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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Torote Canyon Loop - Solo Backpacking TR Messages in this topic - RSS

hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


11/20/2012
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
I had a trip planned for Joshua Tree this week but my buddy got sick and couldn't make it so I decided to do this hike instead. This would allow me to get out still but not have to go so far. I have camped in Indian Valley too many times to count but had never taken the time to hike up Torote Canyon. A couple of years ago Daren did a TR on this area and I think I pretty much did the same route he did on that trip. The drive out in the jeep was very nice. The temps were in the mid 70s and there was hardly any wind at all. When I turned up into Indian Gorge the weather was still perfect. I pulled into the parking area for Torote Canyon, parked, and started hiking about 1:30. It wasn't long before I saw the first Elephant Trees above the canyon floor.




Most of the way up the canyon was easy walking but ever so often I would come to a spot like this that took a little more effort to get up and over.


I eventually made it to the upper reaches of the canyon and it started opening up a bit. Here was my first view of Sombrero Peak. Notice the tracks in the wash. These were mostly bighorn sheep tracks. There were plenty of human tracks the first mile, then only one or two sets of tracks, and after a couple of miles nothing but lots and lots of animal tracks.


The farther I went up past the end of the canyon the better the view became. This is looking south, I could see the Goat Canyon Trestle with my binoculars, from near the spot where I would camp for the night.


I awoke to a wonderful sunrise with Venus rising in the east. My iPhone does not take good low light pics.


Here is a pic I took from my sleeping bag. I always have called this mountain Little Sombrero but I think it's real name is Red Top. It is quite red in the morning light.


There wasn't much room on top of the hill where I made my camp but my sleeping pad and bag fit nicely between the rocks and plants. Not to mention there was a great view.


I had originally thought I would just backtrack the way I came in but decided instead to complete the loop by dropping down a small canyon just west of my campsite. Here is a pic about halfway down, looking up.


And this is the view of the entire drop from the floor of North Indian Valley. It was quite the rocky descent. Of course I have to say it never looks as steep in pics as in real life.


Once to the bottom it was a couple miles back to the jeep on nice easy washes and the hard packed road. This is the map of my route. I went in a counter clockwise direction from the parking area. Notice the tent symbol at my campsite.


I didn't see another person on this hike until I was almost back to the jeep where I saw a couple of car campers. I think if one were to spend some time up in this area you would see some sheep. I didn't, but I did see lots of scat and tracks.

A good trip for starting Thanksgiving vacation.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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11/20/2012
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Yep that is pretty much exactly the loop my son and I did awhile back...almost 10 miles if I remember but we parked out near the road entrance. Once you get past the couple of rocky areas and dry falls it opens up into a beautiful sandy open area, perfect for camping.

I think your "little Sombrero" is False Sombrero, it is right at the end of the North Fork and up on the north side.

Nice TR David..

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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 599


11/21/2012
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 599
Nice report. Great pictures. Looks like you had a great solo trip. Temps in the 70's and no wind , now that's what I say
is excellent desert hiking / camping weather. You've got me pumped! Looking forward to my next ABSP "expedition" very soon.
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890


11/21/2012
ziphius
ziphius
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Nice trip. Sounds like there is a lot of sheep activity in that area lately, heh? Did you run across any water / springs? I'm debating whether or not to lug my tent with me this weekend. It would be great to leave it behind if the wind isn't going to come up. Like you, I'm planning on "camping high" for the views and opportunities to look into some nooks and crannies that I've spied through binoculars on my last trip. smile Jim

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


11/21/2012
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
Daren... I went back and looked at your old TR and I did indeed do the same loop. I figured my trip somewhere between 6-7 miles. That is exactly where that mountain is so it must be False Sombrero.

ziphius... I did NOT see any water or springs on this trip but I did see the palm grove that is above the north fork of Indian Valley and it might have water. It looked very green in there. Maybe someone else has been up there. It looked really rugged up there from the vantage point of my camp. I like going without a tent as long as there is no wind. Nothing like "camping high" in the desert.

rockhopper... There were plenty of side canyons/valleys and peaks and peaklets all over that area just begging to be explored and I couldn't believe the amount of animal tracks through there.


