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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Backpacking in Bighorn Canyon Messages in this topic - RSS

hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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12/13/2010
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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I have been in other areas around the Pinyon Mountains but Bighorn Canyon would be a new destination for me. I did not go solo. I met up with Daren from this forum and also a friend of mine joined the trip. We met at the junction of Pinyon Wash and Nolina Wash on Saturday afternoon. We then drove up Nolina Wash a half mile or so and found a place to park off the dirt road. We shouldered our packs and headed west across the desert toward the mouth of Bighorn Canyon.


It was a beautiful day. I can't remember a December day like this in the past few years. It was actually hot as we made our way into the canyon and there was very little wind. It was nice to get into the canyon and hike in the shade provided by the walls to our west. The hike up was pretty uneventful, mostly hiking on sand with a few boulders to negotiate every so often. When we got up towards the end of the canyon we spotted the low pass to the east that lead to Nolina Canyon. We knew we were close to the watering system below Blue Spring and the search began. We went up the wrong part of the canyon and ended up scrambling up and down a couple of ridges before we spotted the tanks. In the main part of the canyon just like it showed on the topo map.



We hiked a bit further up the canyon above the water tanks to look for any sign of Blue Spring but didn't see anything. We did find the old way of collecting water from this canyon.


The upper part of Bighorn Canyon is very nice. There are some nice rock formations and signs of waterfalls that flow during heavy rains. If you look to the left of this rock formation you can see one of the many dry falls. This one looked to be about 20+ feet tall.


Afer spending a few more minutes looking around this part of the canyon we headed up the final feet toward the low pass. Daren had spotted a fairly level area on the pass during our scrambling around time looking for the tanks. Here is a view back down into Bighorn Canyon from near the pass.


We did find a nice campsite just as the sun was going down. We had dinner and sat back to look at the sky show. The Perseid meteor shower was to be at its peak in a couple of days so we were hoping for a show. We saw a few shooting stars but not as many as I had hoped. The next morning we awoke to another great desert sunrise.


As my buddy and I had breakfast, Daren scrambled up the mountain to the east for a better view. After he returned we packed our gear back into our packs and started our descent into Nolina Canyon. This canyon was quite different than Bighorn Canyon. There were many many animal tracks in the upper parts of the canyon. We also passed many willow trees in this canyon. There must be water just under the sand. We also saw some Pinyon Pine cones on the floor of the canyon. This is very odd because when you look up and all around you cannot see any of these trees. I know they are way up high above this canyon so these cones traveled very far to rest in the sand here. There were some nice stands of Cholla along the sides when the canyon opened up a bit.

It was a pretty easy hike down through here with only a few spots with boulders and rocks to negotiate.


After about an hour or so we made it out of Nolina Canyon and proceeded on down the wash and back to our rigs. There was a great view looking to the north as we exited the canyon. We could see the Santa Rosa Mountains, Toro Peak, and all the way north to San Jacinto Peak. It was another perfect day.


The shade of Nolina Canyon made the hike out very cool. But once we left the shade of the canyon walls it was a bit warmer. It was a great trip! A nice loop hike with some scrambling up and down rocks and ridges, easy hiking in two fantastic canyons, a calm, clear, warm night with lots of stars, and good hiking partners.

edited by hikerdmb on 12/13/2010
edited by hikerdmb on 1/2/2013
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surfponto
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12/14/2010
surfponto
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Greetings David,

Looks like you had a great trip.
Love the sunrise picture.
That looks like an interesting area of Anza Borrego that I would like to check out some time.
Thanks for sharing that.

Bob

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dsefcik
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12/14/2010
dsefcik
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David, thanks for letting me tag along on your trip, I enjoyed hiking with you and your buddy. No less than 30 minutes after I got home did 2 coyotes show up in my back yard and start taunting my dog...wild I tell you..I will try and post some photos when I get a chance, below are 2 that I took, one is a panorama from the peak I climbed up in the morning and another is one of the many sheep scat droppings I found, they were everywhere. The third is the gps trip route in google earth.

Sheep scat, there was scat everywhere and I even found a few scraped up areas indicating a possible bedding area


Panorama of Bighorn Canyon. You can see Granite Mtn (U shaed peak right of center), Pinyon Mtn (center) and Toro Peak (far right). If you go to the Download full sized panorama here you can download the full sized image to get the full perspective of it.


GPS route


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edited by dsefcik on 12/14/2010
<em>edited by dsefcik on 12/14/2010</em>

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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12/14/2010
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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It was a terrific hike. Nothing quite like going to a new place and seeing new sights. I liked Nolina Canyon a lot. I am pretty sure that big plant we saw a half mile or so from the rigs is the Nolina plant. Is the elevation total from your GPS for our hike correct? That is a different number than you had said after the hike. The total on your track is closer to what I had on my altimeter. Glad you had a good time. It was nice hearing about some new desert places to explore. Andy and I really liked the hike. He is ready to go again. By the way his pics turned out great. I will send you a PM and see if I can get you a link to his pics. Don't know if he has them open for everyone to see. If not I will see if he minds me posting a couple of them on here. Or maybe he will want to post them himself.
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dsefcik
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12/14/2010
dsefcik
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hikerdmb wrote:
Is the elevation total from your GPS for our hike correct? That is a different number than you had said after the hike. The total on your track is closer to what I had on my altimeter.


