Temple Peak Petroglyph Trail

31 May 2018

Don't let this title fool you. It may have been 50% somewhat clickbait, but that is because there is not a single photo of a petroglyh in this collection of photographs. Yet, the title in a sense is not clickbait, because that is what the trail is supposed to be leading you to. 

Upon arrivial, I was handed a map, given a tour, and the surrounding hiking trails were described to me. This one in particular was a trail that had an abandoned (small) movie set along the way to some petroglyphs on the rocks. I checked my watch, and by watch, I mean the one on my cellular device. It was zero three hundrend o'clock...p.m. I had time for a short hike. 
San Diego hiking trails
The hike began on a small dirt road. Temple Peak clear ahead. A cool breeze blew, there was a pep in my step, for I was excited to finally hike after 6 months of having to 'stay off my foot'. Lame. I know, but that's what happens when you're old and you're still clowin' around trying to do parkour. 

But I digress. The abandoned 'movie set' was merely nothing more than a run down wooden shack. There was no indication of what movie was filmed here, but who cares, we're on the search for petroglyphs. 
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley
protected area / petroglyphs somewhere
Once past the wooden movie shack, the trail split in two ways. To my right, a mini mountain with water containers on top; to my left, this sign. Clearly stating that this is protected area, which in my head translated to, "surely the petroglyphs are this way!"
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley
I called these the 'butt rock's, they look more like two rock bros leaning on one another. These were parallel to the trail, I thought maybe I should check under here for some petroglyphs. After all, petroglyphs are typically drawn on giant rocks, not on a dirt trail. 
Unfortunately, these rocks were not vandalized with petroglyphs. I made my way back to the trail. I continued the trek, making sure to carefully avoid each jumping cholla cactus I had to walk near. Those things are nasty lil things, the needles have a protective covering and tiny little spurs on the end, so you will scream and bleed as you have to pull them out. 

Soon, the trail came to a dead end. The hum of cars echo'd over from the highway and there was not a petroglyph in sight. I climbed down amongst some rocks, into a dry creek bed.
"Maybe these rocks over here have some petroglyphs," I reasoned. 
Wrong. Instead, I found two rocks leaning together to form a nice bit of shade and some clothes from the last person who camped out beneath them. 

I grabbed my bottle of water-drinking; making sure to save the last bit of water for the bit of trail ahead. By mile four, my feet were sore from the new boots and my quads were only a little bit saying 'take a break'. I had a huge hike the next day and I couldn't risk pulling a muscle. Yet, I saw that there was a branch in the trail that led to the top of Temple Peak. 
"No. You're not doing this." I said to myself and forced myself to walk continue straight on the path.

Fifteen steps later and I turn around. I am going to the top. I am going to find those dern petroglyphs. I started the accent, it was steep and the rocks were loose. Whatever. I'm doing this. I grabbed rocks near me to keep me from sliding, pulling myself to the top. 
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley
The golden rays of sunlight are out there being pretty as they say hello to the rocks in the valley. I steady myself against a larger rock for some of these photos so that the wind doesn't knock me down. The views are incredible. I inspect each rock for petroglyphs. Where are they hiding?
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley
San Diego rock climbing | Photo: Katie Corley
As you begin climbing the rocks to the top, it becomes incredibly steep. Steep to the point that you must pull yourself up a rope, climbing against the rock. If this does not terrify you, please continue on. 
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley
I regret to inform you, the petroglyphs were not found here either. Dear reader, please don't let my foolish meandering on the subject of petroglyphs fool you. I never truly cared about finding the petroglyphs. It just became a goal as the afternoon progressed since they were supposed to be so easy to find along the path. 

The air smelled so clean and fresh atop Temple Peak. The wind brought chills down my spine, it was just me and the birds up here. Solitude. 
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley
Walking back to the trailhead, I noticed the sunlight shining through the rocks to my left. I squeezed between the rocks, examining the walls for petroglyphs until I could not go any further. Maybe next time I'll find them.
San Diego hiking trails | Photo: Katie Corley

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