15. August 2010 17:57
Many people never see a Bighorn out in the Anza Borrego Desert. The once thriving Bighorn population has now dwindled to somewhere around 280 by official Park estimates. The Bighorns blend in very well with their environment and will stand still for hours making them impossible to see.
On two previous occasions we have been lucky enough to encounter the elusive Bighorn. The first time was two hours into a hike to the Goat Canyon Trestle, while our second encounter was with a bachelor herd of Bighorn rams near Indian Hill in the southern end of Anza Borrego.
Our latest encounter did not require a 3 hour hike and in fact occurred when Lin... [More]
15. July 2010 14:51
If you really want to escape the summer beach crowds of San Diego, but still want to play in the sand, you could always take a 2+ hour drive east to the Anza Borrego Desert.
Our motivation was simple, June gloom had continued two weeks into July, shrouding the coast in clouds. We had forgotten what sunshine felt like.
Mind you this is not journey for those who can't take a little heat. When we pulled up at the Carrizo Gorge turnoff, temperatures were already close to 100' and promised to rise throughout the morning.
Suprisingly, we were not the only foolhardy souls out in Anza Borrego braving the triple digit temperatures. When Mary ... [More]
1. May 2010 15:36
Tucked away in the southern end of the Anza Borrego Desert is an engineering marvel that, due to its' remoteness, has only been viewed by a relatively small number of people. The Goat Canyon Trestle was built in 1932 after an earthquake collapsed one of the tunnels of the Carrizo Gorge section of the San Diego Arizona Railroad.
At two hundred feet tall and 750 feet long, it remains to this day the longest, tallest curved wooden trestle ever built in the United States. The sheer ruggedness of the mountainous terrain as well as the searing desert temperatures warranted the name "The Impossible Railroad".
The preferred route is to park near Mo... [More]
22. April 2010 14:27
I left early Wednesday morning with the plan to do a solo day hike out to the Goat Canyon Trestle in the southern Anza Borrego desert.
According to weather reports the rain that was hitting the coast wasn't suppose to hit Ocotillo until Thursday. Sure there were high wind warnings for the deserts and the mountains but hey, what's a little wind ?
As I began to drive up the grade past Pine Valley for my eventual descent into the desert, I quickly realized that this was not an ordinary Spring storm. Rain had quickly turned to snow as I approached the Sunrise Highway turn-off. Snow? Wait, isn't Memorial Day weekend with it... [More]
19. April 2010 16:54
Join David, a member of our Anza Borrego Forums, as he hikes up the Wilson Trail for a solo overnight backpack trip.
The trail to Pinyon Ridge is called the Wilson Trail. It follows an old Jeep road for about 5 miles and ends in a beautiful little valley just to the east of Wilson Peak. This is the sign that greets you as you pull off S-22 and head for the trail head.
4. April 2010 15:03
Tucked away in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park is a place that seems to have more similarities with moon, or at least what I would imagine the moon to look like.
Arroyo Tapiado or "Mud Wall Wash" is an area of southern Anza Borrego that has some of the most extensive mud caves in the world. A few of the dark, twisting passages can be hundreds of feet long ending in rooms with two story ceilings, while other areas require you to suck in your gut and crawl on all fours.
Archaeological excavations have uncovered fossils of mammoths, sabre-tooth tigers and other animals dating back millions of years which adds to the otherworld... [More]
25. March 2010 03:58
The wildflowers and cactus blooms have arrived in the southern Anza Borrego Desert
When my sister Linda viewed last week's wildflower update post she insisted I take her on a mid-week flower hunting trip. After much arm twisting I agreed and here is what we found.
We had this great encounter with a couple of Jackrabbits in Indian Valley. Once they realized that we weren't a threat they chased each other around the LandCruiser for a good ten minutes. Linda commented that it was probably some rabbit mating ritual being Spring and all.
Check the rest of the Wildflower Photos Here (Small Thumbnails)
19. March 2010 04:17
Deep in the rugged expanse of Carrizo Gorge in the Anza Borrego desert, there is a small cave of pictographs that few have ever seen. The area is surrounded by large unstable mountains, choked with catclaw, and littered with large truck size boulders. The Carrizo Gorge also marks the transition from the Colorado Desert to the dry San Diego coastal mountains.
We have visited the area numerous times. At one point Mary and I tried to scout a route to Goat Canyon along Carrizo Gorge. While this is doable, we were eventually turned back by thick groves of catclaw that proceeded to tear at our skin and clothes.
Fast forward to a couple mont... [More]
14. March 2010 03:10
I signed Mary and I up for a day trip with the Anza-Borrego Foundation to Harper Cabin in the central part of the Anza Borrego Desert. My reasoning for signing up for an organized tour was two-fold. First the hike was being led by Mark Jorgensen who probably knows the Anza Borrego Desert better than anybody, and second while we know the southern area of the Anza Borrego Desert fairly well, we are not very familiar with the central area. We are "down-southers" according to Mark.
The tour was set to leave at 8AM from the Tamarisk Grove campground so with our neighbor's Don and Kathleen in tow we packed sandwiches, filled water bottles, l... [More]
7. March 2010 05:12
I took another scouting trip to the south end of the Anza Borrego Desert to see how the wildflowers and cactus blooms were progressing. It looks like we have another couple weeks for a peak bloom in the southern areas. There are many cacti with buds that are ready to explode.
This beautiful Barrel Cactus near Indian Hill was getting a jump start on its neighbors.
We also noticed a few small Fishook Cacti with tiny rings of flowers.
Penstemon pseudospectabilis(?) nestled between the rocks.
Unfortunately on our search for wildflowers near Arroyo Seco del Diablo and Arroyo Tapiado we noticed a large amount of Sahara Mustard in areas t... [More]