I pulled the gps info into google earth and added our side trip to the spring. I would guess it is somewhat accurate, I may have been reading the gps wrong when we were out there.

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dsefcik
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12/15/2010
dsefcik
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Attached to this message is the Garmin software profile of the route, I would tend to believe that. Also, I added in the little hop we did over to the tanks and back to our packs so what I read on the gps would by slightly less than what is showing here.

dsefcik wrote:
hikerdmb wrote:
Is the elevation total from your GPS for our hike correct? That is a different number than you had said after the hike. The total on your track is closer to what I had on my altimeter.


I pulled the gps info into google earth and added our side trip to the spring. I would guess it is somewhat accurate, I may have been reading the gps wrong when we were out there.

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hikerdmb
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12/15/2010
hikerdmb
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Here are a sample of the photographs that Andy took on this hike. He is an excellent young photographer as you can see by his work. Please don't do too much of a comparison between my point and shoot style and his awesome work. My favorite is the last photograph in this group. Maybe he will join the forum and post some more. I know he will be backpacking in ABDSP again.

Near the watering system in Blue Spring.


Sunset from near our campsite.


Star trails around the North Star.


Last bit of light from the setting sun.


Aircraft crossing the night sky.
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surfponto
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12/15/2010
surfponto
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Ok
Those pictures are completely amazing.
Is that a digital SLR he was using?
Bob

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dsefcik
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12/15/2010
dsefcik
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David, thank Andy for me for sharing those, they are really amazing..I need to get me one of those cameras (and maybe buy a book or something). I learned a lot about cameras and the night stars on that trip, I am glad I was able to join you guys. Also,I looked up the Nolina plant and I believe you are correct about the one we saw, long thin pointed leaves.

From superstock.com
"Close-up of a nolina plant, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California, USA"


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<em>edited by dsefcik on 12/15/2010</em>

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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12/15/2010
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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Bob,
I think it was a Canon Digital SLR but I will ask him. His pack was heavy with camera gear and a tripod. I think he had four lenses and the camera body plus he also had a little point and shoot camera.
Daren,
I will make sure I thank him but hopefully he will look on here and see them. I sent him the link to the blog and the forum. I also asked him to post some more. He is quite the artist. I have seen some of his other work and his is definitely talented. That Nolina is definitely what we saw when we left the canyon and were in the wash. I am ready to go again.
David
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surfponto
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12/16/2010
surfponto
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Thanks David,
That is what i figured. Need to use a tripod and do a long exposure to get those star pictures.
He has some serious talent.

My Canon S90 (non-SLR) actually does pretty good but I really need to figure out some of the manual settings on it.
I like it because it is small and easy to pull out quick if something cool runs by....
Unfortunately it was a bit pricey.

Would he mind if I posted a couple on the front page of the site?
I do not have any night shots like that.

Bob
<em>edited by surfponto on 12/16/2010</em>

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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12/16/2010
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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I will ask him about putting them on the front page of the blog.
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hikerdmb
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12/17/2010
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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Bob,
Andy said go ahead and put a couple on the blog. He checked out your site and thought it was cool. His camera is a Canon Rebel xsi, and the lenses are a Canon 10-22mm (this is the one used for most of the pics, including all of the night sky ones), Canon 60mm, Canon 18-55mm, and a Canon 75-300mm.
David
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dsefcik
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12/18/2010
dsefcik
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I was in Walmart buying dog food yesterday and saw this camera for $499 (XSi), it came with the 18-55mm lens. Craigslist has lots of them also. Guess I need to start saving my pesos.

hikerdmb wrote:
Bob,
Andy said go ahead and put a couple on the blog. He checked out your site and thought it was cool. His camera is a Canon Rebel xsi, and the lenses are a Canon 10-22mm (this is the one used for most of the pics, including all of the night sky ones), Canon 60mm, Canon 18-55mm, and a Canon 75-300mm.
David


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surfponto
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12/18/2010
surfponto
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Thanks David,
I will do a quick post called nightime in Anza Borrego or something similiar

Daren
That seems to be a good price, but like you I would have to save my pesos, especially after the new shoes for the LandCruiser. smile

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dsefcik
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12/31/2010
dsefcik
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David, you should tell ANdy to check the ABF photo contest, they have a new "desert at night" category. Entries are due Jan 31'st 2011.

http://theabf.org/events/photo_contest

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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12/31/2010
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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Daren,
I will pass that on to him for sure. Thanks
David
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