Bernardo Mountain (5 photos)

Bernardo Mountain is one of these local hikes that I should have done ages ago I guess – but never did. With the close vicinity of I-15, the most serene spot is the canyon of Felicita Creek, but otherwise the freeway noise is a permanent companion on this hike. Close to the populated areas of Rancho Bernardo and Escondido, it is also a very popular hike for the locals – for someone like me who seeks quiet and solitude in nature when hiking, it’s just not that appealing.

Nevertheless, one cloudy Saturday morning earlier in December Shuwen, Toni and I finally went to hike it (why else would I post this?!;-). The clouds were relatively low and partially shrouded the summit, which was a real plus – at this time of the year in early December, much of the landscape is still brown and dry from the long summer.

I might actually do this hike again and bring the “real” camera (the photos below are made with the phone) with a long lens and the tripod – the views down to Lake Hodges in Spring when everything is green may be quite nice. Worth trying, and if it doesn’t work out, then it’s a workout. ;-) Which can’t hurt either…

The Hike. The official approach from either the “Sunset” trailhead or the “Piedras Pintadas” trailhead of the San Dieguito River Park is actually surprisingly long – the total distance out and back from either of these trailheads is about 8 miles. About half of it is entirely flat – only after crossing Felicita Creek and reaching the junction to the summit, the trail actually begins to climb up.

On the 100 peaks list of the Sierra Club, this is peak number 46.

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