Secret Canyon


Today's pheature phlog is a recent hike along the Secret Canyon located in San Diego County right off of Horsethief Canyon, southeast of Alpine, which is in an area that burned in the Valley Fire in September 2020.

Some perspective on the location of the hike and the entire length of Secret Canyon, which continues to the other side of I-8 to the north, in Pine Valley.
Starting out, you can see the burned landscape from the Valley Fire.
Heading down the Horsethief Road for a little until the trail drops down into the canyon.
Fortunately, this fire was contained to the upper level here. It did not drop into the canyon areas beyond this point..
Pine Creek Wilderness.
Pine Valley Creek crossing to the Secret Canyon/Espinosa Trail.
Horsetheif Canyon swimming pool (seasonal). The last time I was here a couple years ago, I could walk all the way to the boulders and there was no water at all. The water line was way above my head.
Choose your path: Secret Canyon to the left or Espinosa trail straight ahead.
It's a quick climb up. This is the swimming pool from high up on the Secret Canyon trail.
Sometimes, the path is blocked.
Other times, the path is quite narrow.
Lots of vegetation along this stretch, but still a clear path..
This is about as far as I got the previous time I was on this trail. This was waist-high grass with no visible trail, which also meant that snakes were not easily visible.
I remember seeing this grass-covered hill on my previous trip on this trail. This is where I turned around last time, but not this time. Moving on!.
The trail clears up a bit, but it meanders through the valleys in this area. At this point, i am only about 1/5 the way. This trail is 10 miles long, which is better suited as a point-to-point hike. I need to turn back now to beat the sunset.
Heading back. The clouds are moving in, and it's cooling off quite a bit. Back into the burn zone.
As long as the rain doesn't cause massive erosion, this will be very fertile ground for new growth in the Spring.

A final artsy phartsy photo.

Pheatured Photos

Bluffs of Torrey Pines State Beach, May 29, 2006.

Sunbathing meerkats, San Diego Wild Animal Park, April 23, 2010.

Pacific Crest Trail near Lucky 5 Ranch, August 25, 2019.

Rattlesnake at Daley Ranch, Stanley Peak Trail, May 10, 2020.