Sunday, December 7, 2014

Flag Pole Hill

Hiked: 12/7/2014
Distance: 4 miles round trip on trail
Summit Elevation: 700'
Elevation Gain: 1150'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.92
Round trip time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Recommended water: 16 oz.
Parking/Fees: Free on Camino De Los Mares
Difficulty: Easy

Flag Pole Hill is a small hill in San Clemente that can be climbed from several different trails. I parked at the end of Camino De Los Mares and took an immediate left up the steeper trail. There are a lot of minor ups and downs along the way, but not much in the way of scenery. Parts of the trail were muddy from the recent rains. In addition to the flag pole, there is a mailbox at the summit with a couple of large registers and plenty of pens. From leafing through one of them, it is a popular local destination for both hikers and mountain bikers. On a nice day, I would have had a good view of the ocean, but today, the marine layer made it hazy. With over 1000' of gain on this particular route, I was able to work up a little lather. The trail is dog friendly.

Ups and downs on the wide trail, Flag Pole Hill is on the other side of the taller hills ahead.

Flag Pole Hill on the next ridge, hazy ocean in the distance

A couple of hikers and bikers at Flag Pole Hill

Mailbox with the registers, I-5 down below

Bird of prey above

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