Survey of Trail from El Monte Park to Blossom Valley

March 28, 2011

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On March 28, 2011, I led an Outdoors Club hike along the newly-opened Trail from El Monte County Park to Blossom Valley.

In my notes, I called it the "Flume Trail", but that name appears nowhere on the trail, it is rather hard to find the flume, and it is off-limits because it is on private property.

I had previously explored a small part of the trail near El Monte County Park.

The trail was dedicated on February 22, but I did not attend that ceremony. When I got there for the first time, on March 5, I parked in El Monte County Park and paid a $3 fee. It wasn't until I approached the trail on the west end of the park that I found the trailhead, with free parking, on the other side of El Monte Rd. Its latitude and longitude are N 32 53.414 W 116 50.992.

The trail is about two miles long, although the straight-line distance is only about one mile. From El Monte County Park to Blossom Valley is almost entirely uphill, with lots of switchbacks. The change in elevation is slightly more than 1000 feet.

It took us about one and one-half hours to climb to Blossom Valley, and about one and one-quarter hours to return.

I plotted our travels on a topographic map. It showed that what we thought was the old flume was in fact an old fire road. The old flume, which is shown on the topographic map, seems to have passed through a tunnel under the present location of trail. The remains should be near the large rocks in one of my posted pictures, but I overlooked them entirely. Maybe next time.

The trailhead in the Blossom Valley area is on the north side of Creek Hills Rd., next to a yellow fire hydrant and a yellow-top post. The approximate address is 15220 Creek Hills Rd., El Cajon CA 92021 (Thomas 1213 B7, N 32 52.805 W 116 50.434). The Google Maps photograph was apparently taken before the trail was built. It shows the fire hydrant, but no trail and no yellow-top post.

Part, but not all, of the trail appears on aerial photographs taken in 2002. These photographs do not show Creek Hills Rd.

The coordinates of El Monte Rd. taken on March 5 contain a rollover error, but the part plotted on the topo is accurate.

Transcript of survey on March 28.
Transcript of previous survey on March 5.
Image annotations.
Data plotted on topo
Aerial photographs

Philip J. Erdelsky