52 Hike Challenge Adventure Series
6 miles | +1700'
Barely an hour's drive east of central San Diego lies San Diego County's largest and most varied mountain recreation area: the Cuyamaca Mountains. The elevation here ranges from about 3500 feet at the rural community of Descanso at the south end of the range, to a maximum of 6512 feet at Cuyamaca Peak, the second highest summit within San Diego County.
On a few days each year, when snow accumulates, it is possible to reach the summit of Cuyamaca Peak on cross-country skis. The steepest, uppermost parts of the trail, however, make for a slippery and possibly dangerous decent.
This was my first real snow hike. I had to break through a foot of snow to reach the peak. The whole hike took an additional two hours to complete and I was exhausted after postholing through it all.