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DRT Lakeside
DRT Lakeside
Posts: 62


12/20/2011
DRT Lakeside
DRT Lakeside
Posts: 62
Hi all,

New to the forum, but have been lurking around the website for a while now. We love ABDSP, but have just begun to scratch the surface of available hikes/camping opportunities.

We have done Blair Valley/Ghost Mountain numerous times and often stay at Agua Calient Campground as a base to venture out from. Last trip we did Mortero Palms (almost Goat Canyon but we took a wrong turn) and had a few hair raising moments at the "one way" section of trail heading back through the volcanic hills area. We have also been through Canyon Sin Nombre a few times. Anyway, we are heading out over New Years and wondered if there may be some cool stuff we might be missing near Agua Caliente Park. We have a stock (for now) suzuki samurai which gets around pretty well. Any thoughts?

Thanks for the awesome website : )
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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


12/20/2011
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
There are lots of great places in the southern part of ABDSP to see. If you haven't been up through Indian Gorge into Indian Valley, you should definitely try that. I saw a bighorn ram in the gorge last year and they lurk all around there. Once in Indian Valley there are some nice old trails to the palm groves to the south toward Mountain Palm Spring. If you want to do some climbing, the climb up Sombrero Peak is wonderful with great views the whole way up from Indian Valley. There are morteros, caves, and artwork around the Indian Valley area too, not to mention wonderful campsites scattered all about. It is much better to primitive camp than stay in campgrounds, just my opinion. If you go across the highway to the east side of S-2, there are the mud caves and lots of interesting washes and canyons to explore between June Wash and Canyon Sin Nombre. Finally, the Indian Hill area has enough stuff to keep you busy for a long time. I hope this gives you a few new places to see and welcome to the forum.
David
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DHeuschele
DHeuschele
Posts: 83


12/20/2011
DHeuschele
DHeuschele
Posts: 83
You were not very clear on the age of the "we" but I think the following are worthy of consideration:
- Arroyo Tapiado mud caves. Park at the real wide opening (football size) and look for use trails and you can find a few of the best of the mud caves including Chasm, Big Carey, Hidden, and Plung. There are at least 22 mud caves in Arroyo Tapiado but if you visit Chasm, Hidden, and either Chasm or Big Carrey you would have a very good sampling. Chasm cave empties into a pretty good slot canyon.
- Domelands is a little south of Agua Caliente and requires some hiking but is neat for the wind caves and the view of the badlands. I like this view of these badlands better than the view of the Badlands from Fonts Point in the Northern part of the park. I recently posted a trip report on this trip.
- Indian Hill area. I have posted coords on this site before to the hill.
- Goat Canyon as you are already aware. Very neat tressle and can do it from the same area as Indian Hill if you do not honor the railroad property rights (personnal choice).
- Hike from Aqua Caliente to Squaw Pond (no pond but can be marshy) and beyond.
- Smugglers Canyon near Blair Valley and the overlook, various petrogylphs, etc. I have been planning on doing a trip report on a recent trip here (Nov) but have not done so yet.

Some of these require research before going out there (especially Indian Hill and Arroyo Tapiado mud caves).
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DRT Lakeside
DRT Lakeside
Posts: 62


12/21/2011
DRT Lakeside
DRT Lakeside
Posts: 62
Thanks to both of you, those sound like excellent options and I my wife and I (the "we") will definitely be investigating some of those. I agree that primitive camping is much more interesting and gives a much more intimate experience with the desert and all it has to offer. Our issue at the moment is that our Samurai (we call him "Bucky") is not able to carry much in the way of camping gear, etc at the moment. Especially if we bring one or both of the kids (17 and 18). We are slowly outfitting him so we can carry enough for a 2 day excursion. New front bumper coming in a week or so for Christmas.
We have done Indian Gorge, but only as far as Torote Canyon, which was awesome. I like the idea of spending time around Indian Hills this trip as well. I will look through the site and our books to plan it out. We will enjoy it wherever we go.
Thanks for the great advice and welcome.
Dave

ps what about the "Well of Eight Echoes"? Heard that was awesome : )
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anutami
anutami
Posts: 485


12/21/2011
anutami
anutami
Posts: 485
hikerdmb wrote:
There are lots of great places in the southern part of ABDSP to see. If you haven't been up through Indian Gorge into Indian Valley, you should definitely try that. I saw a bighorn ram in the gorge last year and they lurk all around there. Once in Indian Valley there are some nice old trails to the palm groves to the south toward Mountain Palm Spring. If you want to do some climbing, the climb up Sombrero Peak is wonderful with great views the whole way up from Indian Valley. There are morteros, caves, and artwork around the Indian Valley area too, not to mention wonderful campsites scattered all about. It is much better to primitive camp than stay in campgrounds, just my opinion.

I second that! Indian Gorge is one of my favorite places. Just camp 1 night out there and you will be hooked on primitive camping!

Very nice campsite at the end of North fork Trail


and cool boulder scrambling

South Fork (Trail to Sombrero Peak)

worlds greatest playground, campsite in the distance at the trailhead to the palm groves just passed Torete Canyon
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surfponto
surfponto
Administrator
Posts: 1268


12/21/2011
surfponto
surfponto
Administrator
Posts: 1268
I second the Mortero Wash area . That is one of my favorite places to camp next to Indian Valley and Carrizo Gorge.
Some of the camping areas are a bit higher than the S2 so you have a nice morning sunrise view.



There are also a lot of fun boulders to climb on and explore.

