Kwaay Paay Peak is #92 on the San Diego Sierra Club’s 100 Peak list. It lies within Mission Trails Regional Park and can be reached with a relatively easy hike (it’s a good uphill workout;-).
Beginning at the Old Mission Dam, one has to first cross Father Junipero Serra Boulevard, squeeze past a narrow gap between a guard rail and a fence, and then is immediately on the trail that leads steadily uphill (it’s also possible to start near Kumeyaay Lake Campground, the two trails meet on a little saddle – it’s important to remember this on the way back down!). From that saddle the trail gets a little steeper, and one particularly eroded section was a bit slippery due to loose gravel, but except for the elevation change, there’s otherwise no difficulty on this trail.
As I write this in 2018, I have repeated this hike a number of times now – it is a short and good uphill workout and the views from the “summit” (Kwaay Paay Peak is really just a long ridge) are quite nice. On our first hike it was a hazy winter day and photographically, I had not yet adapted to my new surroundings. I did bring my 70-300mm telezoom lens – out of curiosity I made a photo of “those islands in the distance”, to then find out later that they are calling Islas Coronado and belong to Mexico. 🙂
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