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Calif. Riding & Hiking Trail Exploratory Hike

This is an exploratory hike on part of the California Riding & Hiking Trail (CR&HT) in the Descanso area that I've never hiked before. I'm not sure what to expect.

We'll start at the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park trailhead on Viejas Blvd. about 1.1 miles west of Highway 79, next to Mizpah Lane (N[masked] W[masked]).

We'll hike north on Merigan Fire Road and Dead Horse Trail (which I have hiked, although not recently) to the junction with the CR&HT.

From there, we'll head west on the CR&HT. According to my old topo, the CR&HT runs about 1.5 miles to the northern reaches of Descanso. The trail is also visible on Google Earth, so it is probably still in use.

I will pause from time to time to take latitude and longitude readings and shoot a few pictures.

If the trail is impassible, we may have to turn around. If we reach Descanso, we will return on the streets.

The total distance should be about six or seven miles, with the last two miles on roads.

I've posted a marked-up topo at

We'll start at 9:00 AM. Please arrive a few minutes early to put on your hiking shoes.

There will be one stream crossing, so a hiking pole may be helpful.

SUGGESTED ROUTE FROM SAN DIEGO: Take Interstate 8 east about 35 miles to the exit for Highway 79, Julian, Japatul Rd. Go north on Highway 79 about 3 miles to a place where Highway 79 turns left. Turn left; then turn left again onto Viejas Blvd. and go about 1.1 miles west to a small parking area on the north (right) side of the road.














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  • Philip E.

    I got stuck in a traffic jam and arrived about 10 minutes late, instead of 15 minutes early as I intended. We couldn't find
    the California Riding & Hiking Trail outside the park, but we took
    an alternate route back. It turned out to be a non-exploratory
    hike. I've posted a description on my mapping blog at

    November 3, 2012

  • Isabel

    It was an amazing walk, which I got to see all source of different thing; waterfall and a the remaining of a dead animal and a beautiful view.

    November 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Would really like to do this, but need a ride! Can anyone help me out? Give me a call at (619) 795-1050. I live in Normal Hts. just off of Adams Ave. Thanks!

    October 31, 2012

  • Scott A. B.

    if im not working i would like to carpool, ill know friday

    October 29, 2012

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