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surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9


11/22/2021
surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9
Rather than peruse this site I figured I might introduce myself since it appears my interest has been piqued after visiting last Veterans Day for an unplanned rock art exploration trip. The sites we visited and the dark skies we experienced were awe inspiring. My plan is to make it down this coming spring after doing some research on the best approach to Pinto Canyon and discovering that area despite the warnings I’ve read up on but I digress.
I was first introduced to the desert in the early 60’s when my parents purchased a condo to stay in and as a minor spent many winters in the Palm Springs area until adulthood. Subsequently life has taken me into many recreational adventures (surfing, diving -free/scuba, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, canyoneering) and now that I’m retired, I have the time with a buddy to take trips on short notice to explore rock art. I’ve visited many of the indigenous sites around the Santa Monica’s (primarily Chumash) Los Padres, and recently the Anza Borrego area. I’ve never really looked at petroglyph’s so I’m looking into the ones around Pinto for a future spring trip which is how I found this site. My plan is to take an excursion in my buddies 4 wheel Toyota again (and that last trip to Carrizo Gorge had me as concerned as I am on rope rappelling in a canyon) so I’m trying to allay my concerns by not re-inventing the wheel here by prepping and researching this upcoming trip. That’s it for now.
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 144


11/22/2021
Brian
Brian
Posts: 144
Welcome to the forum.

I haven't been to Pinto myself, but I'm interested enough that I looked into the routes. With the exception of Valley of the Moon (which is probably the most difficult approach) you won't need any special vehicle because you'll be stopped by a locked gate before you get anywhere close to the area.
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 994


11/22/2021
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 994
Hi Surf1Div1, have been to Pinto Canyon a couple times and it's well worth the trip. Things have changed quite a bit since my last trip with multiple new Border Patrol dirt roads heading to the canyon from Myer and Davies Valleys. It's (or was) wilderness so you'll need to walk. Should be multiple posts on this forum about Pinto Canyon. Have fun.
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surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9


11/22/2021
surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9
Thanks Brian for you're response. Which gate are you referencing?
Brian wrote:
Welcome to the forum.

I haven't been to Pinto myself, but I'm interested enough that I looked into the routes. With the exception of Valley of the Moon (which is probably the most difficult approach) you won't need any special vehicle because you'll be stopped by a locked gate before you get anywhere close to the area.
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surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9


11/22/2021
surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9
Hi Tom, thanks for you're feedback. Since there appears to be a road (Clark Lane) that terminates a little over 2-1/2 miles from the proposed site I'm thinking of an approach from the South. Some of my reading elsewhere thus far shows a lot of people heading down from Boulder Creek and Mountain Springs which has me questioning my route down Davies Valley. If I can gain an approach from the South that would cut off a considerable distance (one of the forum members has a TR from VOM to the south which is nearly 11 miles). As much as I love hiking, the desert relative to my normal hiking jaunts is out of my wheelhouse. With a short distance like this and a grade of less than 4% this appears to be much more doable, but I'll defer to you and others for feedback. Thanks in advance.

tommy750 wrote:
Hi Surf1Div1, have been to Pinto Canyon a couple times and it's well worth the trip. Things have changed quite a bit since my last trip with multiple new Border Patrol dirt roads heading to the canyon from Myer and Davies Valleys. It's (or was) wilderness so you'll need to walk. Should be multiple posts on this forum about Pinto Canyon. Have fun.
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 144


11/23/2021
Brian
Brian
Posts: 144
surf1div1 wrote:
Which gate are you referencing?


Both Myer and Davies are gated before you get into the valleys. This includes all the various roads into Davies. You can usually find the gates on Google Earth. Here's one 32.699341°N 116.006744°W (paste the coordinates into the search box of Goggle Earth).

I have been told the approach from Myer is shorter but involves some scrambling down a dry fall. The approach from Davies is longer but a straight road-walk.
edited by Brian on 11/23/2021
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surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9


11/23/2021
surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9
Thanks Brian, that explains why people drop down from the North. Crazy they don't allow passage since it's BLM land. Tommy, what approach would you recommend after having done this a couple of times. I'll peruse some trip reports to see any other recommendations. Wondering if biking from that gate to pintos mouth might be an option.
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 994


11/23/2021
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 994
Wow, just checked out GE's updated Davies Valley imaging. They put a freeway through it! Have to admit, it was one of the most serene and peaceful places I've ever hiked but not anymore. Here's what it doesn't look like now from near BM Kirk toward the Sierra Juarez. If anyone wants to head out there for a day hike, would be happy to join you. Parking on old Hwy 80 and crossing under I-8, heading up Boulder/Myer, it's probably in the 14 mile range rt with Davies a few miles more but obviously easier since you can walk the freeway. Nothing is harder than a little boulder hopping.

