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17 hours ago
Topic:
Death Valley Trip 12-2020

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
Nice D.Valley trip. I like the miners cabin. Those guys were pretty determined. The lack of reliable water was no doubt a big issue.
1 days ago
Topic:
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease

tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 937
Just an FYI about something you may have already heard about in the news. Was out hiking the past two weekends in the Dos Cabezas and Piedras Grandes area and encountered three deceased rabbits which is way more than I've ever seen just walking around before. Visited the Cal Fish and Wildlife site and noted they recommend reporting multiple rabbit deaths to aid in surveillance of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease. So I did right here: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Investigations/Monitoring#55671861-rabbit-hemorrhagic-disease Got a nice call from Sacramento this afternoon from Kelsey, a cheery Fish and Wildlife rep interested in the find. Not sure what happens next but would suggest all of you desert hikers file similar reports if you encounter rabbit mortality since Kelsey seems to indicate the responsible virus is a bad actor and currently present in San Diego County.

IMG_5683 by tomteske, on Flickr
2 days ago
Topic:
Death Valley Trip 12-2020

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 853
COOKIE!
2 days ago
Topic:
Death Valley Trip 12-2020

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
Topic: Death Valley Trip 12-2020
tommy750 wrote:
Very nice, Daren. Pretty convinced one of you three has that rocket in your front yard right now smile
Unlikely...it was not anywhere near our cars and it took both of us to lift it up for the photo....but next trip...Quiet
2 days ago
Topic:
Death Valley Trip 12-2020

tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 937
Very nice, Daren. Pretty convinced one of you three has that rocket in your front yard right now smile
5 days ago
Topic:
Death Valley Trip 12-2020

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Great photos Daren. Love the ufo debris!
5 days ago
Topic:
Death Valley Trip 12-2020

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Scooter, that sounds amazing. There were a lot of people on the trail to Telescope in October. Probably a lot less in August.
5 days ago
Topic:
Death Valley Trip 12-2020

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 79
Brian wrote:
Great pics. I went to Death Valley in October. Managed to pick a weather window that wasn't too cold for Telescope Peak nor too warm for the Racetrack. Right now it definitely looks to be on the cold side for a fair weather camper like me. I'm going to be watching the forecast for another window this spring.
edited by Brian on 1/10/2021

I know this sounds crazy, but after backpacking in the sierras, we spent one night in Lone Pine. Drove out the next day and did Telescope Peak in August. Since your starting at about 8000' it wasn't bad at all. Spent the night on the peak. The most stars I have ever seen !!
5 days ago
Topic:
Death Valley Trip 12-2020

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Great pics. I went to Death Valley in October. Managed to pick a weather window that wasn't too cold for Telescope Peak nor too warm for the Racetrack. Right now it definitely looks to be on the cold side for a fair weather camper like me. I'm going to be watching the forecast for another window this spring.
edited by Brian on 1/10/2021
5 days ago
Topic:
Death Valley Trip 12-2020

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
Topic: Death Valley Trip 12-2020
Here are some pics from a trip I did with Gary/Joel after xmas 2020...pretty lazy these days to write up much of anything but the trip was good and very, very cold. Had to wear sweater and multiple layers of jackets and gloves almost every day and in bed by 7pm usually just to get warm. We were in the Owlshead Mtns area.

https://www.darensefcik.com/Photography/Death-Valley/Death-Valley-12-26-2020/

48 balloons total this trip..!!









---
6 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
I would have sore quads too. Nice hike and great trail report.
8 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
Topic: Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark
Nice work..! Been near there and it looks tough. Glad to see folks are still getting out and enjoying the desert.
9 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
Brian wrote:
Here's a trip report from a guy who did Eagle in November. I haven't done anything in that area but it's now on my (very long) todo list.
https://evanquarnstrom.com/2020/11/11/socal-desert-explorations-fish-creek-mountains/



Thanks, that was a cool report. From the register, it was clear that Eagle is far more popular than Fish. I am also surprised they found a bighorn skull. I don't remember seeing much evidence of sheep or deer out there.
9 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Here's a trip report from a guy who did Eagle in November. I haven't done anything in that area but it's now on my (very long) todo list.
https://evanquarnstrom.com/2020/11/11/socal-desert-explorations-fish-creek-mountains/
10 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
ziphius wrote:
Great trip! Too bad about the fireworks hikers. New Year's Day? I tend to avoid any New Year's hikes, *everyone* is out. But you at least had the expectation of remoteness!

