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4 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
I agree with what everyone else said. Whale Peak is probably the easiest of the "major" peaks in the park. The Smugglers route is about as easy as it gets for that kind of hike. Backpacking weight will make it tougher but still very doable.
4 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Did this last year as a day hike with the wife. She is no fan of bushwhacking/route finding and she wasn't deterred by it. If you don't have a problem doing some boulder hopping and a bit of crawling up/under boulders it's not horrible. There are cairns on the south side of the canyon about 30-50' off the floor that are hard to see going up-easier coming down-this is the easier way-you avoid the large boulders and most of the brush. It's just slow going. Good thing is it's only about 1 mile of this and then you pop out near the usual trail. On my next overnight up there I will take this route along with pants. Take the smallest pack you can fit your gear into as well.

Like Scooter said-the route off of Pinyon is much easier-just harder to get to without high clearance-even then you will probably get nice desert pinstriping. Even with this easier route it starts off with boulder hopping up a ravine-just much less distance and less brush.
edited by Rocko1 on 11/27/2020
5 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 76
The main drainage you go up has a lot of boulders from the Smuggler side. No problem with a daypack. If you are going over night, I would take the trail coming off of Pinyon Mountain Road. Off of Pinyon Mountain Road the trail is only difficult for a very short distance
5 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

dsrt_dave
dsrt_dave
Posts: 12
I am thinking of doing a backpacking trip up Whale Peak, but I was thinking parking at the Pictographs and hiking up Smugglers Canyon. Has anyone tried this route? Any thoughts on the difficulty and overall impression of this route? Any feedback is appreciated!
6 days ago
Topic:
Photography

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
Topic: Photography
Scooter wrote:
Beautiful !! The old ramp to Villager.


The very familiar "Cougar Paw" at the base of the Villager climb.

Excellent photography Gents and Gals!
7 days ago
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
Topic: Roost Benchmark
Nice trip report and photos. Like the photo of the landing strip east of Roost.
7 days ago
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Roost Benchmark
tekewin wrote:
Great trip! I did Roost because it was on the Sierra Club SD 100 list. I thought it was a great peak with a nice view of Granite. Wandering along that road, I remember getting the feeling that it was cougar country, but didn't see anything.


Re: marker elevations. I've rarely seen elevation stamped on most markers. Clearly, Roost is way off.


On the road down from Lucky 5, did you see the memorial boots for Michael John Farawell? Not sure if the memorial is still there.



I have been in this area 4-5 times in the last 2 years. I did not see that memorial or any signs of it. Was this someone who passed out there?

I will say each time I have been near Oriflamme Creek bottom there are tremendous number of tracks-lion, bobcat, etc. If you want to get into tracks the sandy bottom is a guaranteed place to see many. It seems like the animals come out of the desert floor up from Salt Creek straight into Oriflamme Canyon-maybe continuing back into the desert this way. I'd like to take the Oriflamme Creek down into the canyon towards Granite but it looks pretty rugged.

As for the peaks popularity-while looking through the register it starts off sparse-every 6 months or so, then it picks up to 1-2 months. Must have been when it was added to the list.
edited by Rocko1 on 11/24/2020
edited by Rocko1 on 11/24/2020
8 days ago
Topic:
Photography

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 76
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 76
Topic: Photography
Beautiful !! The old ramp to Villager.
8 days ago
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Topic: Roost Benchmark
Nice. Roost is fun with a couple different routes to the summit. Never paid much attention to see if the elevation marks were correct. I think peaks with a VABM designation on the topo map have a measured elevation. Someone with more survey knowledge would know.

The Sierra Club 100 peaks of San Diego County is one reason Roost gets hiker traffic. Lots of other peaks on the Sierra Club list if you run out of ideas:
https://peakbagger.com/list.aspx?lid=5058

I think a couple of us on here have finished all 100.
8 days ago
Topic:
Photography

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Topic: Photography
tekewin wrote:
More awesome photos. Holy crap, snake under the car tire. I need to stay alert for that. Is there a reason the other desert remains unnamed?


The most recent "other desert" is DVNP and Utah/Arizona before that.

