Our friends Denise and Ping visited from Orange County. We took them for a hike at Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East near Julian. April and May are the perfect time to hike the higher elevations of San Diego’s back country – while Spring is almost over down at the coast and the foothills, it is in full swing up here, and on this particular day, it didn’t care much for rapture and judgment day either. 😉
We started at the eastern entrance to the preserve, off of Farmers Road, which is much closer to Julian than Santa Ysabel, actually. The first part of the hike is downhill in a an open valley with pastures and beautiful oak trees, then the trail crosses Santa Ysabel Creek (flowing nicely at this time of the year) and continues uphill, through a densely wooded area because the slope is facing north.
Once we had tackled this brief ascent we found ourselves at Kanaka Flats, an open, mesa-like pasture that we shared with some grazing cows. It was afternoon already and the sun to the west together with some coastal haze prevented a clearer view to the west. We rested in the shade of some trees and decided to not complete the loop trail around the flats deliberately – keeping the hike a little bit short, in order to be able to enjoy an early dinner in Julian – with some totally mandatory Apple Pie of course! 🙂
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