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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days Messages in this topic - RSS

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 387


11/17/2020
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 387
Was able to meet up with Brian and do a 2 day trip to Rockhouse Canyon. We started 3 miles short of the end of Rockhouse Canyon Rd. Plan was to get to lower rockhouses and head up Adler then take Nicholias Canyon to the cottonwoods, camp and head back towards Old Santa Rosa ruins then back out. Carrying a substantial amount of water we banked on Nicholias spring being active-it was.

Near beginning of the canyon is Hidden Spring..
It's not hidden and was little more than wet dirt-no standing water.


Lower rockhouse ruins


Headed up Adler looking for the Nicholias junction. Really fantastic rocks in this area. Nicholias to the right.


Saw this near junction-not sure if it's a target or? about 3' x 2'. Made out of plastic.


The dry falls starting up Nicholias were a bit challenging for me-especially with a heavy pack.



From here to the ridge near the cottonwoods was the toughest part of the hike. The canyon becomes choked with fallen trees forcing you out and its really overgrown with no easy routes without bushwhacking. Slow going.

An old mining pump?


View from ridge


Made it to cottonwoods just before dark. Was a long day. Temps got down to 37F, no wind.




Toro Peak


Woke up and headed to Nicholias Spring to load up on water. It was flowing great.
https://imgur.com/y3sdyRK


The area near the cottonwood and spring has more mountain lion prints than I have ever seen anywhere. You can't go more than a few steps without seeing them. Lots of animal activity here.


Broke camp and headed towards Old Santa Rosa ruins. The trails going here were heaven compared to coming up the canyon.




We checked out a spring and headed to the Santa Rosa Ruins

Pot shard Brian found


Old Santa Rosa Ruins




Miner trash can?



From here it was cross country following game trails to lower rockhouses and then back to the cars. Was a fantastic trip.


Mylar Balloons-3
TOTAL
Distance: 28.40 mi
Elevation gain/loss: 4625'/-4631'

edited by Rocko1 on 11/17/2020
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 57


11/17/2020
Brian
Brian
Posts: 57
This was my first time successfully making it to the cottonwoods. Couldn't have done it without Rocko1's motivation (not to mention excellent route finding through the tough stuff).

Thanks to Scooter also for the advice.
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 862


11/17/2020
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 862
Man that campsite looks awesome. Great trip report to an area I've yet to explore.

--
http://www.coyotelearning.org
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Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 83


11/17/2020
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 83
Great trip report ! Love that place. Talk about being away from civilization. Great JOB, no easy feat!!
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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2469


11/18/2020
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2469
Great TR, thanks for sharing. That target is from upstream, several target shooting setups can be found if you continue up the wash, this seems to a popular location for remote shooting and helicopter landing tracks have been identified in the past.

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http://www.sefcik.com
http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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11/18/2020
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2469
Rocko1 wrote:
[When we were settling in at camp just after dark I heard faint voices-Brian heard these too. It sounded like people coming through the brush-from multiple directions to me- but I never saw headlamps or signs of a camp the next morning. Hearing about the old illegal growing ops-this certainly put me on high alert.
edited by Rocko1 on 11/18/2020
Not saying this is what voices you heard but there are many illegal grow sites in that area. They should be dormant at this time of year but not so much a couple of months ago.

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http://www.sefcik.com
http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 57


11/18/2020
Brian
Brian
Posts: 57
Buford wrote:
Cool report. Definitely a good area to explore. Was the bucket still at Nicholias Spring for water gathering?

Anywhere there is water or a spring is a potential grow site. I have run into a couple in various places.

The Cottonwoods sure get cold as they are in a frost pocket. My trip up there a couple years ago our sleeping bags were covered in frost and ice.

Hidden Spring had standing water a couple weeks ago if you poked around in the brush. Not enough for human consumption and pretty muddy.


Yes, the bucket is still there!

The frost pocket thing might explain why the low was about 10 degrees less than what my point forecast from weather.gov had suggested it would be.
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 560


11/20/2020
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 560
Great trip report and photos. So far from civilization, yet so close. Biggest concern with the Feds is the water diversion, chemicals and poisons put into the environment with the grow operations. I agree 100%! I have hiked into a few grow sites by accident over the years and the feel the hair go up on my skin as I am allergic to lead! Never been shot at, but felt I was being watched.
edited by rockhopper on 11/20/2020
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Zegna140
Zegna140
Posts: 3


