Topping out on the San Ysidro Trail

Last summer, we started doing a little hiking, learning about the trails, conditions, etc. While hiking is hiking is hiking and all that, the different conditions of the environment, climate, and weather will make hiking in one area vastly different than for another. So, last weekend we decided to continue up the San Ysidro Trail to the top and see what we could see.

Trail stats: This is a 9-mile trail up and back and a 2,877 foot gain in elevation.

In this area, the important thing to avoid is contact with poison oak and it’s everywhere! Here’s an example of what we think is poison oak – ‘leaves of of three, let it be’ and all that.

poison oak?

My guy is really horribly allergic to the stuff. He lent his gaiters once to a buddy who went hiking with them. He must have run into some poison oak along the way, because My guy used those gaiters months and months later and had a terrible reaction. It took a trip to the doctor, pills, and creams to make the itch and bumps go away. So, we’re cautious about the stuff. We wear long pants and socks and stay away from the plants.

At the lower part of the trail, it winds along a creek with little pools here and there.

pools of water on san ysidro trail

Lots of birds twittering and bees buzzing and what must be a whole lot of insects making really loud clicking noises. This racket continued as we stayed at the lower elevation and eased as we got above the dense trees and away from the water.

pools of water on san ysidro trail

As we climbed higher, the vegetation thinned out and we could see the ocean and the islands beyond the harbor. It’s cloudy and hazy down there, but bright and sunny up where we are.

view of ocean from san ysidro

When we got to the top of the trail, we were struck by this view of the Los Padres National Forest.

view of los padres national forest

I don’t know about you, but it’s always a little disheartening to see a road when you get to the top – especially when the climb was particularly tiring. Still, that’s one beautiful forest back there. Wow.

Here’s the view looking the other way – south, toward the ocean.

top of san ysidro trail

Really pretty hike. Took us about 3 hours total. Again, I forgot to put bandages on my bony heels and have been limping around with the blisters that tore off when I peeled off my socks. I had the bandages in my pack and put them on before the trip down, but still the damage was done and now I must let them heal. It’s only bad the first day and after that, they aren’t bad at all.

fourteenergirl Written by:

A mother, sister, wife, and daughter who writes, knits, hikes, and practices yoga on the west coast. Loves a zippy chardonnay or a tart margarita!

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