I have seen very few rattlesnakes in all my time spent in ABDSP. I spent the evening hiking the badlands taking photos and came back to my car after dark to make dinner. At least this one gave a polite warning rattle. I had to use my trekking poles to convince it to move so it wouldn't get run over or stepped on. Definitely makes me think twice about walking around without a headlamp in the dark.

Photos from the badlands. It's a shame the light is only this good in the morning and for just a few minutes each day:




I'm still putting together all the time lapse clips I have of the first storm of the season a couple weeks ago. I'll post it at some point.
8 days ago
Topic:
Photography

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
Topic: Photography
More awesome photos. Holy crap, snake under the car tire. I need to stay alert for that. Is there a reason the other desert remains unnamed?
8 days ago
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
Topic: Roost Benchmark
Great trip! I did Roost because it was on the Sierra Club SD 100 list. I thought it was a great peak with a nice view of Granite. Wandering along that road, I remember getting the feeling that it was cougar country, but didn't see anything.


Re: marker elevations. I've rarely seen elevation stamped on most markers. Clearly, Roost is way off.


On the road down from Lucky 5, did you see the memorial boots for Michael John Farawell? Not sure if the memorial is still there.

8 days ago
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Roost Benchmark
quote=Britain]Nice captures also never heard of the roost.
Thanks. I hadn't heard about it until I did Oriflamme peak earlier.

https://goo.gl/maps/MRzXM7zGXry1aquN8
edited by Rocko1 on 11/23/2020
8 days ago
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Roost Benchmark
Brian wrote:
Nice trip report! I'd never heard of Roost.

Thanks. It's on a few lists-San Diego 100 Peaks List. Pretty accessible from Sunrise Highway. You can access Salt Creek into AB from the jeep trails leading to this area as well.
8 days ago
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Britain
Britain
Posts: 494
Britain
Britain
Posts: 494
Topic: Roost Benchmark
Nice captures also never heard of the roost.
8 days ago
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Roost Benchmark
Nice trip report! I'd never heard of Roost.
8 days ago
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Roost Benchmark
Decided to check this off my checklist yesterday. Started at the Lucky 5 Ranch gate and made it to Oriflamme North-2.91 miles- peak in just under an hour-that was the end of the speediness. I thought I would just follow the ridge from here all the way to Roost. Started off decent enough and then got tedious looking for clear paths through the brush. I kept imagining how fast this would have been shortly after the Cedar Fire cleared out all this brush.

I decided to drop down to the jeep road and follow that to the end. From there it's not horrible but again, brush is coming back strong. Followed fresh boot tracks to the base of Roost. From there it's pick your own route-boulder hopping to the top. There are two makers. Fantastic views from the top. Made coffee and headed back via jeep tracks. Very nice area. There are ticks though.

Question-are the elevations on survey markers typically incorrect?



View from Oriflamme Peak-North

Near end of jeep road-Roost in background


Looks small here for some reason.


At the top






Oldest register entry


View from the top
https://youtu.be/5a3f4kCFLQI

Saw a few of these in different conditions on the way back. This one had 4" of rain water in it. Valve didn't do anything.


Underground water tank


Lots of cat tracks near Oriflamme Canyon. The sandy canyon bottom seems to be main route for many animals.



9.9 miles
2,250ft gain/loss.
edited by Rocko1 on 11/23/2020
10 days ago
Topic:
Martinez Mtn. Snow

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Martinez Mtn. Snow
thank you for the details rockhopper!
10 days ago
Topic:
Martinez Mtn. Snow

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
Topic: Martinez Mtn. Snow
Brian wrote:
Question for rockhopper or anyone else who visits Martinez Canyon:

Is there a source of info to find out if the gate at 68th and Van Buren is open or closed?
And if it's closed, is there any other access point for a vehicle to drive into the canyon?

Thanks.


