Monday, June 11, 2018

Jojoba Hills and a Hike


Won’t bore you with details about what we’ve been up to here in southern California but we’re managing to stay busy and we did do a nice hike last week, so I thought I’d post some photos of it and a few others from around Jojoba Hills.

There are several ponds around the park where we usually see ducks and turtles.






And we love all the birds that hang out in our yard.



The weather has been surprisingly pleasant except for a handful of days in the 90s recently where the pool has been a welcome relief. We hadn’t hiked since we were in Prescott last month so I researched trails at higher elevation that we haven’t been on and found the Cedar Springs Trail, 29 miles northeast of Jojoba Hills, starting at 5,400’. 


After climbing through trees and gnats for about a mile we began a series of 13 fairly gentle switchbacks for another mile and a half, where we intersected with the Pacific Crest Trail.

We’ve never seen a sign like this on a trail before. This is right before the start of the switchbacks.


Nice views from the switchbacks.


There were some flowering yucca plants.


But the most common plants we saw were agave in various stages of growth.


Unlike the yucca which can bloom again, the agave plant flowers once in its life between the age of 20-40 years, then dies.



We did see a few other flowers, too.



How many more switchbacks did you say?


And we finally reached the PCT. The Cedar Springs trail continues on downhill for another mile to the spring, but we turned right and hiked along the PCT for about a half mile.


This section runs along the Desert Divide, a ridgeline that forms the spine of the San Jacinto Mountains.

We now had a view to the north of the sprawl that is the Palm Desert/ Palm Springs area and the Coachella Valley. It looked hot and hazy down there.


A closer look.


Probably an exclusive subdivision, given how it’s tucked into the hills.


We really enjoyed this part of the trail at an elevation of 6,800’ where we could look down on both sides of the ridge.







We’d like to go back and do this hike again when it’s not so hot, and go a little farther on the PCT next time. We didn’t see another person on either trail but the PCT thru-hikers who started at the Mexican border would have already passed through this area a month or two ago.


Today we’re heading to Encinitas with Terry and LuAnn for a few days on the coast. It’s nice to be so close to the mountains and the ocean!


  1. Those ponds are beautiful!! I would love to walk around them and do a little bird watching!! Looks like a very nice area!! The hike was nice with great views along the way.

    1. Jojoba is a beautiful park. The members and maintenance crew do a fantastic job of keeping it looking nice.

  2. Did you ever get any idea of what HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS might await? (Surmisal might suggest it was posted by one of those who always admonishes, "Be safe out there!")

    1. Nope, we have no idea what was so hazardous unless maybe the higher elevation gets sleet or snow in the winter. We we happy to have survived!

  3. Such a pretty hike with the wildflowers and expansive views. Did you figure out what the "hazardous conditions" were? Have fun in Encinitas with LuAnn and Terry—we spent a week there several years ago and loved it!

    1. We love Encinitas and are having a good time. Too bad it's so cost prohibitive to live here.

  4. Looks like you're settling nicely into your new 'home'. It has been hot in Prescott too.

    1. We had some hot days when we were in Prescott over a month ago. Hope you've had a beer at the Raven!

  5. Thank goodness for the elevation when you need a hike and it is too hot below. Nice that you had the trail to yourselves:) We walked four and a half miles in Atlanta this morning on a cool (75), cloudy day, but we were dripping in sweat because of the unbelievable high humidity. Yuck! Have a fun time in Encinitas with Terry and LuAnn!!! Can't wait to hear about it.

    1. That's one thing we like about Jojoba. We can be on the coast or in the mountains in an hour or so.
      We feel your pain about Atlanta and the humidity. That's something we hated when we lived in Pensacola.

  6. Doubt the details of what you’ve been doing would be boring, at least not to me. Cute pictures of the ponds the duckies and turtles. Not being from that area, I actually don’t recognize the pretty birds you have in your own backyard. Seems pretty wow to me. Also seems very special to see in flower plants that only flower once and die. Oh my what a sprawl view from the PCT. You were on the PCT when I was on the AT. Not that it means anything. HA!

    1. Would have waved at you if we had known you were on the AT while we were on the PCT ;-)
      The two big birds are Gambel's quail and the little yellow one is a goldfinch. I'm learning!

  7. How fun to have turtles and quail as neighbors! The ponds are a nice addition to the park. The yucca blooms are beautiful. Enjoy the beach!

  8. Seems you really have to work at it to find trails high enough to make summer hiking practical. Or get out at the crack of dawn which probably isn't going to happen for you any more than me.

  9. The PCT looks brutal in the sections we have hiked. You found a nice area to hike. Glad you are settling in. We used to like taking the Coaster when we were staying in Oceanside or Encinitas. Beats driving.

  10. We are going to have to check out that trail sometime. So glad you and Jim are here at Jojoba. It is going to be sad the day you two pull up jacks and head out for the summer.

  11. I thought I had commented on this post but I must have done something incorrectly as I don't see anything from me. We are so happy to have you both as neighbors and look forward to many adventures together. LuAnn