I also would have never guessed seeing people on a hike like this.
11 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
ziphius wrote:
Great trip! Too bad about the fireworks hikers. New Year's Day? I tend to avoid any New Year's hikes, *everyone* is out. But you at least had the expectation of remoteness!



It was actually 1/2 instead of New Year's Day, I should have been more clear. My first thought when I heard the fireworks go off was that someone was shooting up from the firing range below. Then I realized I was too far away even for a high powered rifle.
11 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 853
Great trip! Too bad about the fireworks hikers. New Year's Day? I tend to avoid any New Year's hikes, *everyone* is out. But you at least had the expectation of remoteness!
11 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
If I can get my hill climbing legs going I'm going to hit that ole miner trail. Tore out my bottom of my pants from some butt scooting last spring.
11 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
Britain wrote:
Had to get on GE to see the miner trail. Pretty cool down



The trail was in good shape up to the first plateau, then has some cairn markers, but kind of fades in and out all the way to the second plateau below Eagle.
11 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Had to get on GE to see the miner trail. Pretty cool down
12 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
Britain wrote:
Good job. Was up there from the southeast a few years back. Got within a 3/4 mile south of Fish. But fish wasn't what we were up there for. Thats some brutal stuff in there. Always had my eye on your route afterwards to tag fish.



Thanks, Fish was great! I thought the scrambling and gain was mostly over once I got to Fish, but was mistaken. Sort of a grind to Eagle, then a long 3.5 miles to get out. Legs are still complaining, but it hurts so good, haha.
12 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
Rocko1 wrote:
Great report. Love the old register entries. That is some serious rock scrambling.
edited by Rocko1 on 1/4/2021



It was really fun going up to Fish. I was concerned there might be some really hard spots, but nothing really exposed or scary.
12 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Good job. Was up there from the southeast a few years back. Got within a 3/4 mile south of Fish. But fish wasn't what we were up there for. Thats some brutal stuff in there. Always had my eye on your route afterwards to tag fish.
12 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Great report. Love the old register entries. That is some serious rock scrambling.
edited by Rocko1 on 1/4/2021
12 days ago
Topic:
Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
I kicked off 2021 with a two summit loop in the Fish Creek Mountains just east of the Salton Sea. Eagle BM is also the high point in the Fish Creek Mountains. I drove to the end of Split Mountain Road, then east for 5 miles on a dirt road that parallels the Plaster City Narrow Gauge Railroad. The second mile of the road had some deeper sand and I used 4x4 but not sure it was needed. I parked along the tracks near my planned exit point and walked less than a mile to the ascent gully. The gully was full of large boulders and dry falls. The 1500' ascent was a mix of class 2/3, but with careful route finding, most was class 2. A second ascent gully was about 500', followed by 300' on the final ridge to reach Fish BM. On top, I found a benchmark, reference mark, and register placed in 1979 by Wes Shelberg. Fish is seldom visited. The prior entry in the register was from a year ago and was the only entry in 2020. The register was only half full since 1979.