Hi Brian,

I have almost always been able to make my way in off 68th. It seems it is different every time I go with dirt mounds blocking access the way I went in before. I just follow the 4x4 trail made by others. I have also parked near the Hwy and hiked in. I got stuck once going up Martinez canyon, but I only had 2wd. Bring plywood and shovel! I also have made it up to the no access sign going up Agua Alta canyon in 2wd, so it is different every time. Best time is after the rains that hardens up the sand wash surface, but exposes the boulders. I have also parked at the end of 74th and hiked in. Lots of farming gates locked and unlocked in the valley near Martinez. Now I really want to go again!
Cheers
edited by rockhopper on 11/21/2020
11 days ago
Topic:
Photography

Britain
Britain
Posts: 494
Britain
Britain
Posts: 494
Topic: Photography
Outstanding captures!
11 days ago
Topic:
Photography

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Topic: Photography
These are from ABDSP.

This one curled up against the tire for warmth. When your car starts to rattle and buzz even though it isn't moving:



Lugged the long lens up a ridge with sheep sign everywhere, no sheep. Just birds so had to make do:





One more from another desert:
11 days ago
Topic:
Martinez Mtn. Snow

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Martinez Mtn. Snow
update: BLM says the gate is closed but not locked.
11 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
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
12 days ago
Topic:
Plaster City R&R track issues

Britain
Britain
Posts: 494
For those Wheeling, Camping around Plaster city stay off the tracks and keep away from them.


Hello,


My name is ###### and I am a production manager at USG, Plaster City. My departments include the Railroad and recently we have had bad encounters with off-roaders staying on our railroad tracks as the train is traveling. I would like to have a quick discussion with you about the dangers of traveling, camping, setting up near the tracks so that we can inform your members to stay away as much as possible. I am reaching out to other groups likes yours as well to bring awareness that the locomotive does travel on a regular basis. If you could provide me a good phone number to reach an executive member of your group with a preferred time, I can call you between today and tomorrow, or early next week.


Thank you for your time,


########
Mill and Railroad Manager
12 days ago
Topic:
Martinez Mtn. Snow

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Martinez Mtn. Snow
Question for rockhopper or anyone else who visits Martinez Canyon:

Is there a source of info to find out if the gate at 68th and Van Buren is open or closed?
And if it's closed, is there any other access point for a vehicle to drive into the canyon?

Thanks.
12 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
A couple more pics/vids.


https://imgur.com/4VdIEms





Dry fall in the RH canyon




Old Santa Rosa
https://imgur.com/8lYUrIx
edited by Rocko1 on 11/19/2020
13 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
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.
13 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
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.
13 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
They are very much still happening and alive.
13 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
dsefcik wrote:
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.


Are illegal grow sites still happening since legalization? I assumed they weren't, but if I was wrong it's something I would definitely keep in mind for future trips.
13 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
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.
13 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
dsefcik wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
Interesting. Do people go up there to shoot from Rockhouse Canyon or do they come from the north? .
No, what I am saying is they fly in via helicopter.



Oh Wow-that is a different level!

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
13 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
Rocko1 wrote:
Interesting. Do people go up there to shoot from Rockhouse Canyon or do they come from the north? .
No, what I am saying is they fly in via helicopter.
13 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
dsefcik wrote:
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.



Interesting. Do people go up there to shoot from Rockhouse Canyon or do they come from the north?

And thanks to all who gave us info on this area. Definitely a 2+ person trip.
13 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
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.
14 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 76
Great trip report ! Love that place. Talk about being away from civilization. Great JOB, no easy feat!!
14 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
Man that campsite looks awesome. Great trip report to an area I've yet to explore.
14 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
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.
14 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
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
14 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
Topic: Arroyo Tapido mud caves
Buford wrote:
Nice. I like the idea of exploring the mud caves, but I don't think you'll ever find me in there. Too scared. I was in Arroyo Tapiado a couple days after a storm once and saw a couple/heard cave ins and slides happen in different sections of the wash over a couple hours. It was kind of eerie standing in the wash bottom when all of a sudden you hear small pebbles rolling down hill followed by a bigger thump sound. This happened more than once that day. People were still crawling around the caves as this was happening.

I talked with a SAR person about the guy that disappeared. His last known location was only feet from where he was found yet it took them weeks to find him from what I remember of the case.



