Gaskill and Lawson Peaks

New landscape at the perfect time.

I found my love for trail running while I was living in San Diego, but only ventured as far as Mission Trails and Cowles Peak which is pretty much in San Diego proper. I hadn’t yet discovered the value of driving an hour or more to get to the backcountry. I didn’t even know San Diego had a backcountry until I had moved away and learned how to hunt for trails.

A few weeks ago I went out to San Diego to visit girlfriends and I set a day aside to visit a trail I never experienced when I lived so close.

Wet trail and one of the objectives in the background.

Gaskill and Lawson Peaks
TH: No proper TH. There is room for about 2 cars right in front of the gate that blocks off the road and then it is street parking. The shoulders are virtually non-existent though, so I suggest not going on weekends.
Conditions: Mostly 4wd road until you start getting on the peaks and then it is scrambling that is not as intuitive as you would like.
AllTrails Route: Gaskill and Lawson Peaks
My Route: Same
Miles: 8
Elevation Gain: 2,600ft.
Water: No way.
Bathroom: Nope.
Dogs: On leash. Always.
Special Notes: I am used to the best months in the backcountry being June-October. This trail and this backcountry is best in Winter, (October – March.) There is no water and no shade, and in the summertime would be awful.

This was the best time to do this trail. This backcountry is desert, and if you go out in the peak of summer it will be hot and there is not water and no shade.

Someone left a comment on alltrails that the views weren’t that good. What were they expecting? We aren’t in the alps. I’d say these are some of the best views you can get in this area. You can see the ocean as you stand on a peak! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the views.

We went when the clouds were hovering just above the peaks, the trails were wet and we even crossed a few streams! There was so much life yet my dad and I were the only two people on the trail. It really was a beautiful time to see that area.

My dad, scramblin’ toward Lawson.

I am kicking myself for not utilizing that area when I lived there, but it was such a special hike to do years after I had moved away and to do it with my dad.

No crack climbing required, but crack squeezing a must.

I am convinced that there is wild beauty in every corner of the world, you just have to want to find it.

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