Strange enough, but even after five years in San Diego, I never hiked Secret Canyon near Pine Valley. It’s an out-and-back hike (or point-to-point if you can find the overgrown trail that leads all the way to Horsethief Canyon and put a second car there), and I don’t find this type of hike as attractive as loop hikes – unless there’s the summit of a mountain with grand views at one end. :-)
But to get into the mood for the cooler season and upcoming hikes, Toni and I finally went to check it out. It’s a lovely area with beautiful plants (I especially liked the Big Sagebrush [Artemisia tridentata], and the Manzanitas of course), but there’s plenty of sneaky Poison-oak growing right next to the trail.
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