Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Bedford Peak

The no-nonsense climb (2200 feet of elevation gain) to Bedford Peak, one of the principal summits along the Santa Ana Mountains’ “Main Divide,” is both physically demanding and scenically rewarding. The latter is especially true during certain periods of time — October through March, when clear, dry air prevails over the Southern California region.

To get to the trailhead in Silverado Canyon, exit either of Orange County’s eastern toll roads (Highway 241 or 261) at Santiago Canyon Road. Drive six miles east to Silverado Canyon Road, turn left, and drive east into Silverado Canyon. You’ll pass the sites of Carbondale and Silverado, boom towns that popped up in response to coal and silver strikes in the late 1870s. After population in the area peaked at around a thousand, boom turned to bust by 1883 as the nearby coal ledges and silver-ore bodies were depleted. Today, a fair number of people have returned; Silverado Canyon Road is lined with attractive homes and cabins. Proceed a total of 5.4 miles on Silverado Canyon Road to the forest gate (which may or may not be closed and locked to keep out vehicles) at the east end of the community of Silverado Canyon. Park near here, and be sure to post a National Forest Adventure Pass on your parked car.

On foot now, continue uphill past the vehicle gate into Silverado Canyon. In about 300 yards, just after crossing the alder-shaded bottom of the canyon, turn sharply to the left (west) on the old roadbed that climbs sharply up the north wall of the canyon. This is the Silverado Trail (Silverado Motorway on older maps), built originally for fire control, then used for a while by four-wheel-drive enthusiasts. It is now severely eroded in places, but suitable enough for hiking.

Eventually, you swing right at a junction and follow the top of a ridge on a wide track striking northeast, toward the Main Divide. On reaching Main Divide Road (2.9 miles from the start), turn right, continue 0.3 mile, then walk up the rounded 3800-foot summit of Bedford Peak on the right. There’s no place to rest comfortably on the open summit, but the view — from the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Peninsular Ranges — can be stupendous on a clear day.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any adverse experience.

Bedford Peak
Climb to the crest of the Santa Ana Mountains for a stupendous view.
Distance from downtown San Diego: 105 miles
Biking length: 6.6 miles (round-trip)
Difficulty: Strenuous

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Dead Cross cover Black Flag’s “Rise Above” in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Jonny Tarr, Dead Cross, Electric Mud, Howard Blank’s Outsiders, Trees

The no-nonsense climb (2200 feet of elevation gain) to Bedford Peak, one of the principal summits along the Santa Ana Mountains’ “Main Divide,” is both physically demanding and scenically rewarding. The latter is especially true during certain periods of time — October through March, when clear, dry air prevails over the Southern California region.

To get to the trailhead in Silverado Canyon, exit either of Orange County’s eastern toll roads (Highway 241 or 261) at Santiago Canyon Road. Drive six miles east to Silverado Canyon Road, turn left, and drive east into Silverado Canyon. You’ll pass the sites of Carbondale and Silverado, boom towns that popped up in response to coal and silver strikes in the late 1870s. After population in the area peaked at around a thousand, boom turned to bust by 1883 as the nearby coal ledges and silver-ore bodies were depleted. Today, a fair number of people have returned; Silverado Canyon Road is lined with attractive homes and cabins. Proceed a total of 5.4 miles on Silverado Canyon Road to the forest gate (which may or may not be closed and locked to keep out vehicles) at the east end of the community of Silverado Canyon. Park near here, and be sure to post a National Forest Adventure Pass on your parked car.

On foot now, continue uphill past the vehicle gate into Silverado Canyon. In about 300 yards, just after crossing the alder-shaded bottom of the canyon, turn sharply to the left (west) on the old roadbed that climbs sharply up the north wall of the canyon. This is the Silverado Trail (Silverado Motorway on older maps), built originally for fire control, then used for a while by four-wheel-drive enthusiasts. It is now severely eroded in places, but suitable enough for hiking.

Eventually, you swing right at a junction and follow the top of a ridge on a wide track striking northeast, toward the Main Divide. On reaching Main Divide Road (2.9 miles from the start), turn right, continue 0.3 mile, then walk up the rounded 3800-foot summit of Bedford Peak on the right. There’s no place to rest comfortably on the open summit, but the view — from the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Peninsular Ranges — can be stupendous on a clear day.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any adverse experience.

Bedford Peak
Climb to the crest of the Santa Ana Mountains for a stupendous view.
Distance from downtown San Diego: 105 miles
Biking length: 6.6 miles (round-trip)
Difficulty: Strenuous

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

The Truth: no better suited than Catherine Deneuve

Hers truly is an imitation of life.
Next Article

Dress up with cork wedges from Aerosoles and a necklace from Pier 1

“For three months, I existed only on yoga pants and sweatpants.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close