San Diego has a lot of great secret spots. Recently, I was lucky enough to re-visit one of my favorites, the Jamul Kiln on a sunrise trail run. The information about the kiln is located here, if you are interested, and if not, enjoy some of the shots I took of this wilderness area and historic structure.
San Diego has it all – beach hikes, desert hikes, mountain hikes, even hikes in the foothills. With all of the hiking present in the county, sometimes it’s hard to decide both where in the county one will go; and when to visit. One place that's striking year-round is a place that's a "newer" trail network - Hollenbeck Canyon.
Although it was discovered by Juan Cabrillo in 1542 when looking for the mythical Strait of Anian, San Diego is a young city. To this day, like many other West Coast locations it is considered bereft of “historic” locations; even though Native Americans had lived in its environs and other areas for thousands of years prior to Cabrillo’s arrival. Perhaps this bias springs from the fact that not many people know much about San Diego other than what they learned in Anchorman; or perhaps this bias springs from the fact that while San Diego has historic sites, most of them are not common knowledge. In any event, San Diego is a city with ancient historic sites; and more modern historic sites. It is even a city with lost historic sites. While I’m sure there are plenty of semi-lost; partially-lost, and actually-lost sites out there that I don’t even know about, the best almost-actually lost site I’ve come across and found is this one – the ruin of the Jamul Kiln, or if we’re being technically accurate, the Jamul Cement Works.
Case in point: McGinty Mountain – or Mt. McGinty. Like Iron Mountain, the roundtrip distance of this hike is 4.8 miles, and the while the elevation gained is slightly less, Mt. McGinty has two advantages: more rare plants and….a lot less people. Advantage: Mt. McGinty. Moreover, Mt. McGinty also has something Iron Mountain does not: hidden mines. Advantage again: Mt. McGinty. So, if you’re interested in a peakbagging experience in San Diego county that does not involve lots of hikers, read on.