Leaders: Joe Young, Stag Brown
Nine hikers met at the Sunrise Cafe near Burnt Rancheria Campground on the Sunrise Highway (San Diego County Road S1) at 6:45am for breakfast. Prices are reasonable ($3 - $5) which included country style potatoes steam-fried to Stag's satisfaction. On weekends the Cafe opens at 6:30am and closes at 9:00pm. Their bar area is under renovation, and they hope to complete work on the swimming pool this summer. This restaurant is the site of what was once a Mexican restaurant.
We drove over to the parking area 0.6 miles north of Paso Picacho Campground in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park where we met Laura Webb at 8:00am. The ten of us followed the riding and hiking trail northeasterly to Los Caballos Horse Camp to a junction with a trail leading to the summit of Stonewall. The trail passes over the saddle between Little Stonewall and Stonewall. This is a beautiful, shaded trail that provides a good alternative route to Stonewall. It joins the standard route very close to the summit. We stayed just a short time on the rocky summit and proceeded down the standard route to the base of Stonewall, then headed north along a riding and hiking trail which paralleled Highway 79, and completed the loop back at the cars at about 10:30. This hike had entailed about 5 miles and 1,000 feet of gain.
At this point Lois and Al checked out and the rest of us headed south to the parking area at the East Mesa road, the standard route for Oakzanita Peak. Here Geri and Sandy checked out to visit the museum and other places in the park, Laura and Jim proceeded up the East Mesa Road to Oakzanita via the standard route, while Stag, Nami, Mikey and I hiked the riding and hiking trail northerly along Highway 79 to the Harvey Moore Trail, starting at 11:30. We took the Harvey Moore Trail towards Granite Springs Camp but upon attaining the ridge top we headed southwesterly towards Oakzanita Pk. This was a warm day so we appreciated the occasional shady areas along the trails/roads. Passing Laura and Jim on their return from the summit, we ourselves arrived at the summit of Oakzanita at 2:00pm. We stayed on its rocky summit for a half hour. Stag spotted a rattlesnake snoozing under a rock almost directly on the summit. The four of us descended to the cars via the standard route, completing the loop at 4:00pm. The entire loop trip had involved about 10 miles and 1,100 feet of gain.
Six of us reconvened at the Rongbranch Tavern in Julian for post hike revelry. Prices are reasonable, especially for the barbeque chicken and ribs.
This had been a wonderful weekend of hiking and merriment in one of the most beautiful areas in Southern California, appropriate for the ninth annual first Sunday in June hike with Stag. We had also bagged four peaks via non standard routes.