Bernardo Mountain, Escondido

July 18, 2011

Bernardo Mountain, Escondido

This past weekend Patti and I decided to head south to San Diego County to spend time with family, and we thought why not drive down there a little earlier and take in a hike. The Bernardo Mountain hike is a nice short fun hike. We actually thought the hike was a 5 miler, but it ended up being 7+ miles. Although it was overcast and cool, down by the beach, it was pretty hot out there in Escondido.

My sister in law Lexie (who lives in Costa Rica) was in town with her two kids Wyatt and Avery, while her husband Jeff stayed home taking care of their dogs. Lexie enjoys the outdoors as much as Patti and I so we invited her to join us on our hike. Included in our hike was our four month old puppy Tiffany, who I ended up carrying most of the way due to the heat. So we picked up Lexie at my brother’s home in Encinitas and headed out to Escondido. It’s really easy to get to the trailhead for Bernardo Mountain.

We took the 76 East to the 15, headed south a few miles to Via Rancho Parkway, went over the freeway and made a right on Sunset, and parked towards the end of that road. There are a few different trailheads there so make sure you take the one on your right that follows along the freeway. You follow the freeway for less than half mile, then go under the freeway and follow the trail around. At a mile you’ll see a pedestrian bridge, stay to trail on the right and don’t go over the bridge. You’ll head down that trail for about another mile walking through a small stream. You’ll start heading upwards which at mile two you’ll hit the trailhead for Bernardo Mountain. It’s a sign that can be easily missed so keep your eyes out. Follow that trail to the right up to the peak which will take you up the backside of the mountain. It’s only 1,150 feet above sea level, but add in the heat and it’s a calorie burner! I asked a few other family members to join us and I am happy they declined the invitation, as it turned out to be a little tougher then Patti & I thought.

Patti & Lexie really breezed up to the peak. I however had to stop a few times, I weigh more then both of them combined and I was also carrying Tiffany plus the noon heat was just killing me. Once we made it to the top though all was well. We ate a power bar, relaxed a little bit, signed the peak log then headed back down. The hike took us 3 hours and we took our time. I was hoping we would see a snake or two, but we really didn’t see any wildlife.

It was a lot easier going down then up. When we hit the stream on the way back, I took the opportunity to cool Tiffany off by dunking her in the stream. It worked! Tiff cooled off and was running all over the trail for the next mile before I had to pick her up again.

We all three had a great time. This is a hike Patti & I would recommend, but try and hit the trail early in the morning to avoid the heat.

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