David
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890


11/21/2012
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890
hikerdmb wrote:
Daren... I went back and looked at your old TR and I did indeed do the same loop. I figured my trip somewhere between 6-7 miles. That is exactly where that mountain is so it must be False Sombrero.

ziphius... I did NOT see any water or springs on this trip but I did see the palm grove that is above the north fork of Indian Valley and it might have water. It looked very green in there. Maybe someone else has been up there. It looked really rugged up there from the vantage point of my camp. I like going without a tent as long as there is no wind. Nothing like "camping high" in the desert.

rockhopper... There were plenty of side canyons/valleys and peaks and peaklets all over that area just begging to be explored and I couldn't believe the amount of animal tracks through there.


David


David, thanks for the info. Your description of the many animal tracks has got me thinking that I should take 1/2 day or more on my upcoming trip to find a good vantage point and "just sit" and see what walks or flys by. That's a hard thing to do, because I always feel like I should be "on the move". smile - Jim

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AdventureGraham
AdventureGraham
Posts: 170


11/21/2012
AdventureGraham
AdventureGraham
Posts: 170
Looks like a fun solo outing. Sleeping under the stars- it doesn't get much better than that!
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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11/21/2012
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Oh yeah, I forgot to to ask, did you take the refried beans in a bag? I just bought some more for my trip this weekend and they are $0.99 a bag! A pound of food for $0.99!

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


11/21/2012
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
Took a couple PB&J sandwiches and some granola bars. It was a quickly planned trip. But I will definitely be trying the beans in a bag and making burritos on my next desert backpack trip.
David
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


11/22/2012
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
Nice trip. Was in Torote Canyon on 12-11-10 and noted the Ocotillos were changing colors. There seemed to be two distinct groups, red and yellow. Not sure this was a transition they all went through or two different hybrids. Anything similar this year? Also noted our Torotes have nothing on the Baja Torotes! Tom


Christmas Lights10 by tomteske, on Flickr


Christmas Lights9 by tomteske, on Flickr


Senor Torote by tomteske, on Flickr
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surfponto
surfponto
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11/22/2012
surfponto
surfponto
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Hey Tom,
Thought the same thing about the Torote.
That protected desert area area around Catavina, Baja Norte is loaded with them and some are huge.

Interesting that they are rare in Borrego when they seem so prolific to the south

Bob

tommy750 wrote:
Nice trip. Was in Torote Canyon on 12-11-10 and noted the Ocotillos were changing colors. There seemed to be two distinct groups, red and yellow. Not sure this was a transition they all went through or two different hybrids. Anything similar this year? Also noted our Torotes have nothing on the Baja Torotes! Tom


Christmas Lights10 by tomteske, on Flickr


Christmas Lights9 by tomteske, on Flickr


Senor Torote by tomteske, on Flickr


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dsefcik
dsefcik
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11/22/2012
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2518
ziphius wrote:
I'm planning on "camping high" for the views and opportunities to look into some nooks and crannies that I've spied through binoculars on my last trip. smile Jim

Be careful of what you might find up in those nooks and crannies...Shock


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dsefcik
dsefcik
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11/22/2012
dsefcik
dsefcik
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tommy750 wrote:
Nice trip. Was in Torote Canyon on 12-11-10 and noted the Ocotillos were changing colors. There seemed to be two distinct groups, red and yellow. Not sure this was a transition they all went through or two different hybrids. Tom

Beautiful red ocotillos Tom, has anyone ever seen a white ocotillo?

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


11/22/2012
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
tommy750 wrote:
Nice trip. Was in Torote Canyon on 12-11-10 and noted the Ocotillos were changing colors. There seemed to be two distinct groups, red and yellow. Not sure this was a transition they all went through or two different hybrids. Anything similar this year? Also noted our Torotes have nothing on the Baja Torotes! Tom

I saw several ocotillo changing from green to red but I only found one picture in my album that showed some red. It's mostly in the shadow in this pic. There were also some green ocotillo changing to yellow but no pics of those. I did not see anything as nice as the 2 pics you posted.
David

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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


11/23/2012
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
Daren Sefcik wrote:
ziphius wrote:
I'm planning on "camping high" for the views and opportunities to look into some nooks and crannies that I've spied through binoculars on my last trip. smile Jim

Be careful of what you might find up in those nooks and crannies...Shock


That is an awesome pic!!
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890


11/25/2012
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890
Awesome Daren! Exactly what I'm hoping for. I'll be careful. smile Daren Sefcik wrote:
ziphius wrote:
I'm planning on "camping high" for the views and opportunities to look into some nooks and crannies that I've spied through binoculars on my last trip. smile Jim

Be careful of what you might find up in those nooks and crannies...Shock


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