There is something to be said for December afternoons. The air feels clear and fresh and the sunsets are the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. Although I didn’t hang out long enough for the sunset I still was able to enjoy the afternoon.
A few months back I came across the mention of the Wilderness Garden Park and have been intrigued ever since. I had never heard of it, and it wasn’t far from me, so I thought about finding my way ever so often. Normally I would embark on a trail adventure earlier in the morning, but my schedule just wouldn’t allow it today, and I really didn’t want to miss out on my opportunity of getting outside today. So, Rocky and I piled into the car, and off we went.
As much as I enjoy having the trails to myself, I also like to have some people around just in case something goes astray. This definitely wasn’t the case here. There were no cars in the lot, and I felt a bit relieved to see the ranger pull up, where I of course initiated small talk just so that he was aware that I was there.
I learned very quickly that this little adventure wasn’t going to take very long at all. In the entire park there are about 6 trails, but they are all less that a mile, and all link to each other in one way or another.
The area was truly beautiful, but not really a hike in my book. We were simply walking and following the trails with no elevation gain or loss. I decided that this would be a great place to begin trail running again, as the trails did become quite technical in some areas, and were definitely interesting.
The entire area is focused around the San Luis Rey River and Aqua Tibia Wilderness areas so I was hopeful that there would be some water crossings, but unfortunately those areas were dry. The only water that we found was this pond right along the trail.
It was very apparent that this entire wilderness area hardly saw any sun as it was, and on the shortest day of the year I was not about to be out on the trail after the sun went down, so we started heading back. At that point we found the other end of the “scenic trail” which I remember seeing at the beginning of the adventure, so we took it back.
If only the entire area was like the scenic trail!! The trail was cool and technical and we actually hiked! The view from the highest part of the trail was awesome and worth the little bit of sweat equity put into it.
Overall we had a great time and most important we were outside exploring, and enjoying a beautiful December afternoon in nature.