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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
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14 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 368
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
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14 days ago
Brian
Brian
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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: 848


14 days ago
ziphius
ziphius
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Man that campsite looks awesome. Great trip report to an area I've yet to explore.

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Scooter
Scooter
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14 days ago
Scooter
Scooter
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Great trip report ! Love that place. Talk about being away from civilization. Great JOB, no easy feat!!
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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13 days ago
dsefcik
dsefcik
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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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Rocko1
Rocko1
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13 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
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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.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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13 days ago
dsefcik
dsefcik
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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.

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Rocko1
Rocko1
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13 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
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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
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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13 days ago
dsefcik
dsefcik
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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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Brian
Brian
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13 days ago
Brian
Brian
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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.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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13 days ago
dsefcik
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They are very much still happening and alive.

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Buford
Buford
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13 days ago
Buford
Buford
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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.
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Brian
Brian
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13 days ago
Brian
Brian
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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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Rocko1
Rocko1
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12 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
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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
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rockhopper
rockhopper
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11 days ago
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
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