Volcan Mountains Wilderness Preserve has been on my list of hikes that I wanted to do for quite a while – in the past I often refrained from doing it because I wanted to go on a weekday but dogs were not allowed there. What to do with the pooch then? Thankfully, this has changed, and leashed dogs are allowed now. Little Toni was very eager to join my friends Dave, Kevin and me for a hike!
The hike goes gently uphill from Farmers Road (just north of Julian), first on a dirt road. Soon, the “Five Oaks” trail is an alternative to this dirt road, and I highly recommend using it. This trail is a narrow single track path that feels more secluded and natural.
It was a bit early in the year for spring to really show at this elevation, but there’s an astonishing amount of old-growth Bigberry Manzanitas in the preserve that were in bloom – and they’re beautiful no matter what time of the year it is.
The Five Oaks trail merges with the dirt road for the second part of the hike, up to the high point of the preserve. From there, one has great views both to the back country and the coast to the west, as well as the (higher regions) of the desert to the east.
I think I’ll do this hike again in late March or April, to see what the vegetation will be like then. Hopefully, we’ll get more rain until then. February was awfully dry in San Diego.
Here’s my GPS log from the hike: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/N7TT37JDmg3lrbRn3ybWN6n3/