HomeCompleted Trips

Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Coyote Canyon Messages in this topic - RSS

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 448


3/11/2021
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 448
Brian and I did a 2 day backpacking trip a couple of weekends ago. We started at Lower Willows at the third water crossing. We started out on the east side of LW looking for a clean trail through-we couldn't find it. There would be short sections of passable trail that would dead end. The bushwhacking was fierce and we eventually went up on the ridge to bypass all the growth. We dropped back down and continued to Middle Willows, loaded up with water here. This is a fun section. You walk through water between 6" and 12" deep and are surrounded by reeds and shade. Really sureal to be in a desert walking through what feels like a swamp in Florida. We then went to Bailey's Cabin. Very cool place. Would have like to spend more time there but there was a large group of off roaders, shooting guns, drinking. We then pushed towards Alder Canyon and spend the night. Plenty of water flowing in Alder. Got to 35 at night. Woke up and headed towards Mangalar Spring. After searching for a while all we found was a small seep. I now think we missed the main spring from other pictures I saw. We continued back to Middle Willows and then took the bypass road back to third water crossing. Was a good time except the first 2 miles.

My take from this trip is with the exception of the drunk off roaders, I really like this area and if I went again I would avoid the jeep roads after Middle Willows. Alder Canyon is really something different and deserves it's own full day+. Brian and I have talked about exploring the canyon all the way up to the PCT near Combs Peak. If you can you really should check out Middle Willows, so much water, birds, greenery, a great contrast to the surrounding dry desert.


27 miles total, 2,400ft of elevation gain.

Some pictures.
Baileys Cabin



Accommodations


Bighorn at Middle Willows



Mortero at Alder Canyon


Seep at Mangalar Spring


Us


A video I put together.
https://youtu.be/PMggD-X-HBY






.


edited by Rocko1 on 3/11/2021
edited by Rocko1 on 3/11/2021
+1 link
Brian
Brian
Posts: 98


3/11/2021
Brian
Brian
Posts: 98
Thanks for the trip report Rocko. One other note. We encountered 4 different vehicles driving in what should have been the closure area between middle and upper willows. When we reached upper willows we found the fence was completely gone and a roadway had been cleared through the willows in an area that used to be overgrown. Obviously someone has put in a lot of work undoing the park's work. And with no signage, it's possible that many who are driving in the closure area don't even know they aren't supposed to be there.

I sent the park a PM about this through Facebook and they told me they would inform the ranger. I'm hoping they take the opportunity of the June-September closure period to put up a new fence. If they don't, I think it's only a matter of time before people start trying to clear a path through middle willows.
+2 link
Brian
Brian
Posts: 98


3/11/2021
Brian
Brian
Posts: 98
Here are some older pics from some of my previous trips.

The fence at upper willows (RIP) 2016


The path through middle willows was well defined and marked with ribbon trail markers this time. It wasn't that way in 2017.


Catarina spring (2017). We couldn't get anywhere near it this time because of growth.


Back when Boulder Alley was bouldery (2009)
+1 link
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 103


3/11/2021
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 103
Great trip report. Back in the day I drove from Borrego to Anza twice !! It wasn't that much fun the road was horible.
+1 link
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2518


3/12/2021
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2518
Definitely an area I went to spend more time at, just a lot of driving..upset

Enjoyed the pics, thanks for sharing...Thumbs Up

--
http://www.sefcik.com
http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com
+1 link
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 600


3/12/2021
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 600
Nice trip report. Yes, we used a Bronco II 4x4 first time back in the 1990's going from the first crossing up to Anza. I remember boulder crawling with one wheel rotating in the air many times. hehe Good times.
+1 link
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 289


3/13/2021
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 289
Very nice report. You guys banked a lot of miles in 2 days. I've never seen a complete bighorn carcass. Freaky.
+1 link
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 448


5/19/2021
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 448
I liked this area
+1 link
Brian
Brian
Posts: 98


5/23/2021
Brian
Brian
Posts: 98
Hi Scallopdiver. Sorry for the late response, you may have already done your trip. A couple general things: the canyon is closed N of 3rd crossing during the summer months (I believe starting June 1) and camping isn't allowed near Lower Willows or in the vehicle closure area between Middle and Upper Willows.

For a trip up the length of the canyon, the most reliable water would be at Middle Willows. There was water in Alder Canyon when we were there, but that's seasonal and may be dry by now. The route we took up the canyon followed the wash which is shown as a road on older topo maps. Following the present route of the road would add quite a bit of distance.

There is usually water in Cougar and Sheep canyons, but I haven't been to either in a few years so my info isn't current. For a weekend backpacking trip, an alternative to the trip we did would be a sort of loop around Collins Valley, hitting Cougar, Sheep and Salvador canyons and Middle Willows (where there is a good spot to camp right outside the closure fence).
+1 link
Scallopdiver
Scallopdiver
Posts: 6


5/25/2021
Scallopdiver
Scallopdiver
Posts: 6
Thanks Rocko1 and Brian,

I had typed a whole trip report here but got an error when submitting and lost it all.

Basically did this trip:
https://borregohiking.com/hiking/2017_lower_willows_salvador_canyon_middle_willows.html

But took Rocko1's advice and bypassed the LW on the jeep road then headed northeast to the was to MW.
There were markers along the wash that seemed to mark a trail to MW. One set of markers veered off toward Salvador Canyon.
Too hot to camp by the rock so stayed near the willows.
Steep downhill into Salvador Canyon but doable.
Then followed the road back to LW.

Hike down to Salvador Canyon


Leaving MW

edited by Scallopdiver on 5/26/2021

+1 link
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2518


5/26/2021
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2518
Scallopdiver wrote:


I had typed a whole trip report here but got an error when submitting and lost it all.

Yeah, the site seems to time out quickly. I will usually type up a long TR as temp text document first then copy/paste into the website when ready.
Lots of great pics on this (combined) TR.
Thumbs Up

--
http://www.sefcik.com
http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com
+1 link






Powered by Jitbit Forum 8.3.8.0 © 2006-2013 Jitbit Software