Start of ascent gully





From the top of the first gully








Looking over at Eagle BM, about 40' higher than Fish

I dropped back onto the plateau and started down a long class 2 gully toward Eagle. I was dumped out about 700' below Eagle in a confluence of canyons. I aimed for the slope left of Eagle and slowly picked my way up. I heard voices and saw a couple of hikers on the ridge on their way to Eagle, a surprise since I didn't expect to see anyone the whole day. After fighting up to the saddle below Eagle, I was startled by an explosion above the summit. Some kind of loud fireworks had gone off above the summit, followed by a second explosion. In 15 minutes, I was on the summit with a party of six hikers and a dog. They were the vanguard of a larger group and set off the fireworks to let the others know they had reached the summit. I chatted with a guy named Alexis and discovered they were all local. I found no benchmark on Eagle, but the register also went back to 1979. The hikers settled north of the summit to wait for the rest of their group. I was only on Eagle long enough to sign the register since the day was short. I came down a steep, loose gully on the NW side of Eagle. Nothing was stable and I had to butt scoot most of it. I should have stayed on the ridge. Once on the lower plateau, I eventually found the remnants of an old miner's trail and was able to follow it on and off for the rest of the descent. Just under 8 hours round trip, 3300' gain, sore quads.




Looking back at Fish BM from Eagle


Some of the hikers on Eagle


Crappy, loose gully


Looking back at Eagle


Final descent


edited by tekewin on 1/4/2021
29 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Well done and some nice captures!
12/17/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
rockhopper wrote:
Looks like you had superb weather. Great timing!

We had a snow ball fight on the north side. Whale has a neat eco system variation during the climb and has superb views on a clear day. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks. I am hoping to catch snow on Whale at some point this winter. Need to do a overnight up there.
12/17/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
Looks like you had superb weather. Great timing!

We had a snow ball fight on the north side. Whale has a neat eco system variation during the climb and has superb views on a clear day. Thanks for sharing.
12/16/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
tekewin wrote:
Thanks for awesome report! The canyon looks really fun. The video snips bring it to life.



Thanks. Here is a little video I put together. https://youtu.be/bfGdid3Otkw
edited by Rocko1 on 12/16/2020
12/15/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
dsefcik wrote:
tekewin wrote:
I've looked at the topo of those canyons on the south side wondering if anyone has ever explored them. The links show that most, if not all, have been explored by someone.
Which cyns? Bisnaga? It's all great areas to explore. I also did a trip once that went up and over Whale and went down to Split Rock, that was a tough trip down over big boulders.



Yes, Bisnaga and the 4 large canyons to the east. Sorry about the late reply, I was not set up to be notified, but now I am.
12/15/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
Thanks for awesome report! The canyon looks really fun. The video snips bring it to life.
12/14/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
dsefcik wrote:
Great route, thanks for sharing. Did you sign in to the Shake register?

Sadly I didn't make it to that-I was right there too. I will definitely be coming back to the area.
12/14/2020
Topic:
Cactus Spring trail

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 853
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 853
Topic: Cactus Spring trail
Nice views and trip report! I need to explore that area.
12/11/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
Topic: Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North
Great route, thanks for sharing. Did you sign in to the Shake register?
12/10/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 79
Great trip report. Beautiful day !
12/10/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
I remember scoping out a similar route on a map 10 years ago, back when I had to figure out alternate ways of doing hikes that required 4WD/AWD to get to the trailhead. But then I ended up doing Whale the usual way with a friend who had an outback. Never got around to doing any of the alternate routes, but that looks like a good one.
12/10/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
ziphius wrote:
Looks like a great time. I liked that route you took up, did it earlier this year. Gotta get back out there soon!

Yeah, I really liked the canyon and area just before it connects to the main trail. Some healthy trees in this area.
12/10/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 853
Looks like a great time. I liked that route you took up, did it earlier this year. Gotta get back out there soon!
12/10/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
On Sunday I hiked up to Whale starting in the canyon just north of Shake Benchmark. I have been traditional route via Pinyon Mountain Road and up Smugglers Canyon. This route starts where the road ends and goes up a small canyon.



Video
https://imgur.com/PXtqVBJ

The canyon empties out into a pretty good size valley.


The canyon I went up is to the right of center. East going, just pick a game trail and zig zag through.

