Sitton Peak is easy, fun and blissful

sitton peak, cleveland national forest, ortega mountain, trail running, hiking, easy hike, easy trail run, bear canyon trail, mt. san gorgonio, mt. san jacinto, santiago peak, morning, morning hike, morning run, blue sky,

Yesterday with a couple of hiking/trail running friends, I ventured out to Ortega mountain. Destination: Sitton Peak in Cleveland National Forest! As I am getting into trail running without any reservation as part of injury recovery process (easy on my joints) and benefits from running uphills (interval uphill run), I took my time hiking and trail running up Bear Canyon Trail to Sitton Peak.

lake elsinore, view of mt. san jacinto, morning, on my way to the trailhead for a trail running,

Last time when I hiked around Santiago Peak in Ortega mountain was a couple of days shy of 1 year ago. Then, I hiked part of San Juan Trail with a good friend of mine to Blue Jay Campground. It was my first taste of the lower elevation hikes as my hikes had been strenuous ones in and around Baldy, San Gorgonio and San Jacinto mountains with elevation gains of 4,000 plus feet.

So, it was about time. It was very nice seeing my friend again. And this time another good friend of mine, also hiker and trail runner, joined us and introduced me to Sitton Peak via Bear Canyon Trail.

bear canyon trailhead, cleveland national forest, national forest, ortega mountain, ortega freeway, friends, good company, hiking buddies, hiking friends, heading to sitton peak, morning, morning hike, morning trail run, trail running,

Its trailhead is located on the opposite side of the Ortega Highway, nearby Ortega Oaks Candy Store and Goods, aka the candy store, to hikers. We parked our vehicles in San Juan Loop Trailhead parking lot across the two-lane freeway from the candy store.

altra lone peak 2.5, altra, altra trail running shoes, trail running shoes, very comfortable, big toe box,

I put on my new Altra Lone Peak 2.5 trail running shoes to try out. I was quite thrilled about this opportunity of combining my passion for running and appreciation for nature.

Sitton peak, sitton peak sign, the peak, sitton peak truck trail, ortega mountain, near santiago, near lake elsinore elevation of 3273 feet

Sitton Peak is only 3,273 feet high. And our hike/trail run had only 2,117 feet elevation gain, so naturally it is considered a beginner’s and semi-intermediate hike.

Verduto Truck trail, wide, open, no shade, uphill, dirt, dirt trail, ortega mountain, near Bear Canyon Trail, near Sitton Peak Truck Trail, getting close to Sitton Peak,

Bear Canyon Trail intersects with a few other trails along the way, and it offers many flat and wide open portions, which is just great for trail running. After some shaded parts of the mountain, we came to a wide open junction, which is where the trail meets Verdugo Truck Trail. From this point on, it is a bit of downhill, however, it also soon intersects with Sitton Peak Truck Trail.

When Sitton Canyon Trail reaches the elevation of about 2,820 feet, it veers off to the left. Instead of continuing on it, we got off the trail and started up the half-mile distance of steep uphill incline right before the arrival at the peak. It isn’t difficult but definitely demands full attention as far as one’s footing goes because it is quite slippery. Due to the erosion with sands and tiny stones, my Lone Peak didn’t have much of benefits from its traction.

ocean view, beyond Sitton Peak, ortega mountain, view from Sitton Peak, Cleveland National Forest, national forest, trail running, hiking, trail run, hike, morning,

The peak offers a 360-degree view of the surroundings, including as far as Mt. San Gorgonio, Mt. San Jacinto, and the Pacific Ocean and even Catalina Island, and as close as Santiago Peak, which is on the other side of the Ortega Freeway.

view of Santiago Peak, Ortega mountain, Cleveland National Forest, national forest, ocean view, Catalina Island, hiking, trail running, trail run, hike, dirt trail,

Speaking of Santiago Peak, hiking up Los Pinos Trail to the peak still remains on my bucket list.

Sitton peak, sitton peak register, ortega mountain, Cleveland National Forest, sign in, morning, trail running, hiking,

After taking a quick snack-munching and electrolyte infused water drinking break, I pulled out my camera to take some landscape photos. Also, I didn’t forget to take a quick shot of the geodetic survey marker at Sitton Peak.

Altra lone peak 2.5, altra, altra trail running shoes, trail running shoes, Cleveland National Forest, national forest, trail running, hiking, Geodetic Survey Marker

And after a few obligatory selfies, we hurried back down the trail, and this time it was mostly trail running. I felt that my new trail running shoes were great most of the time. However, its naturally bigger toe box may have given more room for my feet to stay just snug. I may have to put on an extra pair of socks.

It was my second trail run outing, and it was successful in spite of my tight hamstrings.

My left hamstring has gotten better over the past few months since last August, so I didn’t worry much about it, but my right hamstring is a new injury. It is very tight, and it was something that I had to keep an eye on while going up the steep incline although it didn’t cause any major problems on the trail.

It was time for foam roller massaging and more stretching.

How was your weekend training? Have you tried any trail running? Or is it also part of your marathon training regimen? How does the elevation gain help you perform better and faster while training marathon?

Thank you for reading.



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About H Peter Ji Photography

I am a photographer. My photos have been sold on EyeEm, Adobe Stock and ShutterStock and also featured on ViewBug and G+ Landscape Photography Community, and via Death Valley National Park Instagram and Facebook. My work is the natural byproduct of my love for outdoors - backpacking, hiking and camping in nature.

2 responses to “Sitton Peak is easy, fun and blissful”

  1. 유다맨 says :

    How’s your recovery going? Do you just hiking these days? I ran one full marathon May 21st and I am running another one tomorrow. This is the race that I have been training for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • InherentlyAdventurous says :

      Thanks for dropping by! How was the time on the last one? Was it of satisfactory? I hope it was. What race are you running tomorrow? I hope you get your desired time on that one.

      Well, it is a long story as far as injury recovery goes, but my plantar fasciitis in my right foot sort of went away, so I no longer have to put on night splints every night when I go to bed, which is great. But overall, my feet are in a place where it takes time to fully heal. But, that’s okay. Nowadays, running for BQ has taken a backseat because not just hiking but upping my photography game is my thing, so I’ve been concentrating on that. Check out the part of my recent Yosemite NP trip ( if you’re interested. Basically, all of my energy has been going into building a great photography portfolio lately.

      I do still run, 4-7 miles, depending on my mood, but taking my photography to the next level has taken the center stage in my life, so I am doing just that. LOL By the way, if you’re interested, connect with me on either Starava, MapMyRun or Garmin Connect by my name. That’s where I still log in, not as often or long as I used to but, my mileage whenever I can. Of course, whenever I go on a road trip (nowadays specifically for photography), running once again takes a backseat. LOL

      Anyway, hope you have a good result tomorrow.


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