July 20, 2010


Bernardo (SDC #46, 1150') • mapdirections

 

Bernardo Mountain is close enough and easy enough to where Anna and I were able to hit its summit as part of an after work hike. We arrived at the trailhead on the side of the 15 freeway at about 5:30pm, plenty of time to get up and down without having to use our headlamps. Almost immediately the trail crossed under the 15 and followed the north shore of Lake Hodges, or Hodges Reservoir to be more accurate.


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Looking back at the 15


The reservoir was pretty nice despite the freeway being in such close proximity, a few white egrets didn't seem to mind too much either.


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Egrets


The trail eventually turned north, crossing a stream near a lush pocket filled with sycamores and palms, then began to gain some elevation, a welcomed change from the flat walking we'd been doing up to this point.


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An unexpected lush area


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Looking east towards Battle Mountain


The trail contoured around the north ridge of Bernardo, flattening out for a while before heading up to the obvious water towers and switchbacking its way to the summit. The view from Bernardo was impressive for a "local" peak, the Hodges Reservoir being the most attractive.


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The view south from Bernardo Mountain

 

Scouting for another after work hike, I tried to pick out Mt. Israel to the west but it just looked like a cluster of round hills so I couldn't be sure. I downed a granola bar and Anna and I made good time heading back down the same trail, taking a few minutes to walk out onto the bridge that crosses the reservoir.


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I'd seen the bridge a hundred times driving south on the 15 and always thought it looked interesting. We took a minute or two in the center of the bridge, then turned back to the parking lot and were home in time for dinner...


Bernardo_map

Bernardo stats: 6.0 miles roundtrip, 1100 feet gain/loss