Yeah, after a storm is the worst time to go. You want that mud to be hard and dry. I can easily see if someone fell through to a hollow cavern, they would be almost impossible to find. Another geological wonder in AB.
15 days ago
Topic:
Photography

Britain
Britain
Posts: 494
Britain
Britain
Posts: 494
Topic: Photography
Nice captures!
15 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Topic: Arroyo Tapido mud caves
Nice. I like the idea of exploring the mud caves, but I don't think you'll ever find me in there. Too scared. I was in Arroyo Tapiado a couple days after a storm once and saw a couple/heard cave ins and slides happen in different sections of the wash over a couple hours. It was kind of eerie standing in the wash bottom when all of a sudden you hear small pebbles rolling down hill followed by a bigger thump sound. This happened more than once that day. People were still crawling around the caves as this was happening.

I talked with a SAR person about the guy that disappeared. His last known location was only feet from where he was found yet it took them weeks to find him from what I remember of the case.
15 days ago
Topic:
Photography

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Topic: Photography
New thread next year, but until then...

First storm of the season in ABDSP. I couldn't get a great shot as the rain kept getting on the front lens element:


Click the image below for the timelapse of the double rainbow forming before I had to grab my gear and get it out of the rain:


It was windy:


I got lost in a different wrong desert. In black and white:


In color:




There was some wildlife:
17 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
On a lighter note. The silt, sand and mud stone you are walking on is over Four (4) miles thick ! The eroded down Colorado plateau during the past one to five million years. Faulted, subsided, tilted, the bad lands contain fossils of over 500 species of flora and fauna.
17 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
Probably used as temporary shelter over the years. I remember when the young fella fell down and got wedged in a cave far below. They had a huge search party out there when he went missing. I wanted to go help but couldn't make it.
17 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
Topic: Arroyo Tapido mud caves
dsefcik wrote:
The mud caves are fun and need several trips out to really see most of everything. On busy weekends there are groups of people everywhere and you will see where all of the entrances are, many are so small and hidden they are hard to find even if you know where they are. In Schad's book he advises not to walk on top of the caves as they are subject to collapsing down. Tragically this happened back in 2012 to a young man named Guillermo Pino so folks should use caution when exploring the caves.



Thanks for the info and warning. That's a rough way to go. The signs there advise against exploring the caves, but clearly a lot of people do.
17 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
Topic: Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert
Nice TR, envious of your time out there. I like the adjustable griddle...nice find!
17 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
Topic: Arroyo Tapido mud caves
The mud caves are fun and need several trips out to really see most of everything. On busy weekends there are groups of people everywhere and you will see where all of the entrances are, many are so small and hidden they are hard to find even if you know where they are. In Schad's book he advises not to walk on top of the caves as they are subject to collapsing down. Tragically this happened back in 2012 to a young man named Guillermo Pino so folks should use caution when exploring the caves.
18 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Arroyo Tapido mud caves
tekewin wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
Very nice. Did those about 5 years ago. Found some cool routes that popped up a vertical shaft near the top of a hill. Could really get 'lost' out there is enough time is spent.



"top of a hill" is where the danger is. I got about 20' up a side branch of cave #2, then my footsteps sounded hollow. Immediately went back.

Yeah, I sat on the edge of the opening, thought about that no one probably explored the 'canyons' that are more than likely above hollow ground and went back.
18 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
Topic: Arroyo Tapido mud caves
Rocko1 wrote:
Very nice. Did those about 5 years ago. Found some cool routes that popped up a vertical shaft near the top of a hill. Could really get 'lost' out there is enough time is spent.



"top of a hill" is where the danger is. I got about 20' up a side branch of cave #2, then my footsteps sounded hollow. Immediately went back.
18 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
Topic: Arroyo Tapido mud caves
ziphius wrote:
Very cool! Never been there, but admittedly a little scared.


Haha, I was too, that's why I knew it was worth doing smile
22 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
Interesting on the infrared capability Rocko1. I was tucked in behind a rather large boulder while sleeping, definitely not 'visible' from the jeep road that the agent came in on. He may have seen tracks and started wandering around with some portable infrared thingy, who knows?
22 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
ziphius wrote:
Rocko1 Maybe some technology was involved, but they also do regular patrols here. I saw him drive his jeep into another part of the valley up against Monument Peak after checking in with me. Some trail cameras have wireless technology to send imagery to a phone immediately, so that is one technology option. Thing is, I'd been all over the valley and this particular campsite for 4 days until discovery. Simple motion detectors would also be picking up deer, bobcats, lions, all of which had been in the area during that week.

