December 29, 2016
On this day I decided to check out a series of four highpoints situated along the southern shore of Lake Hodges in north San Diego county, which had recently been brought to my attention by a few others who had done every single peak in this local highpoint cluster (~22 total).
|Peak||Elevation||Topographic Prominence||Summit Coordinates (lat/lon)|
|"Hodges Hill"||875 ft||124 ft||33.0530, -117.0982|
|"Fletcher Point"||549 ft||164 ft||33.0660, -117.1134|
|"Shoulder Peak"||974 ft||260 ft||33.0573, -117.1079|
|"Alva Hill"||905 ft||246 ft||33.0464, -117.1138|
Trailhead coordinates (lat/lon): 33.0398, -117.0872
My hike/jog started in a residential area in Rancho Bernardo where a neighborhood trail split north from Poblado Rd through a finger canyon paralleling nearby Smokesignal Drive northward. I followed this trail for half a mile before leaving it and beelining west into a locally prominent canyon south of Hodges Hill.
A moderately defined dirt road headed west through the canyon, eventually intersecting a well defined dirt road (if you get there, you've gone too far) which lead to a lone house further north. After about 10 minutes of walking through this canyon, I realized I had overshot the location where I was supposed to head cross country north towards Hodges Hill. This mistake was easily corrected as I aimed northeast for it.
From Hodges Hill, I dropped down one of several ridges a few hundred feet of elevation north, picking up a single track use-trail along the southern shore of Lake Hodges. 1.6 miles of fun jogging west along the trail brought me to the summit of Fletcher Point, a small hill situated atop a peninsula overlooking the lake. This was perhaps one of the more interesting features in this area.
fantastic views from Fletcher Point
Next up was Shoulder Peak, the highest peak of the day towering at a whole 974 ft of elevation. From Fletcher Point it appears prominently to the southeast, and getting to it was as straightforward as following the connecting ridge. As the ridge grew slightly more brushy near the top, I made sure to stay closer to its west side.
To the southwest I could see Alva Hill, my last destination of the day. I descended directly south from Shoulder Peak, intersecting the well defined dirt road leading up to the lone house mentioned earlier in this report (which was now clearly visible to the east). After following the road for half a mile, I beelined west to the summit of Alva in no time. I was hoping to catch the sunset from Alva, but the sun had already dipped behind a layer of thick altostratus clouds. Oh well.
(shoulder "peak" mistakenly labeled as "hill")
I descended east of Alva, crossed the well defined dirt road, and continued east on another dirt road until it intersected the canyon I had used earlier to get to Hodges Hill. From there I retraced my steps back to the residential area, arriving not long after sunset.
2,390 ft gain/loss