Guatay Mountain June 20

Legend has it that a Kumeyaay chief is buried somewhere on Guatay Mountain and his ghost has visited the little community of Guatay over the years. He supposedly has protected the mountain from Fire. It has not ever burned. I set out to find the chief. The Pine Valley Nature Preserve starting point has a nice parking lot and restrooms! The heavy rains this winter have made the trail more of a ditch in some areas. The trail is a moderate out-and -back, until you get to the last ½ mile – then it’s really steep and full of scree. It made for a sketchy decent. There is a unique grove of Tecate Cypress on the mountain which apparently grows only here and on Cuyamaca. From the grove you can see the little community of Guatay which was the location of a stagecoach station on the San Antonio/San Diego line in the mid-1800’s
A rock circle is built on the summit of Guatay, but I doubt it has anything to do with the Chief. I did see a horned frog who had a good time watching me eat a snack on the summit. He kept inflating and deflating himself I guess as a show of his command over the summit. There were several comments from other hikers about the frog in the register. I did not see the Chief unless he was reincarnated as the horned frog.




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