#4 Hiking Cowles Moutain via Mesa Trailhead and my first Solo Hike, by @shoemanchu

Good Afternoon Hive nation, taking my time to get these hike posts done and out but here it is. This Hike on the Mesa Trail up to the peak of Cowles Mountain. This was my first solo hike without the wife and it sure was a steep tough one but noting I couldn't handle. It's nice to see that these are a bit tough for me, seeing that I'm out of shape a bit and getting up there in age. Feeling good about them but I would like to step up soon and do a 10+ mile one soon. This hike was done on Veteran's day November 11th 2020. Seems to be less traffic versus the two mile side that hundreds do everyday. I still have yet to do that side but it doesn't seem to be that interesting or hard, so not sure if I will one day or not. I see that their is six trails that lead up to the peak, I chose the long one first and probably the steepest. This was a good one to get under my belt on a Wednesday and a great first solo hike of my career. I can see many more coming in the near future too but I'd much rather have my wife with me on them all.

The Mesa trail to Cowles Mountain peak is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Santee California and is rated as moderate but for my situation, I think its more difficult as the signs say. This was my first up hill hike as well and some of the rock area's are not fun to take steps on but that's what hiking is all about, the unknown. So enjoy the photo's taken from my camera phone of the hike and view's. No photo edits were done on any of the shot's, all natural is just the way I like it. Let's dive into the post.




Not even sure why this says Mesa Traill when it should say Trailhead but that's none of my business. At-least they got he sign right because this is difficult but nothing that cant be handled.


And so it begins, walking up maybe 500 yards into the access road we come to a small waterfall and I mean small. Now I am sure many years ago this used to rage but not today.


Now the decent into the brush of the trail and the point of no return, well that's when you realize you about to do this and you know its going to be long and tough, you know you want to complete it too. This small bridge is where it all begins.


Another angle and photo of the bridge crossing, I wonder how many times this had to be built.


As you start your climb its nice to get a view of where you parked right away and as you can see I already starting going up up up and away. Those vehicles down on that path is where it all started and funny is I had about a half hour conversation with a random woman that just got off the trail with way different views in life than me.


Another stopping point and probably one of the best photos I took on this trail, I cant wait for this to be green and I can do again this hike and get better shots.


Here is where I had my first water break on that nice rock seat, unfortunately two dudes stopped and tried to spark up conversation but I was just trying to be in my own zone and they were not the type of dudes I would hang around with. Also they had taken a break there too and then left and children came with mommies, so then it was that time, time to roll out.


Now getting up pretty higher but not even close to the peak yet, so the journey keeps on going.


Now at this point is where I was like why did I get myself into? You can see the peak on the right with the satellites on the top, yes that is where I am headed and it looks so far away but rest assure I am getting it done.


Finally out of the sticks and trail, you reach the access road and it is wide for vehicles and let me tell you it is so steep that it makes you wonder why, why am I here but you just keep on trucking upward. You can also start seeing the lake too.


Now you can see here that I still have along way to go to get to the peak, so you just keep on pushing and pushing yourself at this point, reminding you that this is all new to me and I've only just started hiking a couple months ago.


As it gets closer, it gets steeper and you have to keep pushing upward because this is the point where a break is coming due to how steep it is.


Now your almost there and you can look back at your accomplishments and the beauty of the scenery. You see the trails and know your almost there.


Here is a shot of my shadow, still love doing this and I wont stop. I guess you can call it my signature.... haha


This spot is when you first make it up and you can see that you have came along way.


At last the Antenna station right next to the actual peak, that is directly behind me.


Here is the peak, elevation is 1,591 above sea level and the thing to do for all is to touch this stone as it is the sign of accomplishment. I knuckled it because looks a little to dirty for me. LOL


Now this is the view and I don't know what it is but I caught something strange here. I have multiple shots at this exact spot and that little black dot, is not a bird and it is not a plane or aircraft. I have zoomed in and it literally is round with what appears to be an antenna on it and I can tell you this I don't remember seeing this at all. Such a stunning view too.


Here is the Cowles Mountain summit sign and this mountain is a 360 degree view around San Diego.


As you can see, you can see it all. Lake Murray below and all the way to the beach. Not such a clear day but beautiful nonetheless.


Just a panoramic shot right here, I had two others but this is the only one that would upload, the others just kept on failing to upload and after five times I gave up.


As you can see it was a long way up, when you see this you feel accomplished but knowing you got to go back down, its not always fun and game going back.


As I start the decent, I found a spot off the trail and took a few more shots of the lake and ocean.


Another shot next to the rocks and I think I like this one better than the previous. Hope one day I can take some more clear shots but this smog or overcast just kills it.


As you go back down, it is very steep and you should have hiking sticks or you will slip on these rocks or dirt. I seen so many fall, so be cautious here.


As you look back you get that good feeling of yea I just did that and although I don't think these are that great of photos, I enjoy showing of the trail and doing my best at pictures and writing.

add on uphill.jpg

Another long version of my shadow, love this shot right here.


Here is a shot of the trail, some rough spots but in all this was pretty fun and I really enjoyed my first solo hike.


And there it is, the bridge were we started it all. At this point I am pretty tired but I did it and I cant wait to do it again. They have six different ways to get up here and I know I want to do at-least two two other routes.


Want to say thank you for taking the time and checking out my post. I am not a professional photographer or writer but I do enjoy my new hobby and hiking has totally made my mental and my attitude so much better. I just want to live the trails and not stop. So many more to come and I hope you enjoy my journeys. Thank you all, God Bless....


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this your particular hike post remind me of a novel i read in the past titled, a professional hunter in the evil forest, well written boss, your hiking journey is fun...


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wow, it must have been lonely but glad you did it and shared all those pics with us.