This past weekend we headed down south to Temecula and San Diego for a baby shower for one of my oldest friends. San Diego is only roughly 150 miles away from where I live but the drive takes roughly 3 hours to get to. To save ourselves some sanity, we decided to get a hotel for the night and make a weekend of it.
As a result of all the recent rain, wildflowers have been blooming all over the Southern California mountainsides. We popped off the highway in Lake Elsinore to take a short hike and snap some photos before the shower.
After the shower we met up with my cousin and his girl friend for dinner at Pizza Port Brewing Co. in Carlsbad. If you aren’t familiar, they have several Southern California locations and they have awesome craft beer and pizza. My favorites are the Kook and Swami’s IPAs which can be found at select area liquor stores. They also have an outdoor patio and are very pet and kid friendly.
Sunday morning we headed down to San Diego for a hike and a quick beach trip. Based upon a recommendation, we went to Cowles Mountain. Cowles Mountain is a 3 mile out and back trail in Mission Trails Regional Park. We had all 3 dogs with us plus our 2 daughters so we didn’t want to do anything overly strenuous.
The hike itself was moderate, with only a 918 ft elevation gain. The trail is very busy and there is no shade at all. The temperatures have been in the 50’s-70’s for months now and it was in the 80’s that day so it felt particularly hot. Our poor Boston Terriers had a rough time. The trails are very clearly marked and easy to follow. I’d definitely recommend getting there early to avoid the crowds and the heat.
As you can see, we made our daughter Brooklynn walk the whole way up which was roughly 1.5 miles. It was just too complicated for me to carry her on my back with the dogs in tow. She hates it, but it’s building character. She made it all the way to the summit with minimal complaints.
We took a break for a little while before heading back down the mountain to enjoy the views. Although this hike doesn’t have much of an elevation gain, the views were still stunning. I did end up carrying Brooklynn down the mountain while juggling 2 of the dogs. I was pretty dang sore the next day!
The entire hike including our multiple stops took just about 2 hours to complete. Typically coming down is easier but since we got a later start than we had hoped, our dogs started to get too hot and everyone started getting irritable. A quick trip to Ocean Beach was a must. This is a dog beach so be prepared for chaos 🙂 It was a lot of fun though. Needless to say, everyone needed a bath immediately when we got home.