Let's all welcome Katelyn as our featured guest blogger this week! Katelyn is a Boston native but has lived in San Diego for the past 7 years after she moved here to finish her masters degree in nursing. She began hiking seriously around the same time and considers herself an intermediate/expert hiker. She has done almost every San Diego hike and loves looking for new hikes. Her favorite local hike is Iron Mountain and says "My favorite local hike is definitely Iron Mountain. Though when I started hiking Iron, it was more rugged and challenging than it is today. It's a perfectly lengthed hike with breathtaking summit views. That is a hike I've done probably over 100 times and where I go to recharge. It just feels like going home." To Katelyn, Hike It Off means to connect with the most natural part of who she is. Hiking allows her to shift her energy in the most positive ways and to feel creative and inspired again. She love to be challenged and the high that comes with completing uncharted territory and making it to the summit. For her, hiking and the outdoors are required in order for to survive and bring balance into my world.
Here is Katelyn's blog and photos from her recent hike to Suicide Rock in Mt. San Jacinto State Park:
Just north of Idyllwild on the 243 is Deer Springs Trailhead to Suicide Rock. The trail head is marked with a sign and a free permit from the Ranger's station is required for this trail. Please make sure to carry the permit with you during the hike in case a ranger stops you. Also, note that dogs are not allowed on the trail as it is in the State Park. Bring many layers as the temperature can change drastically in the higher elevations and also bring plenty of snacks and water.
This trail is approximately 4 miles each way to Suicide Rock and unless you've been elevation training, you will feel the challenges of hiking in the higher altitudes. Suicide Rock altitude is at 7,510 feet.
This trail itself is very straightforward and breathtakingly beautiful and a must do for avid hikers or climbers looking for a new challenge. The trail winds around both meadow-like areas as well as through shaded forests before reaching a ridge line to the summit. This hike feels like a fairy tale. The sky, as blue as can be with a heavenly pine scent that you'll wish you could bottle up and take home with you. The air feels fresher, cleaner and more pure. The landscape, mixed with the plush array of vegetation: pine, fir and manzanita trees that wind up the mountain - even a creek or two depending on the season - makes it a necessity to pause and take a few deep breaths to take in the utter beauty that surrounds you.
At around mile 3 of this hike you will reach a junction that can lead to various parts of the mountain, one trail leads to San Jacinto Peak, another to Strawberry Creek. However, to get to suicide rock, keep right. It is only one mile further and worth it to keep going. Whatever you do, trust that the summit is a must see and push through the last leg of the hike.
Once a the summit, the rock formations make for a perfect place to rest and take in the beautiful views of mountain ranges, lakes below and on a clear day, even the Pacific Ocean. This is also a hot spot for climbers and there are various routes to this particular spot so it becomes a wonderful end spot for hikers and climbers alike. There are several trails to try out in Idyllwild, but this hike is a must!
You can follow Katelyn's hikes here: