Hiking Sloan Canyon

On Saturday, before it rained all day Sunday, I tortured my hiking companion with two miles straight down into a canyon and then two miles straight back up.

OK, not really. It just seemed that way. I obviously shouldn’t be allowed to lead hikes. Or pick them. Or ignore the part in the article here from the San Diego Reader that talks about two miles down.

This is part of the California Riding & Hiking Trail. We parked in a turnout at the bottom of a hill on Japatul Valley Road and hiked up past some houses, until we saw this sign on the left…

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The views were far-reaching, which made it worth it. A warmer day, though, and it would have been an issue…

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There’s not much shade and it’s not an easy trail.

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A rainy day would be near impossible…it’s probably mostly mud right now.

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But deep down there is the Sloan River Valley…

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Above is to the east…below is a view of Mt. Sycuan.

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This is to the west…

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There are large slabs of granite throughout the hike…

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But it isn’t until you get way down in the valley that you realize you will eventually have to come back up.

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More granite…no water.

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This rusted-out jalopy shows off a road off to some rural homes…

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It’s been there a while, but someone planted daffodils amongst the rusty bits…

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Nice old car…

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It had character…

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The hot dry trail, still heading down. At one point, an old jeep passed by and the old guy in the old jeep said that if Junior and Morton came by, they were good dogs; they wouldn’t hurt us.

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We never saw the dogs, but you can see some winter tree foliage down in the valley…

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And there it is. The river valley itself…

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With no water to be seen.

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There might be water today; it rained all day yesterday. But on Saturday, it still looked like this. At the bottom of the valley. Where we now had to climb back out.

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This is 4 miles round trip, and though we thought Jerry Schad must have been running to do it in 2 hours, we also were able to complete it that quickly. The trip back up, while not easy, was not as bad as we thought it would be. So there’s that. Take water; go when it’s cool. There was no one else out there but the guy in the jeep (and the two invisible dogs), so that was a plus. Oh yeah, and a bunch of ravens playing games in the warm air shafts…

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