Thursday, June 3, 2010

Oak Oasis Trail (#5)

May 27, 2010 - Wild Cat Canyon is a very special road to me. Why? Because it takes me to one of my favorite poker rooms in San Diego. Wild Cat will also get you to this really great hiking spot - The Oak Oasis Trail. My wife Rose and I hiked this four mile trek a few hours before sunset and we both liked it very much.

The trail access is located on the left side of the road (going north) only a few miles before getting to the Barona "gaming facilities." There is a small gated parking lot at the trailhead (top picture).

Hopefully you'll get a sense of why I like this trail so much from the pictures. The key word here is "variety!" The trail goes from chaparral to oak grove to rocky mountain side to lake view to poison oak laden foilage to meadow and back.
It is certainly well maintained and clearly marked.

It was nice to see that the Oak Grove has rebounded so well since the Cedar fires of 2003. The contrast of the burned trunks covered with the new growth kind of had a surreal effect to it.

The View of the San Vicente was great. On one of my next hikes I plan on coming in from the other side of the reservoir to see what it looks like from over there.

The oak trees aren't the only noteworthy plants in Oak Oasis Open Space Preserve. The cactus that you see here was pretty cool, and the poison oak, which was running wild, certainly drew our attention. Wild lavender was also abundant.

"Creeped out" would be an accurate description of how Rose felt about walking through the meadow. I have to admit that it was very lush and dense so that at times we were not sure whether we were still on the trail. When a sizable animal den appeared within a couple of feet from the trail our tempo almost doubled immediately. We both agreed how beautiful the meadows were - f
rom a distance!

Interesting to know: I left my most AWESOME walking stick (still looking for a name for him by the way) leaning on the post at the trail entrance. I returned the next morning at 6:00 a.m. to find him waiting obediently, but with a perturbed look on his face. I promised him I would not let that happen again.

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