Canyon Oak – Desert View Loop
(4 miles, +800/-800 feet).
I almost decided not to go on this hike today. My recent trip to the Channel Islands really zapped me, and the forecast called for rain, but Half Cookie persuaded me to keep to our plan of a family hike. And I am really glad she did!
We drove out past Julian and down to William Heise County Park under gray skies. As we started up the steep Canyon Oak trail it was still raining and quite muddy. We forgot to bring our trekking poles, so we were slipping and sliding all over the place.
Our footprints filled with water as we trudged through the mud. One of them attracted hundreds of insects that gathered to take a drink on the surface.
After about a mile and a half we reached the turnoff for the Desert View Trail.
The views were not expansive, but the sparkling vegetation was really pretty.
The trail peaks at a lookout that, in better weather, has views to the Pacific Ocean and the Salton Sea. It is also, bizarrely, right next to someone’s house.
From there the trail heads down again. It was steep and muddy but fun, especially for Pasta Jay.
When we neared the campground again, we saw wild turkeys (sorry, no picture!) and some deer.
When we were done we climbed in the car and headed to Julian for some delicious apple pie and homemade ice cream. A yummy end to a beautiful day!