Rocko1 wrote:
'Wanted to know what I was doing out there'. 1) Sleeping. 2) getting away from people. wink

As for him tracking you-don't they have numerous hidden motion detectors out in that area?
edited by Rocko1 on 11/9/2020



Interesting. I'd love to know the technology used today. I do know 5 years ago or so my brother befriended an agent on patrol and let him look at the infrared/heat sensing camera he had mounted the SUV. Could easily see a rabbit in total darkness a few miles away.
edited by Rocko1 on 11/9/2020
22 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
Rocko1 Maybe some technology was involved, but they also do regular patrols here. I saw him drive his jeep into another part of the valley up against Monument Peak after checking in with me. Some trail cameras have wireless technology to send imagery to a phone immediately, so that is one technology option. Thing is, I'd been all over the valley and this particular campsite for 4 days until discovery. Simple motion detectors would also be picking up deer, bobcats, lions, all of which had been in the area during that week.

Rocko1 wrote:
'Wanted to know what I was doing out there'. 1) Sleeping. 2) getting away from people. wink

As for him tracking you-don't they have numerous hidden motion detectors out in that area?
edited by Rocko1 on 11/9/2020
22 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
Topic: Arroyo Tapido mud caves
Very cool! Never been there, but admittedly a little scared.
22 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Arroyo Tapido mud caves
Very nice. Did those about 5 years ago. Found some cool routes that popped up a vertical shaft near the top of a hill. Could really get 'lost' out there is enough time is spent.
22 days ago
Topic:
Arroyo Tapido mud caves

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
Topic: Arroyo Tapido mud caves
Been on my list a while. I didn't have any specific beta, just drove out and looked around. I tried five or six promising starts but only two led to long tunnels/slots. I know there must be more I didn't find.




Cave #1:









Cave #2:








Heart of mud

Some video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEQypprK8kE&feature=youtu.be
22 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
Nice! I've never seen a coachwhip. Great photo quality.Love the sunset, too.
edited by tekewin on 11/9/2020
22 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
'Wanted to know what I was doing out there'. 1) Sleeping. 2) getting away from people. wink

As for him tracking you-don't they have numerous hidden motion detectors out in that area?
edited by Rocko1 on 11/9/2020
23 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Great trip report. I would do the same thing on election week if I didn't have a birthday in the family that I can't miss.
23 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 76
I think I would pay to park at Vallecito County Park thanks
23 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
Britain, thanks, the website is powered by Wix. Easy to use. Scooter, I park at Agua Caliente County Park and take a quasi-tough overland route west. $3 per day for parking there, but I like parking within view of the ranger station. Others park somewhere near Vallecito County Park and walk south, a gentler route.
23 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

Britain
Britain
Posts: 494
Nice write up. Was out in the desert myself. On another note whats your blog software?
edited by Britain on 11/8/2020
23 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 76
The only time I was there we came off of Mount Laguna and went out at Auga Caliente.
23 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 76
Great trip report !! Love that place where did you park your vehicle ?
23 days ago
Topic:
Election Week 2020 Hiding In The Desert

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
Field notes and photos at my blog: https://www.jimcarretta.com/post/election-week-2020-hiding-in-the-desert
edited by ziphius on 11/8/2020
27 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Buford wrote:
Some others on here who have spent more time in Rockhouse might be able to provide good directions for following the ancient trails.

I think Rockhouse is one of the places I have seen the highest concentration of fresh big cat prints.


