I decided to get out on Sunday afternoon for a quick hike before the weekend was over. I settled on doing Ramona Peak (2128 ft) and Spangler Peak (1984 ft), two insignificant little bumps southeast of the town of Ramona. Both are located in Simon County Park, which contains a nice network of trails that begin in a suburban neighborhood. I parked on the side of the road on Bassett Way near a dog park. There appeared to be some construction going on but thankfully the signs indicated that parking was okay on the weekends. It was 90 degrees when I arrived, so I knew I was in for a hot day. I started hiking at 1:04pm from 1415 feet above sea level.
I walked past the dog park along a dirt road. I didn’t see anyone at the park, likely due to the hot weather.
At 0.1 mile I passed a gate and a sign for the county park. I realized that I could have driven up the dirt road and parked here, but I wasn’t too concerned about the extra 0.1 mile.
There was an information board as well.
I continued north on the dirt road and reached a picnic table at 0.2 mile.
At 0.6 mile I reached a junction and turned left. The road began to gain some elevation.
I hiked up the road towards a broad ridge.
I passed 2 hikers who were on their way down. I hadn’t seen any other cars at the trailhead, so I guessed that they were locals. I reached the top of the ridge at 1.2 miles.
I turned north at the top of the ridge onto another road.
I reached Ramona Peak at 1:44pm at 1.8 miles. The summit is pretty indistinct – it’s just a high spot along the ridge. There was a bench, so I sat down for a few minutes. This peak is actually referred to as “Ramona Benchmark” on Peakbagger. I looked around for the benchmark and 2 reference markers but didn’t find them. I didn’t look too hard since other reports had mentioned not finding them either. I did see a circle of stones where I thought the benchmark may have been at one time. I had a good view of Iron Mountain (left) and Woodson Mountain (right) to the west.
To the north I could see Palomar Mountain and Black Mountain.
I continued on after a short break. I went north and reached a tower of some kind at 2 miles.
I did a loop around the tower and then headed back the way I came. I went by Ramona Peak and started heading south towards Spangler Peak.
At 3.2 miles I reached some old metal cylinders. The road ended here and turned into a single track trail.
I continued along the trail with Spangler Peak just ahead.
I saw a few vultures flying overhead.
The trail was pretty overgrown which made we wish I had worn long pants. I almost never wear shorts when I hike so I was annoyed at myself. The tall grass really made my legs itch. At 3.5 miles I passed a single palm tree.
I head a rustling in the brush off to my right and spotted a coyote running away. The trail was pretty hard to follow and actually appeared to be an old road at certain times.
Eventually I gave up on the trail and went directly up through the grass.
There were some large boulders on top which required some light class 2 scrambling. I reached the summit at 2:44pm at 4 miles!
I signed the register which had been placed in March 2020. The previous entry was from May 7. To the east I had a great view of North Peak, Middle Peak, and Cuyamaca Peak.
To the south I could see El Cajon Mountain:
I head back down after a short break. I reached the car again at 3:40 pm. This hike totaled 6.31 miles, 1198 feet elevation gain, and 2:36:04 total time.