Climbing up the Bellota Trail out of Molino Basin a Gopher Snake and then a Tarantula stop my progress – not what I was expecting on a December afternoon – but always beautiful to see, I watch them move slowly away from the trail. There is water and mud at West Spring Tank – and in Milagrosa Canyon as I turn south.
I don’t see anyone on the Milagrosa Trail and the ridge between the canyons feels wonderfully far from the city. Trail 46A down into Agua Caliente Canyon – along the bottom – and then the climb to join the Agua Caliente Hill Trail.
A pause at the summit and we start down – the sun, grass and views are stunning! The day fades – we watch the lights come on in the city and finish our in the Agua Caliente Hill South Trailhead just before the moon rises. 13.7 miles, +3200’/-4500′ elevation gain/loss.