Hiking to the top of Cerros Los Frailes

The heat (90-95 degrees) has been oppressive during the day so we decided to get an early start on our hike jumping into the kayaks as daylight was just cranking up. We paddled to shore and headed up a ravine that looked like a trail. After five minutes or so the path got narrower and more difficult to follow. A number of dead-ends surrounded by various types of cactus had us scrambling up rocks, boulders, and soft sand.

As we cursed the lack of finding the trail we weaved our way up progressively steeper areas. The view of the sunrise on the hills all that would calm the nerves on the particularly sketching spots.

Occasionally we would take a break to enjoy the view and plan our next attack up the mountain.

The constant look out for rattle snakes also added to the experience. We kept working out way up and finally came to a quality overlook after a tough scramble up to the top of some large granite boulders. I was ready to call it good enough but Harrison was having none of it and after enjoying the view he proceeded towards the top.

As the tides of luck turned as we stumbled on to the actual trail and our fears of tumbling down the mountain on our return dissolved as our pace quickened up the established path.

It wasn’t long before we reached the 755 foot summit and found an absolutely breathtaking view both of the Pulmo reef and the anchorage in Los Frailes. I’m so glad that Harrison wasn’t taking any part of going back down before reaching the summit. We even enjoyed a bit of entertainment in the form of a pair of praying mantis.

As the heat built, we decided it was time to head back down.

On the path we cruised, I added to the existing cairns, and nearing the half way point ran into two other women out for a morning hike. They were kind enough to explain how the trail was well marked and they weren’t sure how we missed it. Ugh. Well we will see for ourselves shortly…

Upon reaching the beach we did find a few cairns but in the early morning it is easy to see how we missed them. For any future travelers, be on the look out just off the beach for the start of the trail – save yourself the slow, bouldering adventure we took on. We were all glad to have the challenging start but relieved to have a trail for the trip down.

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