Have you ever been driving down the freeway, in a relatively rural area, and saw off in the distance a road that cuts through the hillside? Then thought to yourself, "I wonder where that road leads?" That is the topic of today's post! Driving roads that most people never see.
Most weekends I find myself exploring the local San Diego mountain ranges by foot, but from time to time, I'll take my 3rd Gen 4Runner out for a little cruise in the hills. Today I decided to take my 4Runner out for a little stroll to scout new hiking spots, but mostly just to get out and drive through the mountains on some dirt roads.
Today's adventure took me out to La Posta Truck Trail and through some of the other trails that join up with this route. Coming from San Diego, I took the 8 east and hopped off the freeway at Sunrise Highway, then headed southeast on old highway 80 until I hit La Posta Truck Trail. You can get there quicker if you stay on the 8, but I wanted to drive the old highway... just because.
(End of the paved road, now onto the dirt!)
(It's true, there is a close gate in 7 miles, but there is also a turn that takes you up a separate trail)
When you peel off the road, you almost immediately end up on a very well graded gravel road. You have to stay on this road for about 7 miles, but the scenery is beautiful,and the mature trees provide a few good spots to rest (If you need it). Eventually you come to "the gate" and will need to turn onto Thing Valley Road. This is where the road gets fun!!
(This is actually a left turn that I missed. Once you get to the gate you will have to 3 point turn to get back on the trail)
(Don't be detoured by the signs! There is another close gate, but there is another alternative route... Fred Canyon Trail!)
For the most part I kept the 4Runner in H4 with the exception of a couple more fun spots. The trail is well maintained, and has a good amount of climbing as you make your way toward Fred Canyon Trail.
(Kind of hard to tell from the pics, but this area was fun!)
(One of the only sections I used 4 low)
(Great views as you are climbing the trails)
There are plenty of opportunities on this trail to pull over to the side of the road to either snap pictures, or just stop for a quick rest along the way.
At one point on Fred Canyon Trail, you will pass a pretty large turn around that crosses over the Pacific Crest Trail. If you are out off-roading in the area around April-June, make sure you bring a little something extra in your cooler, and post up at this spot for a bit. Folks hiking the PCT would greatly appreciate a cold beer or soda, and a little encouragement as they finish their remain 2640 miles of the PCT.
(Little twisted up!)
The way back down Fred Canyon Trail can be a little hairy at times, but it is moderate difficulty at best. Eventually you will wind your way down the trail until you reach Cibbets Flat Campground, which ultimately puts you on Kitchen Creek Road so you can head back to the 8 freeway.
Over the course of the day, I did not see any other people on the trail, but then again most people don't decide to drive the trail in the middle of July :)
(All cleaned up!)
Enjoy the trail!! If you make it out, drop me a line and let me know how it panned out for you!
PS. Not sure what this guy was doing, and the picture is terrible because it focused on my dash, but as soon as this guy started filling his tank, he decided to let the tailgate down on his Honda Ridgeline and take a nap. When I brought my phone up to take a pic, he noticed, and went back to his gas. HAHA!