Have not been up Nicholas canyon to the springs yet. Maybe the next visit. Rock House valley is a excellent base camp for exploring the surrounding area after some good rains.
I am always amazed at the net work of ancient trails networking all over the Santa Rosas. Considering the the Native Americans have been canvasing the entire South / West region for the past 13,000 years+/-. Probably 98% of the well groomed ancient trails in the area have been lost to erosion and lack of use. The good news the game trails follow many of the same routes ( i.e. up and over ridge lines ) they are just more zig zag ,multiple and random. Great for day hikes. Not so much for lugging a heavy pack. The nose / ridge route to the east of the SRIR is pretty clear up to the pass along the spine of the Santa Rosas. The trail from there heading down to Martinez creek / Jack Miller cabin looks like it has been lost to time. I have not done that route yet. You might find small sections of it if you are lucky. Definitely a winter hike best timed after some heavy rains / light snow. Stay on the more open southern exposure slopes. You still might need to carry a folding saw. wink
edited by rockhopper on 11/4/2020
edited by rockhopper on 11/7/2020
27 days ago
Topic:
I need help finding a cruiser for under $1000 for

robertstevens
robertstevens
Posts: 2
I recently got a Juggernaut HD and love it. Now looking for inexpensive (Under $1000) cruiser style e-bike for my wife to be able to ride with me. Issues are she is tall (6ft 1in) and all legs (38-inch inseam) and has a bad back. So the cruiser style is a must. She doesn't want to spend a lot because she is not sure how much she will like it. I checked out Nakto bikes but learned from the reviews here they are made more for the Chinese market and shorter riders. (150-155mm Crankarms, etc...) Any suggestions on others I should look at?
28 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
dsefcik wrote:
Great TR, thanks for sharing. You can drive around the lake now where the quarry used to be so you can bypass any lake water. All of the mentioned routes will work and using the old maps on caltopo will work for sure. Really, just head out towards the base of the 'Rosa mtns and you should run into ducked trails and the route up Alder/Nicolias via the wash will also work. Yes, there is a dry fall to climb but not hard. There are many posts here on RHC so be sure to check them out also!


Thanks for the info. I have read the previous posts about the area and that's definitely one of the things that has made me want to explore it more.

As for the lake, when I was there in March I was returning from a trip to Box Canyon and decided to swing by there to take some pics. I wasn't making a serious attempt to get up Rockhouse Road, but I did explore that area to the left and ended up at a dead end. Now that I look at it on GE I see the bypass you're talking about. I have a feeling I ended up at 33 20 14 -116 18 03.5 and somehow missed the spot where I should have branched right.
28 days ago
Topic:
Photography

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
Topic: Photography
Very nice Buford..!! Yes, new page please..and keep them coming..!!!
28 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2457
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Great TR, thanks for sharing. You can drive around the lake now where the quarry used to be so you can bypass any lake water. All of the mentioned routes will work and using the old maps on caltopo will work for sure. Really, just head out towards the base of the 'Rosa mtns and you should run into ducked trails and the route up Alder/Nicolias via the wash will also work. Yes, there is a dry fall to climb but not hard. There are many posts here on RHC so be sure to check them out also!
28 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Brian wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
Thanks. I was considering a couple day solo trip but will prob. wait to find someone to go with.


I will be going back, just not sure when. I'm up for discussing it with you if you're interested.



Absolutely.
29 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Some others on here who have spent more time in Rockhouse might be able to provide good directions for following the ancient trails.

I think Rockhouse is one of the places I have seen the highest concentration of fresh big cat prints.
29 days ago
Topic:
Photography

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Topic: Photography
Thanks all.

@Tekewin I will start a new page next year. I guess this forum does not split long threads into multiple pages.


I think the Redtail Hawk was just trying to chase it away. Mockingbirds dive bomb hawks all the time. I was looking through the viewfinder and didn't see it coming. These were the only other images almost worth showing. Didn't get them both in the frame, or focus, shot straight into the sun and it was raining. Bald Eagles have been at the east county lakes on the way to Borrego off and on for years now.





29 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Rocko1 wrote:
Thanks. I was considering a couple day solo trip but will prob. wait to find someone to go with.


I will be going back, just not sure when. I'm up for discussing it with you if you're interested.
29 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Scooter wrote:
Yes this is where we left Alder we were able to scramble up the dry fall. I am sure looking at GE you could find a way to go around the dry waterfall. I would guess it is about 12 to 14'high. Also crossing Nickolas from the mine was no fun! Alot of down trees and no trail but it is doable. Also I would not do this trip alone. Not only is it really remote but major Mountain Lion country. The nice part is you only need to carry for one full day to get to the spring.



