Mt Solmar Conquered!

Hike to the cross is rewarded with fabulous vistas
BY: RON LAFFERTY

Mt Solmar is the name local Gringos have given to that 1500 foot mound of rock that lies just behind the arch. It separates the Solmar resort which lies on the Pacific side, from the town side. 

A good squint from the marina area will be rewarded with a view of a white cross made of steel that’s been screwed into the rock at the very summit.  

It’s a hike to the summit to hang yourself on the cross as hikers seem to like to do. On the day we summited, there were more hikers than we could ever imagine, as it isn’t an easy trip.  The mostly 20 somethings who were chatting about last night’s adventures in the local hot spots seemed to almost glide up what we 50 somethings thought was rather arduous.  

What we Gringos thought would be a nice stroll up a switch back trail of switch backs was not. There is no trail to the top, soon after setting out it became a scramble over rocks and cactus, at times using handholds that we imagined harbored creepy crawly critters. One would think that with so many hikers, a path would have been worn, but there was not, as everyone seemed to pick a different way. 

Our way is not recommended, as we followed the fence line around to the back side, high above Divorce Beach on the Pacific side. It quickly became straight up, cliff side, which in the event of a fall would be straight down. 

We started across from the Navy base, passing through a gate manned by someone who thought he could shake 50 pesos out of us. But when he failed, he was still genial, telling us his dozen dogs were as friendly as he was. They were. 

Another start would be off Cannery Beach, crawling through a hole in the fence. Just don’t follow the fence around that back side. Look for a pile of rocks on the wide path near the bottom, and start billy goating it up the hill from there. 

The views from the summit were fabulous. It looks so much higher from up there and is a photographer’s dream spot. We sat up there for a long time, just drinking in the view. And, OK, taking in our reward we packed up with us. Tequila shots. Hey! We earned it! 

We took a total of three hours and ten minutes, taking our own sweet time and enjoying the views. Total distance was 1.7 miles and my nifty Fitbit assured us we each burned more than 900 calories. Maybe we should make this hike a couple times a week, and we could eat and drink more. 

Don’t go up there unprepared: On our way down we encountered a fool wearing short shorts and flip flops. Coming down we all slid on our butts, which was not going to be very comfortable for her. And, she was by herself, not the best desert hiking plan. 

So go. Enjoy. See something different, and get a new perspective of this wonderful land we call fin de la tierra. End of the land.