This canyon is much easier to navigate than the one to the south. It's less choked, widens out sooner and seems less steep. Wouldn't have any issues with good size pack except a couple of boulders you need to pull yourself over and one tree you crawl under.

Video
https://imgur.com/vmK1hRE

Looking back down on my way up


Deer bone I assume.


Lot of dead Pinyons but some really nice ones as well once you hit 4,000ft or so.


Love the vibrance of the moss


As the canyon widens out there are plenty of nice places to camp. Lots of animal tracks up this canyon. I assume because it's an easier route it's the preferred path to get to lower elevations.
Video
https://imgur.com/5wCGldg

The canyon eventually leads to the standard trail to Whale. From the junction it's about 2 miles to the peak.





Going back was much quicker and I noticed even more cat tracks. 1 fully intact balloon recovered. I think this is my favorite route up to Whale. Longer but nice terrain changes.



11 miles, 2,700ft +/- gain.

edited by Rocko1 on 12/10/2020
12/10/2020
Topic:
Carrizo Creek

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
Topic: Carrizo Creek
Very motivating to get out and hike. A hiking buddy since 1957. There should be an award for that. I hope I am still putting my hiking boots on at 72 and 82!
12/8/2020
Topic:
Carrizo Creek

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 79
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 79
Topic: Carrizo Creek
Thank you for taking your friend back out hiking. It is so nice to repay our mentors!!
12/8/2020
Topic:
Carrizo Creek

Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Topic: Carrizo Creek
Rocko1 wrote:
Very nice! I have yet to explore this area. Looks pretty interesting. I assume the water would not be good to drink even filtered?


Early reports from the oil well diggers from 1900 said water was usable. A few years back I ran into a Chines lady who was packing about. She took a bath in it. She was tough as nails.
12/8/2020
Topic:
Carrizo Creek

Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Topic: Carrizo Creek
Brian wrote:
Nice trip report. I visited the old stage station for the first time last year (didn't seem like any of it is original - and I think I read somewhere that it isn't). I've also camped at the bottom of Canyon Sin Nombre. Nice area but I've learned to expect a ton of condensation in the tent.

Park did a dig and reconstructed the site. What was left of the adobe ruin was plowed over by the McCain tractor.
12/8/2020
Topic:
Carrizo Creek

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Topic: Carrizo Creek
Nice trip report. I visited the old stage station for the first time last year (didn't seem like any of it is original - and I think I read somewhere that it isn't). I've also camped at the bottom of Canyon Sin Nombre. Nice area but I've learned to expect a ton of condensation in the tent.
12/8/2020
Topic:
Cactus Spring trail

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
Topic: Cactus Spring trail
Cactus spring trail has been one of my favorite hikes over the years. Last time in 2019 to Martinez peak. The trail has been used for thousands of years by the first peoples. Near by Agua Caliente ( Palm springs) has been continuously occupied for over 10,000 years so that Cactus spring trail may be much older than just a few thousand years old. Further on toward Agua Alta the trail is worn chest deep. Nice trail report and pics.
12/8/2020
Topic:
Carrizo Creek

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Topic: Carrizo Creek
Very nice! I have yet to explore this area. Looks pretty interesting. I assume the water would not be good to drink even filtered?
12/8/2020
Topic:
Carrizo Creek

Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Topic: Carrizo Creek
The wife and I did our TG hike into the Carrizo Creek area. She wants to visit the Fox burial site and get in some mile. Our plan was at the old stage ruins was to cut across the creek area to the south. Well, that was more difficult than GE showed. We ended up about a mile west before getting across it. Once in the creek, you roam through the stuff that's been knocked over by the floods then into gullies that are around 20 feet deep, lots of them. Then the creek and out. Hike ended up 9 miles.


Graves site background McCain tractor


Fox site. We placed some flowers and covered the stone back up. There was a lot of wheeling traffic we could hear to the west. A ton of off-roaders from Painted gorge around the Stage ruins


Through the area that got plowed over from floods and just before the gullies, a large timber. Looks like the stuff on the bottom of the Goat Cayon trestle. We also found a pile of 4 X 6's McCains shack?