South Davies Valley3 by tomteske, on Flickr
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surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9


11/23/2021
surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9
Perhaps they did this to facilitate 'the wall' construction which from GE does show what appears to be construction activity. I'm game for a day hike of it if you're around in the Spring (probably during a new moon cycle) when it's cooler and we can enjoy the dry skies. This is what GE is showing and there is a long asphalt highway down there now.


tommy750 wrote:
Wow, just checked out GE's updated Davies Valley imaging. They put a freeway through it! Have to admit, it was one of the most serene and peaceful places I've ever hiked but not anymore. Here's what it doesn't look like now from near BM Kirk toward the Sierra Juarez. If anyone wants to head out there for a day hike, would be happy to join you. Parking on old Hwy 80 and crossing under I-8, heading up Boulder/Myer, it's probably in the 14 mile range rt with Davies a few miles more but obviously easier since you can walk the freeway. Nothing is harder than a little boulder hopping.

South Davies Valley3 by tomteske, on Flickr

edited by surf1div1 on 11/23/2021

Attachments:
Davies Valley.JPG
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 144


11/23/2021
Brian
Brian
Posts: 144
tommy750 wrote:
If anyone wants to head out there for a day hike, would be happy to join you. Parking on old Hwy 80 and crossing under I-8, heading up Boulder/Myer, it's probably in the 14 mile range rt


Tommy, if you're ever planning on doing it I would love to go. I've done that route from Old Hwy 80 to Myer Valley and looped back - doing a slightly longer variation of the route from Schad's book. So I know the area. Just haven't gone as far as Pinto. I didn't want to do that part alone.
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surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9


12/6/2021
surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9
Hey Brian, me and a fellow hiker are planning sometime around April (depending on remod project finish here) to do Pinto but based on those of you in the Jacumba Hikers group it appears that going by way of Boulder/Meyers it's a fair amount of rock scrambling. Not sure that were up for it even though it's the much shorter route (From Myers I have approx 11 mile based on the route on GE). From Davies it's further but not nearly as much rock scrambling. I'm keeping my eyes open on planned hikes from the group and if I see them doing Pinto I will most likely attend it since it's a led hike vs. an exploratory (which is what we normally do).

Brian wrote:
tommy750 wrote:
If anyone wants to head out there for a day hike, would be happy to join you. Parking on old Hwy 80 and crossing under I-8, heading up Boulder/Myer, it's probably in the 14 mile range rt


Tommy, if you're ever planning on doing it I would love to go. I've done that route from Old Hwy 80 to Myer Valley and looped back - doing a slightly longer variation of the route from Schad's book. So I know the area. Just haven't gone as far as Pinto. I didn't want to do that part alone.
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 144


12/6/2021
Brian
Brian
Posts: 144
surf1div1 wrote:
Hey Brian, me and a fellow hiker are planning sometime around April (depending on remod project finish here) to do Pinto but based on those of you in the Jacumba Hikers group it appears that going by way of Boulder/Meyers it's a fair amount of rock scrambling. Not sure that were up for it even though it's the much shorter route (From Myers I have approx 11 mile based on the route on GE). From Davies it's further but not nearly as much rock scrambling. I'm keeping my eyes open on planned hikes from the group and if I see them doing Pinto I will most likely attend it since it's a led hike vs. an exploratory (which is what we normally do).


I think you're right that length vs technical difficulty is the tradeoff between the 2 routes. It seems like Jacumba Hikers are doing shorter hikes lately so I doubt they will do that one, but I think they have in the past so who knows. Not sure what I'll be doing in April, but I hope you continue to check in here as your plans evolve and maybe I'll be able to go.
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surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9


12/6/2021
surf1div1
surf1div1
Posts: 9
Will do and hopefully others who've done the routes can lead or if there's a GPX file would appreciate it especially if coming from the North Approach.
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