Double Peak

20150620_DSC1169-EditDouble PeakThe City of San Marcos has an extensive network of hiking, walking, and biking trails. One of the most popular routes in the area is this hike up to Double Peak, a small, local park with an impressive panoramic view.

We began at Lakeview Park in San Marcos. The small parking lot was full, so we had to find a spot out on the street. It was pretty busy on a beautiful Sunday morning. I suspect that everyone, like us, was looking to get their excursion done early before the heat kicked in.20150620_DSC1040-EditDouble Peak

We walked through the small parking lot to a closed metal gate. We passed around the gate and joined the hikers and dog walkers beyond.20150620DSC_1360Double Peak

A short way down the road we passed Discovery Lake. There is another trail that circles the lake which would make a great addition or alternate hike, but we were focused on summiting the peak today.20150620_DSC1043-EditDouble Peak

We continued on past the lake, staying on the main road, and the ascent quickly began.20150620_DSC1055-EditDouble Peak

Around .25 miles, the trail leveled out a bit as we approached a residential area. The path was well-marked, and our route to Double Peak went off to the left.20150620_DSC1062-EditDouble Peak

At this point the the cement gave way to a neatly manicured dirt walking path that passed right through a row of houses. This certainly wasn’t a wilderness hike, but I consoled myself with the knowledge that if I managed to get bit by a rattlesnake today, the ambulance should arrive quickly.20150620_DSC1063-EditDouble Peak

We continued up the trail along the road, trying not to peer into people’s backyards. Whenever I’m on one of these trails that goes right by people’s houses, I always wonder if it’s cool to have a trail so close, or just annoying to have so many weirdos walking by your house all the time. But the awkwardness quickly concluded as we crossed the street and picked up the trail on the other side, leaving the residential area behind.20150620_DSC1067-EditDouble Peak

The trail led up the hillside beyond the homes. We could see evidence of last year’s Cocos fire that burned through much of this area. A layer of green beneath the blackened brush showed the recovery was already underway.20150620_DSC1069-EditDouble Peak

The trail continued to ascend as it wound its way up the side of the hill. The hard packed dirt made for easy going.20150620_DSC1075Double Peak

One of the advantages of the charred brush was there was nothing to obstruct our views as we climbed higher.20150620_DSC1076Double Peak

Just past the 1 mile point, the immaculately maintained dirt path gave way to a slightly rougher gravel and dirt road. It was still pretty easy going by any standard.20150620_DSC1083Double Peak

Just beyond, we encountered a “T” junction and turned right.20150620_DSC1084Double Peak

Here, we began to find a plethora of wildflowers taking advantage of the post-fire soil.20150620DSC_1444Double Peak

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We soon came to another junction. We followed the right fork to a small overlook that provided some more nice views.20150620_DSC1094-EditDouble Peak

We then retraced our steps to the junction and continued on the left fork to continue our ascent.20150620_DSC1116-EditDouble Peak

We seemed to be out of the burn zone at this point, and here the trail was lined with tall brush.20150620_DSC1123Double Peak

At 1.65 miles we came to another “T” junction, and once again turned left towards Double Peak.20150620_DSC1125Double Peak

A short walk brought us to Double Peak Road.20150620_DSC1128Double Peak

Again, we turned left and continued up the hill.20150620_DSC1133-EditDouble Peak

About halfway up the hill we noted a steep use trail up to the summit going through the brush.20150620_DSC1135Double Peak

We decided to take the easier route along the roadside.20150620_DSC1136-EditDouble Peak

The road wrapped around the far side of the peak, and we quickly reached the entrance to Double Peak Park.20150620_DSC1138-EditDouble Peak

We veered to the left, heading through the parking lot, to reach the summit area. Along the edge of the parking lot were some benches which offered nice views to the west.20150620_DSC1140-EditDouble Peak

At the summit was wide open area with several picnic tables, and a telescope you could use to admire the fantastic panoramic vista.20150620_DSC1153-EditDouble Peak

There were a number of people milling about at the top with us. A handful were obviously hikers like us, but many people had clearly just driven to the top. We hung out for a bit and ate some snacks, then made our way back down.


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Directions:
Take I-15 to 78 West. Take the Twin Oaks Valley Road exit. Turn left onto N Twin Oaks Valley Road and continue for approximately .8 miles. Turn right onto Craven Road and continue for approximately .6 miles. Turn left onto Foxhall Dr and continue for approximately .2 miles. The entrance to Lakeview Park will be on your right as the road makes a sharp 90 degree bend to the left. map

Total Distance: 4.25 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Total Ascent: 1023 feet
Dog Friendly?: Leashed dogs allowed
Bike Friendly?: Bikes allowed
Facilities: Bathrooms and water available at park
Fees/Permits: None

For more information, visit:
City of San Marcos – Double Peak
Trail Map

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