December 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - The Mission Trails Regional Park Trail Guides will lead pre-dawn hikes to the area of the solstice observatory on Cowles Mountain on the 20th and 22nd of December. The Canyoneers of the San Diego Natural History Museum will lead the hike on the 21st.
The solstice site is approximately one mile up the trail. The age of the site is unknown. It is known that the Kumeyaay used similar sites in Southern California. For all three hikes, we hope to see the rising sun split by a peak on the eastern horizon. The ascent will be in the dark. Good shoes and a flashlight are recommended. These hikes continue to be among the most popular events in the park. A word of caution for anyone joining the hikes or hiking on their own: there is danger of eye damage if you stare directly at the sun. You can observe the sunrise safely for a very few seconds through narrow slits (such as between your fingers held together) or smoked glass. Plan on a two-hour hike.
Meet at the Cowles Mountain Staging Area (located on the corner of Golfcrest and Navajo), at the Trailhead, south of the comfort station.
Saturday, December 20th, 6 a.m. - MTRP Trail Guides
Sunday, December 21st, 6 a.m. - SDNHM Canyoneers
Monday, December 22nd, 6 a.m. - MTRP Trail Guides