road. Park, and just past the gate, climb a paved section of road for about 200 feet, which becomes dirt, and about 400 feet later, it makes a 90-degree turn to the left, continuing on to an intersection guarded by an electrical transmission tower.  Turn right and follow the dirt trail all the way to the summit.

Another great place to start is Sweetwater Regional County Park located at 3218 Summit Meadow Road, Bonita, CA 91902. It's a county campground so they have great maps of all the different trails and plenty of parking. It's a great place to hike often and to try different trails. Here's the info: Hours: Camping, 24 hours/day. Day use, 9:30 a.m. to sunset. Phone Number: 619-472-7572

Dogs are allowed on this hike, but since it's in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, it's recommended that they be on a leash.