Ah the mighty Carrizo...creek


Once we crossed the creek area we were a mile or so to the west. We climbed a hill to get bearings and found a bulldozed area with a lot of air to surface rocket parts. It's clear we were too far in the twilight zone. There was also a ton of 50 cal bullet casings everywhere. I told the wife don't touch anything and we quickly headed west.



We headed to some hills on the south side of the creek. The game plan was to follow the north side along the creek. Nope, we ended following an old jeep trail between a saddleback. The trail ended and the swamp began. Dirt on the hillside was like the soft mud cave dirt where you sink in about 6 inches dry until the swamp arrived. We Trodded through this for about a mile.



A bit further west we cleared the swamp and climbed out unto an alkaline wasteland. More of the soft dirt but dry. Finally on a small hill just east of the Leckie benchmark hill. Another mile or so. We crossed the creek heading north at the base of Leckie finishing the hike,


Sunday took an old hiking friend so that he could tag the Lost benchmark. He's 72. I've been hiking with him since 1957. He's lost a lot of balance took a few spills but got Lost. We climbed down on the south side. I had to close my eyes until he made it down....haha.


Think I'm done with the middle section of the creek. Found 4 ways to get up to south mesa. There's some exploring to be done up there in and around Gert wash. Will also spend some time on the south side of the creek next to the Coyote mountainside.
edited by Britain on 12/8/2020
12/8/2020
Topic:
Cactus Spring trail

Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Topic: Cactus Spring trail
Nice Report! Cool captures.
12/8/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
tekewin wrote:
I've looked at the topo of those canyons on the south side wondering if anyone has ever explored them. The links show that most, if not all, have been explored by someone.
Which cyns? Bisnaga? It's all great areas to explore. I also did a trip once that went up and over Whale and went down to Split Rock, that was a tough trip down over big boulders.
12/8/2020
Topic:
Cactus Spring trail

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
Topic: Cactus Spring trail
Good to see people getting out, thanks for sharing. Of all the times I have been to Martinez I have entered/exited a different way, seems like I have had to just drive around until I found an opening which there seemed to always be somewhere.
12/7/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
I've looked at the topo of those canyons on the south side wondering if anyone has ever explored them. The links show that most, if not all, have been explored by someone.
12/7/2020
Topic:
Cactus Spring trail

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
Topic: Cactus Spring trail
Cool report. All new to me.
12/7/2020
Topic:
Cactus Spring trail

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Topic: Cactus Spring trail
Some great pictures. Looks like a nice area to explore.
12/7/2020
Topic:
Cactus Spring trail

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Topic: Cactus Spring trail
My plan this weekend was to do an overnight to the Jack Miller cabin in Martinez Canyon. I had emailed BLM to ask if the gate at 68th/Van Buren would be unlocked and they told me it would be. I got there and it was locked. I don't think this was in response to the recent shutdown. The lock looked like someone had tried to pry it open, so I imagine it's been there a while.

Plan B was the Cactus Spring trail. I has done it as a dayhike 5 years ago. This time I had my tent and decided to see how far in I would get. That turned out to be not very far. I had forgotten about the steep section climbing out of Horsethief Creek. That plus my late start meant I ended up camping in Little Pinyon Flat near Cactus Spring. Still a great trip and I was glad to revisit the area.

Toro Peak was visible from my campsite but I managed to block it behind a tree in this shot


Several sections of trail are deeply worn




As near as I could tell, this is Cactus Spring


A couple more views of the trail




Looking down on Horsethief Creek and a pic at the creek. There was better water at the trail crossing but I was glad I didn't need to fill up as there was a group letting their dog play in the water.



edited by Brian on 12/7/2020
12/5/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

deborah
deborah
Posts: 98
This is really good info. I've been curious about that route as well.

I happened to be in the lower part of Smuggler Canyon last weekend. I parked off S2 at the Vallecito campground and hiked north up Smuggler Canyon to the Pictograph trail, and then scrambled up the small peak just south of the trail (elev. 3679). The views were really nice.

