Volcan Mountain in fog (15 photos)

Hiking Volcan Mountain in fog was probably my favorite photography outing in Spring here in San Diego this year. It was late in April, and everything was so incredibly lush and green. I previously mentioned the wonderful conditions in my separate post about the Manzanitas at Volcan Mountain.

Volcan Mountain is also the highest point and easternmost location of the San Dieguito River Park. This is a system of preserves and trails along the San Dieguito River watershed. In the future, an approximately 70-mile long trail called the “Coast to Crest” trail will connect all of them, and make it possible to hike all the way from the San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar up to Volcan Mountain, near Julian. Find out more about the status of the Coast to Crest trail on the website of the San Dieguito River Park.

Both my friend Tracy and I made a lot of photos on this hike. I know that 15 images is a lot for a blog post about a single location and hike, but it was really exciting to see the place in these conditions, and I hope you can see why below.

The hike is relatively easy, about 5.5 miles out and back. The only challenge is the ascend/descend of about 1200 feet. The hike goes gently uphill from Farmers Road (just north of Julian), first on a dirt road. Soon, the “Five Oaks” trail is an alternative to this dirt road, and I highly recommend using it. This trail is a narrow single track path that feels more secluded and natural.

The Five Oaks trail merges with the dirt road for the second part of the hike, up to the high point of the preserve (which is not the highest point of the Volcan Mountain range, btw.). I’ve done this hike before in February and on clear days, one has great views both to the back country and the coast to the west, as well as the (higher regions) of the desert to the east.

You can find out more about the preserve on the website of the Volcan Mountain Foundation and on the San Diego County Parks and Recreation page for Volcan Mountain.

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