History buffs will enjoy this easy hike along the Coast to Crest Trail which passes Mule Hill, site of an historic battle in 1846. A number of interpretive signs along the trail tell the story of a group of US soldiers surrounded by enemies after the Battle of San Pasqual. In addition to Mule Hill, the trail passes the Sikes Adobe Farmstead, one of the area’s oldest adobe homes.
The Mule Hill Trail is part of the largest completed segment of the Coast to Crest Trail. This segment spans 22 miles, from Santa Fe Valley to Highway 78. We’d been slowly doing various pieces of the trail, and today we were going to tackle the stretch from the Sikes Adobe Farmhouse (just east of the Lake Hodges segment we’d previously done) to the Old Coach connector trail along Highland Valley Road.
On the left side of the trail was the less impressive looking Mule Hill. This is where US troops (including Kit Carson) retreated after the Battle of San Pasqual a few miles away. The US troops held the hill for four days awaiting reinforcements, while surrounded by enemies. They had to resort to eating their mules, and thus the small promontory earned its name. The US troops had just about given up all hope of rescue and were about to try and fight their way out when a group of Marines came to their aid.
After reading up on the history of the site, we resumed hiking. Just past the last interpretive display we found a “Y” junction, around 1.1 miles. The right fork looks like it just goes a short distance to some pumping equipment, so we continued along the left fork.
Around 3.2 miles we came to a “Y” junction. To the right was a connector trail leading to the Old Coach Trail on the opposite side of Highland Valley Road. The Coast to Crest Trail continued to the left, heading to Raptor Ridge. For today though, this was our turnaround point. We took advantage of the picnic table to sit down and enjoy a brief rest before turning around and heading back.
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Take I-15 to the Via Rancho Parkway exit. Go east on Via Rancho Parkway 1 block to Sunset Drive. Turn right onto Sunset Drive, follow the road a short distance and look for the Sikes Adobe Staging Area on your left (slightly before the road dead ends) and park there. You can park on the street if the lot is full. map
|Total Distance:||6.3 miles|
|Total Ascent:||200 feet|
|Dog Friendly?:||Leashed dogs allowed|
|Bike Friendly?:||Bikes allowed|
|Facilities:||Port-a-potty near trailhead; no water|