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Lawson’s Peak Hike and Weekend Recap

After a good week of training, Saturday morning Carrie and I went to the Y to check out the gym area and get familiar with what equipment they have and the layout. We’ve used the pool a couple times already but this was our first venture in to the gym. We didn’t do anything to crazy but got a solid strength session in which ended with Carrie helping me out with my form on my deadlifts and realizing I was using too little weight when doing them (this won’t end well for my hamstrings and glutes). We had to get the gym done early because I had to put in a day of work at the store so there wasn’t a whole lot of excitement for my Saturday.

With having to work Saturday I wanted to make sure Carrie and I got to spend some time together on Sunday and get out to do something fun. We hadn’t been hiking in a while so I hit up Derek of www.100peaks.com and got some great suggestions. We decided on Lawson’s Peak and we were so happy we did. After a slight detour of missing the exit because we were busy yapping and texting with my little brother and Carrie needing to find a rest stop due to the effects of her early morning waffles and coffee, we made it to the trail head just in time to for a 7AM start.

The trail starts at the mile 13 marked of Lyon’s Valley Rd and climbs for 2 miles along a road that’s only accessible by the more serious 4×4 off-roaders out there. We’d read a few things and been warned we’d be sharing the trail with some jeeps and trucks but I was pleasantly surprised not to have a single person out there with us for the entire trip to the summit.

After 2 miles of road you come to a junction that can lead you to a couple neighboring peaks, or you cut straight across for a little over a 1/4 mile scramble that is the highlight of the trek. The remainder of the trail is single-track at best with a good deal of bushwhacking and plenty of bouldering and make it up as you go scrambling. I can’t even tell you how much fun I had during this whole stretch. Carrie, being the much more intelligent one in the relationship, tends to overthink things and was more than a little apprehensive when we started working our way up the first set of rocks. I prefer to think just enough to figure out how to make something work, but not enough to figure out what might happen if things don’t work out. I like to think we balance each other out pretty well in this regard, and so far so good. Once she got over the first few sketchy sections she started to gain her confidence and by the time we were at the summit we were both having a blast and loving the incredible vistas.

After taking a few minutes at the top to enjoy the sights and some snacks we decided to head back down. It was so much fun climbing up these rocks but it was just plain entertaining coming back down them. There were a few boulders that my long legs made easy work of and I took it for granted until I turned around to see Carrie looking at me like I was nuts for thinking she was going to do what I just did to get down. It was pretty funny as we helped each other down some of the sections laughing the entire time. This hike couldn’t have turned out any better than it did, it was exactly what we needed to unwind and enjoy some time alone together.

Once we were back to the road is was an easy 2 mile hike back down with a brief stop to scramble up a large rock to take in one last view and snap a couple more pictures.

A little over a mile from the end we finally saw some other signs of life on the mountain. We first passed a guy that looked to be in about his 50s haulin up the hill on a mountain bike. The guy was doing some serious work up a pretty tough section but still had plenty of wind for a quick hello and comment about the morning. After him we came across our first off roaders and another couple that was getting started with their hike. Everyone we passed was really friendly, including the drivers and passengers in the jeeps.

I highly recommend any interested in a short but fun hike to check this one out! I will definitely be going back to do it again and add the Gaskill Peak to it as well.

See you all on the trails!



6 responses

  1. Glad you had a good time. The jeeps don’t usually wake up as early as hikers. I would love to hike this one again when I’m not being hailed on.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:39 am

    • I could see how it wouldn’t be quite as enjoyable in hail! haha

      Do you know what trail it is that goes off to the left, a little less than 1/4 mile from the junction that will lead you to the peak?

      Gaskill is the peak off to the right, correct? Following the road takes you over to it?

      August 3, 2011 at 10:20 am

  2. The road to the left is Wisecarver road that leads down into Jamul and may be a private road. Gaskill is to the right, but you need to keep an eye out for a small cairn that indicates a use trail that follows the ridge to the summit. Some have bushwhacked straight from the road as you get to the east side of the peak. I’d like to go back and try both ways. You should be able to see them on Google Earth…

    August 3, 2011 at 10:28 am

    • cool, thanks! The Wisecarver road looked like it was open to all non-motorized traffic from the sign that was posted. I wanna go back soon and check out Gaskill, thanks for the advice again.

      August 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

  3. Josh

    looks like an awesome hike! not too far from where I went to high school. we used to do some off-roading out that way.

    i like your idea of “training to train”. I feel like that’s been my mode most of this year. Not sure I’ve done it too successfully though!

    August 3, 2011 at 10:43 am

    • It looks like there is some killer off-roading if you’ve got the right type of vehicle. There was a guy in a jeep that was ill prepared for the hill and was having a real tough time getting up. Needed much more heavy duty tires.

      So far so good, I’ve just been enjoying the training and taking it easy getting in to everything. Running 2-3 times a week with a bike ride, some swimming and the gym thrown in. If everything keeps going well I’ll start building the mileage in all three and see what limits my body will let me reach before signing up for anything too crazy.

      August 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm

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