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Secret Canyon Trail, Cleveland National Forest

This trail is 15 miles long, but we only went 6. 

We basically just wanted to take the dogs on a short hike to Pine Creek in San Diego County. We were up 3000 feet above sea level, but the hike was an easy probably 500 foot elevation gain, that you barely even noticed.. The creek is a seasonal creek, but we got a little rain, and we just wanted to go visit this area. 

This canyon was used by horse thieves because it provides water most of the year and goes straight to Mexico. The Secret Canyon Trail leads to Horse Thief Trail and runs all the way to the border. 

It was such a gorgeous day, with the highs in the upper 70’s. The dogs enjoyed the cool water, and Luna got to see her first cow! Biggest dog she has ever seen! 

You start off the hike by crossing the Pine Creek. 

The crossing, you see mud and cow foot prints. This area is also a ranch. You have to share the trail with cows! Meika hasnt seen one since she was a pup, and this was Luna’s first time. 

I decided to do something different on this hike. We hiked to where we decided to turn around, at about 3 mile mark.. This was kind of a rest day. Only 6 miles out and back. 

And here is where we decided to have lunch and spend a few hours, before heading back. It was a clear pool, but the dogs have already been in for a swim..

As you see..

I turned this photo, but you can see Meika coming down for a second dip if you look on the left hand side of the frame.

As she makes it to the water for a long drink…

Nothing like just laying in the water on a hot day! 

Looking down the creek, you might notice a lot of dead trees. In 2007 this place was burned by a wild fire. 

A tree fit for Halloween.

I had to put the camera down. There was a cow incident. One giant heifer came down for a drink. The dogs got scared, Meika barked, and Luna hid behind us. 

This was shot just after the cow decided to drink elsewhere.. Luna on the lookout! 

She stayed that way for some time, smelling the air and wondering what in the world she had just seen.. It came from that way..

and it went that way! 

Aren’t Aussies supposed to be cow dogs? lol She must take after the Doberman side. No cow love here..

This was Penny’s first long hike. She did really good and laid in the sun just enjoying the scenery. She was the least effected by those saber toothed cows!! 

That boulder the Penny chose to rest on was really pretty! 

It was so big! 

And one last look at this tiny pool before heading back. I took a bunch of pictures on the way back. I got vertigo.  I swear it was a goat trail with steep ravines. The way back offers some amazing views. Look for it soon. 

Have a great day! 


What do you think?


Written by Kim_Johnson

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    • I swear thats what they acted like. hahaha, Ya know the kind, fangs dripping saliva… Poor cows, yes they were cows, no steers around, whew. And the cows were so good with the dogs. Not the other way around.. 🙁
      I have never been bitten by a cow either, licked a lot, but no teeth involved. Now on the other hand, I have been bitten, stepped on, thrown off, but luckily never kicked by a horse.

    • Thank you Carol. My wish came true. A small doberman that likes to herd things. lol. The best of both breeds. She is the perfect model isn’t she. She is so much easier to shoot than Meika.
      The exercise is hard. lol. I am not so sure about it all right at this moment. I did two hikes this weekend. This was the easy one. I cant hardly move today, and I have to go back to work. lol

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