Starvation Mountain is a relatively unknown mountain found on the outskirts of Escondido and San Pasqual, in Southern California. It can easily be seen from I-15 near Escondido, towering high above the nearby peaks. It is surrounded by a popular mountain road named Highland Valley Road. The lower parts of the mountain are populated, however the upper slopes of the mountain are wild and free. There are many ranchers in the area, therefore a lot of ranches and orchards are present around.
The main trailhead featured on this page is on Starvation Mountain Road and starts at approximately 1,200 feet and climbs up to the 2,103 feet high summit, making it an approximately 900 feet climb. The trail is only a few miles long and can be done in a few hours. The trail is clearly visible the whole way as it spirals up the peak. There are many opportunities for bouldering near the top, as large boulders and rockwalls are found all over the place. Also, there are many oak trees up there, as well as birds and lizards that can be found just about anywhere.
The view from the top is very enjoyable as it overlooks most of Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, San Pasqual, Ramona, and much more.
From I-15 North and South, get off the Pomerado Road/Highland Valley Road exit, make a Right turn on Pomerado Road and a few feet later a left on Highland Valley Road. Follow the windy road up the mountain, then turn Right on Highland Mesa Dr, then continue straight onto Starvation Mountain Road. Steer to the left twice and make a Left at the next Y intersection. Follow the road until you see a trail opening on the left side. Park on the side of the road, making sure not to block it. This is where the trailhead starts.
An alternative place to park is by the water tower at the end of the road.
There are no fees or permits required to hike up from the trailhead. However, please keep in mind that most of the mountain base is located on private propriety and that you may have to use an alternate route to find the trailhead if you come across closed gates.
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