After hiking the South Clevenger Trail last year on July 6, it was time for North Clevenger yesterday afternoon. I hiked alone.
Here is the map posted at the trailhead:
Here is the actual trail I hiked:
First I might note that you can see the South Clevenger hike of July 6 on the bottom of the map (red arrow). The trailhead for the north section is off Highway 78, just a quarter-mile past the well-marked turnout by the south trailhead. There is good, safe parking for about 8 to 10 vehicles with plenty of overflow parking along the highway.
When comparing the map posted (top image) and my own trail, you can see that I didn’t go all the way. When I got to the end of my trail, I took a waypoint to make sure I’d find my way back, because the trail was lost to me at that point. It has completely fizzled out. The map shows it going on for another mile or two, but if it was there, I didn’t find it.
Going off trail was somewhat hazardous, because I noticed ticks. Sure enough, there was one crawling on my leg already. I decided to call it a hike and turn around at that point. But before I did, I took off boots and socks and examined my legs all the way up and down to make sure I had no nasty stow-aways.
As you can see from the chart, the trail starts at an elevation of about 700 feet and descends steeply into the bed of the Santa Ysabel Creek, before rising on the other side. The picture below shows a section of trail right next to the creek at about 500 feet elevation.
From there, the climb is steady and consistent, with steep switchbacks at times, up to the top of the ridge seen in the picture below.
Once I crossed over the ridge I hiked on the level for a while before the trail fizzled out at about 1880 feet elevation.
Above is a typical view of the trail. Highway 78 is visible in the far distance below. The peak just left of the center of the picture is Cuyamaca, the (almost) highest peak in San Diego County.
Massive boulders spot the hillside, waiting for that inevitable earthquake to shake them loose and give them a few frantic seconds of tumbling before another rest of millennia.
Here is a look from a little ways up, down to the parking lot from where I came. The red arrow points to my car.
The whole round trip took two hours and 45 minutes. It was sunny but not too hot, with a great cool breeze coming in from the distant ocean.