Elevation Gain: 469ft
100 Peaks Challenge #27
Afoot & Afield 5th ed. Trip #60 (Rattlesnake Canyon)
It’s been a strenuous weekend but Tara & I just could not pass up a Monday holiday (Happy President’s Day!) to check off a couple more peaks. Both of these Poway peaks we had pencilled in for a weekday morning, but they are so close to each other, that knocking them off together made sense.
We hit Goat Peak first, because it was harder – only three miles, but it took us two hours. It was both more enjoyable and more difficult than expected, with some incredibly steep, rutted sections, a few dry waterfall scrambles, and a bit of bouldering at the summit. The trail starts out well-maintained in a lovely neighborhood, wending its way along Poway Creek. Soon it starts to climb up a steep dirt slope. The footing was tricky but the soil was damp, making it stickier and more stable underfoot. Eventually the trail dropped down to a saddle and we started seeing mountain bike jumps and obstacles – amazing that folks can ride their bikes back here! Some more scrambling and steep bits up a dry stream, then we finally arrived at the summit. We picked our way to the top, signed the register, and took our photos.
We hurried back down – we were supposed to meet Scott for our next hike, and we were behind schedule. Scott did not mind, though – it was our first time hiking with him in three weeks! (You might notice on our track that we missed the turnoff to the trail head. Duh.) Finally back at the cars we had a quick drive to the trail head for Tooth Rock at Rattlesnake Canyon. Our friend Casey hiked this last week and encountered a friendly landowner erecting fencing to block access to a portion of this trail that allows hikers to make this a loop hike – the very steep section that is described in Afoot & Afield as the descending portion of the loop. We were ok with that and took the longer way around for both directions – in fact, avoiding a steep slope was probably better for all three of us.
This trail was gradual all the way, following dry Rattlesnake Creek for much of the hike, with only one eroded portion where we had to cross the creek (in A&A, and in Scott’s recollection, there used to be a log bridge here which is no more). On the summit is the eponymous Tooth Rock, adorned with graffiti. Then back to our cars. It was a pleasant ending to our five-peak weekend.