19 hikers split into two groups at the meeting place: 8 faster hikers (including five newbies) left early in two vehicles, leaving the 11 slower ones, some of whom had inexplicably been put off the longer hike by the published description, to follow on afterwards. (Sorry, Janet, I can’t call them longer and shorter hikers, or higher and lower hikers!)
Despite the leader’s best efforts to go astray and start bushwhacking, starting even before we (should have) left the surfaced road, the faster hikers made excellent progress up the initial 3-km 4WD vehicle track, past ever-expanding fields, to the first peak and then along increasingly narrower and less distinct still-forested (for now) trails past the second peak.
We reached our day’s objective, Doi San Jon (1440m), in less than 3 hours, in time for an early lunch on the rocks at the summit, from where we could just see parts of the famous Wat Prabhat Si Roi meditation temple down in the next valley to the north.
After a brief explore, trying in vain to find another way off the fairly steep-sided peak, we retraced our steps, meeting four rifle-toting local villagers who insisted they were just looking for their cows, and made it back to the vehicles in time to join the slower hikers for a second, partly liquid, lunch.
While it may not be one of our classic hike routes, it was very pleasant walking at these high altitudes (about 10ºC cooler than in town), through the shady pines with a few cooling breezes and congenial company.
Filed under: Hike Reports