Thanks. I was considering a couple day solo trip but will prob. wait to find someone to go with.
29 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 76
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 76
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Yes this is where we left Alder we were able to scramble up the dry fall. I am sure looking at GE you could find a way to go around the dry waterfall. I would guess it is about 12 to 14'high. Also crossing Nickolas from the mine was no fun! Alot of down trees and no trail but it is doable. Also I would not do this trip alone. Not only is it really remote but major Mountain Lion country. The nice part is you only need to carry for one full day to get to the spring.
29 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Scooter wrote:
Ok here we go, did a 3 day trip into Rockhouse. As we came into Rockhose valley stay to the left and follow Alder canyon to Nickolas Canyon. I would GE the area so you know where to turn North. Very difficult scramble up a dry waterfall. We didn't see an easy reroute. Going up Nickolas be very careful, the Nickolas mine is an open vertical shaft with no fencing !! I 've talked to BLM about it. From the Mine head Northeast across Nickolas Canyon and head for the spring or Cottonwoods [a great place to camp] spent two night here because the spring has plenty of good water. To return to Rockhouse from the Cottonwoods head East and pick up a faint Indian trail which will take you to the upper ruins and the seeps. Look for the rock pile trail shrines !! Go to cal topo base layer 1915 to 1945 to see the old indian trails going over to Martinez ! We didnt see the trail cross the Santa Rosas when we did the ridge from Toro to S22. Thats for anotber tiime.



Are you saying exit Alder Canyon before reaching this or there is no option but to scramble up dry fall? 33°28'9.87"N 116°24'34.85"W https://caltopo.com/m/3E3Q
edited by Rocko1 on 11/2/2020
29 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Great report. I have been wanting to go to the area for years.
29 days ago
Topic:
Granite Mountain

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
Topic: Granite Mountain
Very nice. I love that mountain and am very familiar with the winds! Crazy how strong they can be there.
29 days ago
Topic:
Photography

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
Topic: Photography
Your stuff is pro quality. Love it!

You should start a new post next year so we don't have to scroll so much to get to the new stuff.

A red tail hawk attacked this eagle? Seems like it would be over matched.
29 days ago
Topic:
Granite Mountain

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
Topic: Granite Mountain
Wow, that wind was crazy! Granite is tough enough in perfect conditions. Well done.
29 days ago
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 247
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
So much to explore out there. I've only been up the road a little to get to Coyote. Thanks for the report.
11/1/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
thanks for the info, Scooter. I'm planning on another attempt in late Feb or early March, but now you've got me wanting to go back right away!
11/1/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 76
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 76
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Ok here we go, did a 3 day trip into Rockhouse. As we came into Rockhose valley stay to the left and follow Alder canyon to Nickolas Canyon. I would GE the area so you know where to turn North. Very difficult scramble up a dry waterfall. We didn't see an easy reroute. Going up Nickolas be very careful, the Nickolas mine is an open vertical shaft with no fencing !! I 've talked to BLM about it. From the Mine head Northeast across Nickolas Canyon and head for the spring or Cottonwoods [a great place to camp] spent two night here because the spring has plenty of good water. To return to Rockhouse from the Cottonwoods head East and pick up a faint Indian trail which will take you to the upper ruins and the seeps. Look for the rock pile trail shrines !! Go to cal topo base layer 1915 to 1945 to see the old indian trails going over to Martinez ! We didnt see the trail cross the Santa Rosas when we did the ridge from Toro to S22. Thats for anotber tiime.
11/1/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
rockhopper, yes the idea of doing the trail to Martinez is fascinating to me as well. Honestly it's probably beyond my capability at this point. I wish I had started doing this stuff when I was younger.
11/1/2020
Topic:
Granite Mountain

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
Topic: Granite Mountain
Ditto on the wind. We were turned back by a blowing blizzard near the summit years ago. We retreated back down to the valley floor and was quite comfortable. There is some sort of wind vortex that hits Granite Mtn. Great trip! Time to get the gear ready.
11/1/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 546
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
It's been years since I last visited Rock house valley. It's an awesome area. I remember that hand built " buggy road" on the side of the wash. I always wanted to complete a trip up Rock house and over down to Martinez canyon along the old Native American trail.
10/31/2020
Topic:
Photography

