Saturday, March 6, 2021

Bridgeworthy Hikes: Winter Showers Bring Beautiful Flowers

Panoramic view of South and North Fortuna Mountain peaks.

Winter in Coronado brought more than average amounts of rain this year, dampening the spirits of many who choose to live here for the near perfect weather. But now as we move into spring we can enjoy the incredible greenery and wildflowers that have grown because of the wet climate. There are hundreds of hikes to choose from in Southern California, but one of the most beautiful right now is the Fortuna Mountain Trail hike in Mission Trails Regional Park.

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Orange Poppies line the hillside of South Fortuna Mountain in Mission Trails Regional Park

Purple snap dragons can be found if you look closely, they tend to be harder to spot than all the other wildflowers.

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With orange poppies, purple snap dragons, yellow, white and purple wildflowers of all kinds, the hike is incredible.  Add that to the green hillsides, you might feel like you’ve left San Diego for Ireland. I’ve lived in San Diego for 15 of the last 21 years and I’ve never seen such picturesque views from the hikes I’ve done. Fortuna Mountain Trail is a six mile loop that begins at the end of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard at the Clairemont Mesa Trailhead. As you begin the hike you will be on power line access roads but soon you will head off onto the trail that gives you sweeping views of Mission Trails Regional Park. If there are recent rains you may have to cross a few creeks but after a few

Wildflowers seem to grow from everywhere, even the rocks.

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dry days those will be dry.  You will make your way to the stairway to heaven that goes up the south side of South Fortuna Peak. It is steep but with the stairs it is not too difficult. The views from the top make the hike worth it! You can shorten the hike by cutting in at the power lines and missing North Fortuna Peak, but it has its own beauty with more rocky cliffs and a bit of a steeper descent. I would recommend downloading the All Trails App for your phone to guide you along the way. It has a GPS feature that will show you where you are on (or off) the trail and help make sure you don’t get lost.

Mission trails is dog-friendly so Odin and I loved being surrounded by poppies and enjoying the views.

I’ve done this hike four times in the last month and the scenery changes with each hike, but each has been lovely. Weekday morning hikes are very quiet right now with only a few other hikers on the trail. As the weather warms it is sure to get a bit more crowded. Dogs are allowed on this hike but must remain on leash. There are not any bathrooms along this hike and it is rated as moderate because of the length and some areas of steep inclines.

Fortuna Mountain Trail in Mission Trails Regional Park

Stay tuned for more local hiking options to get you out and about in San Diego as I’ll be sharing my favorites while I train for a 60 mile hike I have signed on for this summer.


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Jeannie Groeneveld
Jeannie is a recently retired Naval Officer whose first duty station brought her to Coronado in 1998.  A Navy Helicopter Pilot for 10 years and a Public Affairs Officer for 11 years, the Navy afforded her many incredible opportunities to serve her country in unique ways while seeing the world.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to:
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