santa rosa mtn.

Hiked up to Santa Rosa Mountain via Sawmill Trail, the connector trail, and Santa Rosa Road (7S02).

On Sawmill, I came up on a rattlesnake too quickly. He rattled, coiled back into strike position. He didn't strike. I withdrew. He slowly moved off the trail. That was the closest call I've had with a rattlesnake.

As close a call as that rattlesnake encounter was, it didn't freak me out as much as seeing my first Jerusalem cricket. I had to Google a description of this thing to find out what it was. All I knew at the time was that it was bright orange, black and white, and as big as my thumb--and I have big thumbs.

Jerusalem cricket

Since I wasn't able to find much info on water sources before this hike, I'll post what I found in mid-September.

The first water source I found was about five miles up, at the end of Sawmill. You'll see an old stone kiln to the right and the Sawmill extension road to your left. Head up the extension road for a bit until you see the old log splitter. In the middle of the field to the right of the log splitter, you'll find a black hose with running water. After you tank up, head back down the extension and bear left onto the connector trail.

Sawmill kiln

The second water source I found was about three miles farther up the mountain. After hiking the connector trail, continue straight down Santa Rosa Road to the campground. Someone snapped the faucet off the pipe, so the water was shooting straight up. However, I was able to catch water in a wide-mouth cup. You'll have to hike back up the road and past a string of yellow-post campsites to reach Santa Rosa peak.

Santa Rosa peak seen from the connector trail

A view from Santa Rosa Mtn.