Friday, June 6, 2014

Bottle Peak

Hiked: 6/6/2014
Distance: 1.8 miles round trip on dirt road and use trail
Summit Elevation: 2139'
Prominence: 439'
Elevation Gain: 720'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.57
Round trip time: 1 hour
Recommended water: 16 oz.
Parking/Fees: Free on Oakvale Road turnout
Difficulty: Easy

My directions had me looking for a turnout on North Wohlford Road in Escondido. I had not researched my starting point well enough because the turnout was on Oakvale Road. I wasted about 15 minutes looking for it before pulling out the GPS to get me to the turnout. I hopped a gate and headed up a dirt road passing graffiti plastered boulders until I found the use trail on the left. Along with the graffiti were numerous discarded plastic bottles. I packed out what I could. There was a lot of poison oak along the trail, worse near the top, but it could be avoided by moving carefully. The trail wanders around and between large boulders, some requiring a tight squeeze.

Graffiti on the first big boulder

Use trail to Bottle Peak

Poison oak lurking along the trail


The summit block is large and requires an easy class 3 scramble up a slab. The summit used to hold a fire watchtower, but all that remains is the square concrete base. A legible benchmark is there along with buckets of graffiti. There was graffiti on top of graffiti so that everything looked garbled. The view of Wohlford Lake was nice and you could clearly see the other local peaklets that I didn't have time to do today. Half a dozen turkey vultures were riding the wind around the peak and gliding not more than 20' away. It was hard to get a good shot of them since my camera has a slow shutter speed. The climbing was fun, but the poison oak and graffiti diminished the experience. On the way down, I found a sign on the dirt road, hidden by brush, that said "Private Property" so I recommend starting from a different trailhead.

Slab to the summit

Looking down the summit block

Bottle Peak benchmark

Graffiti filled summit area

Lake Wohlford from Bottle Peak

One of the many turkey vultures soaring overhead


  1. This one is on my list. Good to know not to go your route. Disappointed by the graffiti, but it happens in suburban San Diego. FYI, that soaring friend is definitely a turkey vulture.

    1. Derek, thanks for the bird identification. I fixed the post. Clearly, I need some bird education.

      Michael Sullivan has a track on peakbagger that starts from Lake Wohlford Road.

      It looks like a popular local peak.