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Photography
Great pics, Buford. I'm overdue for a new camera. My Canon point and shoot has served me well since 2009, but it took a spill a couple weeks ago when it was in my pocket and I slipped on a trail in Death Valley. Hasn't been the same since.
10/31/2020
Topic:
Photography

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Topic: Photography
You never know what you might find on your way to the desert (this one was local). Only had a chance to get one burst of photos before a red tail attacked and both flew off:

10/31/2020
Topic:
Photography

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Topic: Photography
I think I got lost in the wrong desert again:


There were mountains along the way:


Strange color in the rocks:


Reach for the sky:



Sunrises:



Sunsets:



Strange pockets of rock:


Earth's shadow:


Slice of sunset:


Click the image below for a timelapse. I recently realized that some monitors, tablets and phones aren't displaying the correct colors for my timelapse videos.


Back in a more familiar location (cell phone shot):
10/31/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Buford
Buford
Posts: 326
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Nice. I like Clark Dry Lake picture.

My only trip up there was with someone that knew all the old Native American routes and trails. It made getting around the valley very efficient.
10/31/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 848
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
Great trip and photos Brian! Love the VW '69 petroglyph! It's an area I've yet to explore.
10/30/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Valley

Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Brian
Brian
Posts: 37
Topic: Rockhouse Valley
I wanted to do this trip last March but there was a problem with the part of the road that goes over Clark "dry" lake



My first night at Jackass Flat. My car won't do the last 3 miles from the Butler Canyon split, so I use this as a first stop after hiking that part. I had read that Rockhouse Road had become very sandy from non-use during the shutdown. There was even a vehicle fire over the summer during at attempt to extract a stuck vehicle. I found the road to be more sandy than usual, but nothing my Subaru couldn't handle. The final section that I didn't drive had a few more random boulders in the middle of the road compared to what I remember in years past.


"Sand Buggies 8 VWs 1969"


This is the shelf road the VWs would have driven to bypass the dry fall. I like to imagine what it would have been like to drive all the way to Rockhouse Valley. And it happened during my lifetime.


The dry fall


A photo taken from Old Santa Rosa on a previous trip. This gives a good sense of the elevation looking down toward the desert floor.


Moonrise over Villager, taken during my last night camped near my car.



This was my 4th trip to the valley. My goal this time was to reach the spring at Nicholias Canyon so that I could stay an extra night and explore more of the area. Unfortunately I didn't choose a very good route. I started up the drainage that branches left just below the area called Cottonwood spring on the topo. This worked well for about a mile until the drainage because too choked and I climbed up the bank to the left and started going cross country toward the hill spur that Schad mentions. At this point the going was too slow and I had gone through half my water supply, so I had to turn back.

After reviewing Google Earth, for my next attempt I plan to take Alder Canyon to 33 27 59 -116 24 02 and work north from there. I welcome any suggestions about whether that's a good route.

Happy Haloween
10/26/2020
Topic:
The Potrero

deborah
deborah
Posts: 97
deborah
deborah
Posts: 97
Topic: The Potrero
Great pictures and trip report! Love the frogs.

I'm really enjoying catching up with everyone's posts...
10/26/2020
Topic:
Photography

deborah
deborah
Posts: 97
deborah
deborah
Posts: 97
Topic: Photography
Buford wrote:
From earlier this summer when you could actually see the stars through the smoke. Not as happy with this one. Click the image for the timelapse video:
edited by Buford on 9/15/2020



The time lapse image is amazing. It is kind of mesmerizing to watch.
10/26/2020
Topic:
Valley of the Moon to East Davies Valley

deborah
deborah
Posts: 97
Thanks for posting, really nice trip report and photos. The rock arch is really unique.
10/26/2020
Topic:
Lookout Knob

deborah
deborah
Posts: 97
deborah
deborah
Posts: 97
Topic: Lookout Knob
Nice!!! I love that area.
10/26/2020
Topic:
The Killing of Frank Fox

deborah
deborah
Posts: 97
It's really interesting history. Nice work!
10/26/2020
Topic:
Chariot Mountain

deborah
deborah
Posts: 97
deborah
deborah
Posts: 97
Topic: Chariot Mountain
Nice photos and report! Thanks for sharing.




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