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    Andrew Tucker reviewed Maidenhair Falls via Hellhole Canyon Trail

    21 days ago

    Nice variation in terrain from start to finish. Gradual uphill incline that gets progressively more interesting as you get closer and closer to the falls. Definitely easy to moderate in cool to warm conditions. It was 79° and breezy on the day we did it. I could see this being a difficult trek on a 100+° day, pack your water and dress accordingly. Some good traction boots and a sense of navigation helps on this one, as you negotiate your way through the various palm groves. Trailhead is easily accessed, no dirt or gravel roads to deal with. Highly recommend if you’re in the area and looking for something scenic, lengthy, not super difficult, and memorable.

    Andrew Tucker reviewed Morena Butte Trail and Pacific Crest Trail Loop

    about 1 month ago

    Attempted the loop clockwise, starting down the PCT and then up to the summit. Lots of cairns to help navigate, mostly definitive trail up to the top. Totally epic summit, like walking across a massive rock floor. We trekked north and tried to join the trail that goes down the north side of the mountain down to the lake, but got super lost in a very brushy area. We bushwhacked around and referenced the GPS, but just couldn’t manage to piece it together. We ended up backpedaling and went back to the trailhead the same way we came up. I plan to go back and try to do the loop counterclockwise from the lake road. Highly recommend this hike, very long and grueling journey, but the peak is worth it.

    Andrew Tucker completed Garnet Peak via PCT

    about 1 month ago

    Andrew Tucker reviewed Sand Trap Canyon & Mottram Falls

    about 1 month ago

    Did this one as a loop. Hiked the Ho Chi Minh trail from the gliderport down to the beach, walked north on the beach to this trail, down the narrow canyon to Mottram Falls, and then back up to the gliderport via a steep climbing trail that passes directly above the waterfall. Very cool & rugged sandstone canyons, caves, lagoons, and waterfalls. Precarious in many spots, watch your footing. Highly recommend!

    Andrew Tucker reviewed Lawson Peak Trail

    2 months ago

    Been wanting to do this one for awhile now, finally got to it! Reviews below are very accurate: the washed out dirt road is a monotonous pain in the ass, albeit a good workout, all the way to the base of the summit. It does indeed get fun, scenic, and challenging as you make your way from the road junction up to the summit. The boulder climbs are rad, the summit is really cool and rewarding. The climb up to/down from the cave that leads to the summit is super sketchy. It actually kind of scared the shit out of me! Definitely be skilled in climbing and go with a friend. A slip and tumble in that particular spot could be catastrophic. I think there's an alternate route to the summit, I'll definitely be looking for it next time. Definitely still go do this hike though, it's a must.

    Andrew Tucker completed Lawson Peak Trail

    2 months ago

    Andrew Tucker reviewed Corte Madera Mountain Trail

    7 months ago

    This is hands down one of the most spectacular backcountry hikes in SD county. It's been on my to do list for a while and I finally got to it.

    A few things to note:

    This is a backcountry wilderness hike, it's not the potato chip rock. It's in a very remote, far flung area of the county. Drive a reliable vehicle, go with another person, bring basic survival gear, know the weather conditions before you go and prepare accordingly. Check the weather for Pine Valley or Morena Village on your phone, or call a local business and ask what the weather is like. This area can be blazing hot in the summer and below freezing in the winter, it's not San Diego!

    The trail is ambiguous in a few spots, a user posted a review further down with really good directions. Around the summit, the trail vanishes in a few spots, so stay sharp. I had a solid phone signal the entire hike and was able to reference this app when needed.

    Adventure Pass needed to park in this area, you can buy one for $5 at Pine Valley Store.

