Distance: 16 miles RT
Time: 9 hours
Last weekend we decided that it was time to return to Mt. Santiago for some unfinished business. Our last attempt at this peak was stopped short due to a heavy rain storm that made the trail nearly impossible. Saturday's weather was much better and we were able to drive right to the trailhead at 1600'.
The Holy Jim Trail is now in excellent shape and goes by some small cabins, across Trabuco creek a number of times and goes through some really pretty scenery. After about five miles, the trail comes out of the forest and climbs somewhat steeply up a fire road that is mostly exposed to the sun. The last three miles seem to take a long time and we had to stop a few times for rest breaks but the summit was in view and we kept pressing on. After about 5 1/2 hours of climbing, we made it to the summit which is an array of radio antennas. The view was obscured by the haze and smog but it was nice to know that we made it to the top after seeing the summit almost everyday. We covered the 8 miles back down in about 3 1/2 hours so our total time time was 9 hours including about 30 minutes on the summit. We are working well as a team and are looking forward to our next summit which will probably be Mt. Baldy in a few weeks.