Thanks for the website compliments. I need to do some serious updates which I plan to do over the next few months.
I may even try to update this forum so it is a little more user friendly

Bob
edited by surfponto on 12/21/2011
edited by surfponto on 12/21/2011
<em>edited by surfponto on 12/21/2011</em>

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Ortiz81
Ortiz81
Posts: 1


12/23/2011
Ortiz81
Ortiz81
Posts: 1
anutami wrote:
hikerdmb wrote:
There are lots of great places in the southern part of ABDSP to see. If you haven't been up through Indian Gorge into Indian Valley, you should definitely try that. I saw a bighorn ram in the gorge last year and they lurk all around there. Once in Indian Valley there are some nice old trails to the palm groves to the south toward Mountain Palm Spring. If you want to do some climbing, the climb up Sombrero Peak is wonderful with great views the whole way up from Indian Valley. There are morteros, caves, and artwork around the Indian Valley area too, not to mention wonderful campsites scattered all about. It is much better to primitive camp than stay in campgrounds, just my opinion.

I second that! Indian Gorge is one of my favorite places. Just camp 1 night out there and you will be hooked on primitive camping!

Very nice campsite at the end of North fork Trail


and cool boulder scrambling

South Fork (Trail to Sombrero Peak)

worlds greatest playground, campsite in the distance at the trailhead to the palm groves just passed Torete Canyon


Wow, these pictures of yours are marvellous and magnificent! I really really like them all! TY for posting!
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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2469


12/23/2011
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2469
I just spent 4 days camping at the North Fork campsite your truck photos are in, one of my favorite places for sure. In 4 days I saw nobody....I did see one set of tracks where somebody must have pulled up and turned around while I was out hiking...but that was it. The North Fork is just plain awesome and that campsite is is coveted by anyone who has been there. Those are great pictures of your kids!

If you are going to camp at Agua Caliente, I say hike Moonlight Canyon out into Inner Pasture. Another great area is to go just north over to Vallecito and hike around Troutman Mtn, Storm Canyon, Potrero Cyn. Everyone else here has given you some great ideas also.

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DRT Lakeside
DRT Lakeside
Posts: 62


12/23/2011
DRT Lakeside
DRT Lakeside
Posts: 62
Thanks again for all the help. One thing I am leaning toward this time is trying to find the cave and pictographs at Indian Hill. It was helpful to find out that the topo map is inaccurate. We will also likely do the Moonlight Canyon to inner pasture hike. I will look around here to check out some more about inner pasture.

We will definitely take some pictures as well

I have a couple quick Indian Hill hike questions-but not sure if I should post them here or in the Indian Hill threads, but here goes (feel free to move it)

Looking at the topo map it shows a jeep trail getting close to Indian Hill, but in one of the posts someone mentioned that they were surprised/unhappy to see vehicle tracks in one of the pictures. My question is: How far should/can we drive along the road paralleling the tracks until we park and hike to Indian Hill? I noticed in the topo map there is an old jeep trail going towards the hill, I assume it goes under or over the tracks. Is that closed or is it an "old" road. Should we walk it?
I am wondering because, a few weeks ago we headed west along the tracks from the Dos Cabezas water tower, up the "difficult" section but then veered right toward Volcanic Hills, so I am not sure what to expect further along.
Any info/advice would be appreciated as far as where to start the hike part toward Indian Hill
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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2469


12/23/2011
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2469
Keep going past the "difficult" section, it is easy after that or go around it taking the mine road/trail. You will get to a point that is just before the topo map marked indian hill and you will see posts up for no entry for vehicles..park there, there is a big open area to park and then you follow the wash under the train tracks bridge. The vehicle tracks you may see going around the posts may be border patrol, they will ignore park rules. It is about a 1 mile walk, not difficult. The old jeep road you see on the topo maps is closed.

DRT Lakeside wrote:

Looking at the topo map it shows a jeep trail getting close to Indian Hill, but in one of the posts someone mentioned that they were surprised/unhappy to see vehicle tracks in one of the pictures. My question is: How far should/can we drive along the road paralleling the tracks until we park and hike to Indian Hill? I noticed in the topo map there is an old jeep trail going towards the hill, I assume it goes under or over the tracks. Is that closed or is it an "old" road. Should we walk it?


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http://www.darensefcik.com
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DRT Lakeside
DRT Lakeside
Posts: 62


12/23/2011
DRT Lakeside
DRT Lakeside
Posts: 62
Awesome. Thanks a bunch. If we find the correct cave is there a way we will know it is the correct one? I am getting more and more anxious to head out : ) I am sure whatever happens it will be a great trip.

Wish us luck and thanks again

Dave
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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2469


12/23/2011
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2469
If you find it..you will know it is the right one...have fun and report back...

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http://www.sefcik.com
http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com
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DHeuschele
DHeuschele
Posts: 83


12/23/2011
DHeuschele
DHeuschele
Posts: 83
DRT Lakeside wrote:
Awesome. Thanks a bunch. If we find the correct cave is there a way we will know it is the correct one?


There are pictures on the web. The Desert Girls have pictures in their blog: http://dzrtgrls.com/indian_hill_pictographs/IndianHillPictographs/index.html.

There are also pictures here

I will be exploring Southern Utah next week (Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands, Bridges, Arches, Capitol Reef, Escalante).


Have fun.
edited by surfponto on 12/24/2011 :fixed link
<em>edited by surfponto on 12/24/2011</em>
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