    I arrived at the trailhead on a Monday morning around 11am. The whole area was shrouded in mist and dense fog. I kind of wanted to abort the mission, but went ahead and got on with it. The emergency rain poncho I've had in my backpack for ages finally came in handy. I would've been 100% screwed without it. Visibility was about 50 yards from trailhead all the way to summit, which was a bit demoralizing and kind of eerie. In terms of difficulty, it's not bad at all. The elevation gain is very gradual throughout. If you've done Iron or Cowles, this one is nothing. It was quite cold and windy as well, and I got pretty wet even with the poncho. I dressed in layers and kept an additional dry layer in my bag which, again, saved my ass. Preparation.

    At the summit, the fog began to peel away and the clouds sailed under the peak, opening up the view of the valley below. Pretty incredible sight. By 1pm, it was almost completely clear skies and sun. On my trek back down, I got to look back and see everything I missed on the way up. Very scenic and gorgeous views of the wilderness all throughout.

    Got back to the car about 2:30pm, so about 3.5 hours in total. I'll definitely do this one again, and try to go on a crystal clear day!

    Andrew Tucker reviewed Viejas Mountain Trail

    8 months ago

    Went up this one on a cool, cloudy day. Not as hard as some claim, though I could see this being quite strenuous on a hot day. Narrow, rocky trail. Kind of boring terrain to be honest, very brushy. It doesn't feel like hiking a mountain, it feels more like walking up a really big hill. 360 degree panoramic view at the top is pretty epic though, once you reach the manmade rock fort. Blissful solitude, not a soul out here on a weekday afternoon. If I did this one again, I'd probably try the harder southern approach from the trailhead near the casino.

    Andrew Tucker completed Viejas Mountain Trail

    8 months ago

    Andrew Tucker reviewed Pyles Peak Trail

    9 months ago

    Went the long way, from Big Rock Park on the Santee side. This route brings you up the back side of the mountain, about 8 miles in total out-and-back. Definitely the way to go if you're looking for a challenge. I never much liked going up Cowles on the obvious south approach because of the pedestrian atmosphere and not challenging enough, but this route is a whole different experience. It's definitely the road less traveled, and it's enjoyably savage. After reaching Pyles summit, you head back up to Cowles summit on your way back, where you'll log in another decent bout of elevation gain. A good training exercise to prepare you for the up-down-up-down brutality of nearby El Cajon Mountain. About 3.5 hours in total, and I'd recommend 2 liters of water on a 75F degree day.

    Andrew Tucker completed Pyles Peak Trail

    9 months ago

    Andrew Tucker reviewed Indian Rock House Self-guided Nature Trail

    9 months ago

    My favorite hike in the region, definitely a must-do in the Ozarks. Plenty of shade as you make your way downhill through the forest, passing a couple magnificent waterfalls on the way. The trail runs parallel to a dry creek bed and a few smaller caves as you near the rock house. As for the rock house itself, it's a pretty stunning geological wonder. A most massive cave structure with a stream of water flowing through it. Bring a flashlight to explore some of the caverns. I climbed up through the chimney to explore the the roof of the structure... not much to see up there, it's completely forested over. As with any Arkansas hike, bring the tick spray! The hike back to the trailhead is uphill and slightly strenuous, but nothing compared to the elevation gains in mountain hiking out west.

    Andrew Tucker reviewed Sycuan Peak Trail

    9 months ago

    Not that difficult/not that noteworthy of a summit trek. If you're peak-bagging your way through SD county, its worth a go. Trailhead very easy to miss, look for the 2.5 mile marker on the road, it's like 50 feet away from that sign. Trail appears to be a defunct service road, definitely no vehicle has gone up there in years. Very deep chasms in the trail carved by runoff and erosion. At the top you'll see the ghost of an old set of power lines, which probably powered a long gone antenna. Nice views up there, nothing too magical. You'll definitely find some solitude and serenity on this trail though. Not another soul in site on a balmy Saturday afternoon.

    Andrew Tucker completed Sycuan Peak Trail

    9 months ago

    Andrew Tucker saved Mirror Lake Trail

    10 months ago

    Andrew Tucker reviewed Musch Trail to Eagle Rock

    11 months ago

    Great hike, a must do if you're in the Topanga area.