26 days ago
Zegna140
Zegna140
Posts: 3
Cahuilla trails run throughout RHV, to the Nicolias village then west down to the creek, past the funeral site and then further west towards the Santa Rosa Indian Reservation. Last week, I wanted to get into the middle of the storm so I hiked up to Old Santa Rosa, 5 hours from Hidden Spring, and spent the night in the snow. Beautiful. The trail from the first set of ruins to OSR follows a wash just past the last rockhouse. Or you can head over to the "Pottery Making Camp" which is at the base of the Santa Rosas where the old trail goes up and over the mountain to Martinez Canyon. There's a year round spring and nice little campsite at the PMC. Used by Indians, cattlemen, miners, hikers for centuries. Morteros nearby. Pottery shards. The descent into Martinez is rather un-Indian like-- it basically follows an arroyo that is, miraculously, for the east side of the Santa Rosas, pretty gentle. Found some painted pottery pieces along that route a few years back. From the PMC, the trail heads to Old Santa Rosa and from there it's about an hour to Nicolias, all on deeply rutted, well marked Indian trail. Mortero sites along the way as well as an occasional shard. That waterfall section you guys ran into is one of the most difficult parts of RHV! Ahhh, just thinking about RHV, I think I'll head back again this weekend.
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 57


26 days ago
Brian
Brian
Posts: 57
Zegna140 wrote:
Cahuilla trails run throughout RHV, to the Nicolias village then west down to the creek, past the funeral site and then further west towards the Santa Rosa Indian Reservation. Last week, I wanted to get into the middle of the storm so I hiked up to Old Santa Rosa, 5 hours from Hidden Spring, and spent the night in the snow. Beautiful. The trail from the first set of ruins to OSR follows a wash just past the last rockhouse. Or you can head over to the "Pottery Making Camp" which is at the base of the Santa Rosas where the old trail goes up and over the mountain to Martinez Canyon. There's a year round spring and nice little campsite at the PMC. Used by Indians, cattlemen, miners, hikers for centuries. Morteros nearby. Pottery shards. The descent into Martinez is rather un-Indian like-- it basically follows an arroyo that is, miraculously, for the east side of the Santa Rosas, pretty gentle. Found some painted pottery pieces along that route a few years back. From the PMC, the trail heads to Old Santa Rosa and from there it's about an hour to Nicolias, all on deeply rutted, well marked Indian trail. Mortero sites along the way as well as an occasional shard. That waterfall section you guys ran into is one of the most difficult parts of RHV! Ahhh, just thinking about RHV, I think I'll head back again this weekend.


Zegna140 thanks for all the good info! That must have been amazing to be in OSR in the snow.

I had been unsuccessful in a previous attempt to get to Nicholias when I followed the route in Schad's book (basically cross country from the lower ruins to the point he calls the knob which forms the eastern boundary of Nicholias). That stretch was very overgrown and I found it much more difficult to deal with than the waterfalls. Glad to know that's as bad as it gets though!

We had planned to visit the spring that I'm pretty sure is the PMC site you mention. Didn't get there for lack of time, but I definitely want to check it out on a future trip. The route from there to Martinez has always intrigued me but is probably beyond my ability. I was in Martinez canyon yesterday and just the hike to the cabin was hard for me.
edited by Brian on 2/2/2021
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 560


24 days ago
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 560
Zegna140 wrote:
Cahuilla trails run throughout RHV, to the Nicolias village then west down to the creek, past the funeral site and then further west towards the Santa Rosa Indian Reservation. Last week, I wanted to get into the middle of the storm so I hiked up to Old Santa Rosa, 5 hours from Hidden Spring, and spent the night in the snow. Beautiful. The trail from the first set of ruins to OSR follows a wash just past the last rockhouse. Or you can head over to the "Pottery Making Camp" which is at the base of the Santa Rosas where the old trail goes up and over the mountain to Martinez Canyon. There's a year round spring and nice little campsite at the PMC. Used by Indians, cattlemen, miners, hikers for centuries. Morteros nearby. Pottery shards. The descent into Martinez is rather un-Indian like-- it basically follows an arroyo that is, miraculously, for the east side of the Santa Rosas, pretty gentle. Found some painted pottery pieces along that route a few years back. From the PMC, the trail heads to Old Santa Rosa and from there it's about an hour to Nicolias, all on deeply rutted, well marked Indian trail. Mortero sites along the way as well as an occasional shard. That waterfall section you guys ran into is one of the most difficult parts of RHV! Ahhh, just thinking about RHV, I think I'll head back again this weekend.



Zenga,
Welcome to the forum! Hikers and explorers of our special place on the planet.

I missed the PMC in rock house valley. Darn it ! Have to go back. We hiked up the Native American trail toward the ridge going to Martinez canyon. Never have been down it. The trail going down to Martinez canyon looks like it has vanished to history and lack of use. I am pretty sure there are some trail remnants left on the descending ridges. But don't know for sure. I would like to know which arroyo you went down. Any photos? The painted pottery sounds interesting too. Again. Welcome.
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