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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

RockhouseValley (north) backpacking TRIP Messages in this topic - RSS

hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


11/25/2014
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
This was my third trip out to Rockhouse Valley. The first was about 20 years ago. The last time I was out there was March 2012. I have also been out that road to visit Jackass Flat a couple of times. I can say the road out to the trailhead is much worse than ever before. The last section from Butler Canyon to the end is definitely four wheel low. We didn't start hiking until a little before 3:00 PM and made it up through Rockhouse Canyon into the valley just as the sun was hitting the top of the Santa Rosa Mountains. It made for a nice sunset.

Here is a pano from our camp site near the lower rock houses.


I headed over to the lower rock houses for a couple of pics as soon as I dropped my pack.


The weather was forecast to be windy but it only blew off and on for part of the night. Since we were outside the park boundary we took the opportunity to have a small campfire. In all my trips to the far northern part of ABDSP I have never seen another person in this area so I was quite surprised to see some headlamps across the valley from our camp. It was a wonderful night to sleep under the stars


In the morning we had a quick breakfast and packed up our packs. Then we headed back over to the lower rock houses to take a couple of pics.
Here is one of the ruins looking north across the valley toward Toro Peak we would be hiking up that way to visit the old Santa Rosa Indian Village Ruins on this day.

We followed a wash most of the way across the valley and then picked up the old Indian trail the last bit of the hike up to the village site. When we were near the ruins we noticed some movement up on the hill above and saw three hikers. We figured these were the people whose lights we had seen the night before. Imagine my surprise when we got to the ruins and ran into Daren, who I had hiked with before, and Tom from this forum. They were with a group of six doing a multi night trip. It's a small world. Even in one of the most remote parts of ABDSP.

Here they are as they were leaving the village site.


Here are a few pics from around the largest ruin.




And here is some of the other ruins in the area.


After looking around the village site for a while we headed back to our camp and picked up our packs for the hike back down through Rockhouse Canyon.

Here is a parting shot looking back up toward Toro Peak.


The hike through the canyon is very nice with lots of interesting rock formations. Here is my buddy at the top of the 30' (estimated) dry fall. This gives a nice perspective on the canyon. Don't worry though, there is a nice bypass trail around the fall.


Stopped by Hidden Spring on the way out and found a nice bit of water at the base. Last time I was though here it was dry.


Got back to the jeep and had a nice ride out. Made it home around 7:00. This was a great hike and I got to take my brother and a buddy and show them a part of the desert they hadn't seen before. The hike was a little over 15 miles round trip with about 2,000' of elevation gain to reach the village site.
edited by hikerdmb on 11/25/2014
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anutami
anutami
Posts: 491


11/25/2014
anutami
anutami
Posts: 491
Cool trip. Thanks for posting. We are out in Colorado I think we drove by your house smile. Hear it's pretty warm out there.

Not here
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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


11/25/2014
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
That looks like the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Did you go through Pagosa Springs?
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surfponto
surfponto
Administrator
Posts: 1275


11/26/2014
surfponto
surfponto
Administrator
Posts: 1275
Great pictures and trip report David.
It is pretty funny that in the hundreds of thousands of acres of Anza Borrego you run into Daren and Tom. smile

I am finally heading out this coming Friday for our annual post Thanksgiving trip.

Bob

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http://www.anzaborrego.net/



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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890


11/26/2014
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890
Great trip and 'small world'. Still haven't been to that area. Enough water at Hidden Spring to yield a few liters for backpacking? Any other water / springs found? - Jim

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http://www.coyotelearning.org
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


11/26/2014
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
Was nice to meet you Dave. Have to agree Rockhouse is pretty desolate and a very big coincidence our two groups met up. Don't think I saw another human footprint out there the entire trip. Great place to explore. Tom.
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Florian
Florian
Posts: 129


11/26/2014
Florian
Florian
Posts: 129
Really nice pictures! I've been to the first rock houses but not to the village site.

-Florian
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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


11/26/2014
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
Jim (ziphius) wrote:
Great trip and 'small world'. Still haven't been to that area. Enough water at Hidden Spring to yield a few liters for backpacking? Any other water / springs found? - Jim



You could get some water out of Hidden Spring. But it is only a quarter mile or so from the trailhead. Daren and Tom's group was relying on springs. Hopefully they will answer that question in their TR.
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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


11/26/2014
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
tommy750 wrote:
Was nice to meet you Dave. Have to agree Rockhouse is pretty desolate and a very big coincidence our two groups met up. Don't think I saw another human footprint out there the entire trip. Great place to explore. Tom.



Nice meeting you too Tom. Always nice to run into forum members. Can't wait to see and read about the rest of your trip.
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 599


11/26/2014
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 599
I love Rock House Valley. It never changes. As a matter of fact It may never change in our lifetime and our grand kids life time. That's the beauty of it. That was my exact first trip into the valley. Camp at the lower rock house at the entrance and day trip to the Santa Rosa Indian ruins. We found broken arrow heads and broken pottery around a burial cairn west of the main ruins. The ancient peoples used to break the dead persons personal possesions and scatter them. Go figure.
Great photos and great trip report!
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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2518


11/28/2014
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2518
It was good to see you again out there David, I am glad you finally made it to the old village site, it is a neat place to explore and poke around. Maybe on another trip you can spend a few more days out there with us. Otherwise we will be expecting some TR's from Colorado.

@ziphius: Hidden Spring is just a handful of water for the bees and such, you could draw from it if you were dying but it is only about 1/4 mile from the cars so I doubt you would need to.

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http://www.sefcik.com
http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com
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