On the way back I took a slightly different route to the west. Lots of fun boulder hopping/scrambling. I had such a late start, I ended up hiking the last 20 minutes or so in the dark. But the moon was really bright, I barely needed my headlamp.
12/3/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
ziphius wrote:
Enjoyed the diversity of this route. http://www.anzaborrego.net/anzaborrego/Forum/topic1515-whale-peak-overnight.aspx



I forgot about that report. The canyon up did look a bit easier on Google Earth.
12/2/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
ziphius wrote:
Enjoyed the diversity of this route. http://www.anzaborrego.net/anzaborrego/Forum/topic1515-whale-peak-overnight.aspx

Yeah, that's a good one..! Thumbs Up
12/2/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 853
Enjoyed the diversity of this route. http://www.anzaborrego.net/anzaborrego/Forum/topic1515-whale-peak-overnight.aspx
12/2/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Thinking of giving the canyon just to the north of Smugglers a try this weekend for an overnight trip. It looks a bit less congested than Smugglers and seems to be used quite a bit when starting near Shake Benchmark.
12/2/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
I have only done the N/W "easy route". More sheltered with pinyon pines and vegetation. It's a real treasure in the park. I have always thought about doing the Southern route. Looks pretty rough and barren. Perfect for climbing on a cool day. BTW how did "Smugglers canyon" get it's name? I assume horse thieves?
12/2/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
Here is a map of routes I have done, you can reference them if needed. Please let us know how your trip turns out!

https://caltopo.com/m/UFEU

--
11/27/2020
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.
11/27/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
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
11/26/2020
Topic:
Whale Peak via Pictographs/Smugglers Canyon ?

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 79
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
11/26/2020
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!
11/25/2020
Topic:
Photography

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
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!
11/24/2020
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 853
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 853
Topic: Roost Benchmark
Nice trip report and photos. Like the photo of the landing strip east of Roost.
11/24/2020
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
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
11/23/2020
Topic:
Photography

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 79
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 79
Topic: Photography
Beautiful !! The old ramp to Villager.
11/23/2020
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.
11/23/2020
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.
edited by Buford on 12/2/2020
11/23/2020
Topic:
Photography

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
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?
11/23/2020
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 257
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.

11/23/2020
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
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
11/23/2020
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
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.
11/23/2020
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Topic: Roost Benchmark
Nice captures also never heard of the roost.
11/23/2020
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Topic: Roost Benchmark
Nice trip report! I'd never heard of Roost.
11/23/2020
Topic:
Roost Benchmark

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
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
11/21/2020
Topic:
Martinez Mtn. Snow

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Topic: Martinez Mtn. Snow
thank you for the details rockhopper!
11/21/2020
Topic:
Martinez Mtn. Snow

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
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
11/20/2020
Topic:
Photography

Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
Topic: Photography
Outstanding captures!
11/20/2020
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:
11/20/2020
Topic:
Martinez Mtn. Snow

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Topic: Martinez Mtn. Snow
update: BLM says the gate is closed but not locked.
11/20/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 552
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
11/19/2020
Topic:
Plaster City R&R track issues

Britain
Britain
Posts: 502
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
11/19/2020
Topic:
Martinez Mtn. Snow

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
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.
11/19/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
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
11/18/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
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.
11/18/2020
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.
11/18/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
They are very much still happening and alive.
11/18/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
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.
11/18/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
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.
11/18/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
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
11/18/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
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.
11/18/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
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.
11/18/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2465
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.
11/17/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 79
Great trip report ! Love that place. Talk about being away from civilization. Great JOB, no easy feat!!
11/17/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 853
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 853
Topic: Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days
Man that campsite looks awesome. Great trip report to an area I've yet to explore.
11/17/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
Brian
Brian
Posts: 43
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.
11/17/2020
Topic:
Rockhouse Canyon 2 Days

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 380
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




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