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Indian Canyon to Borrego Palm Canyon Traverse info Messages in this topic - RSS

DHeuschele
DHeuschele
Posts: 83


1/23/2015
DHeuschele
DHeuschele
Posts: 83
In March I was considering an Indian Canyon to Borrego Palm Canyon Traverse with side trip up Indian Head. I have done the traverse before and Indian Head before.

A while back they graded Bolder Alley (maybe 3 years ago). I was wondering how difficult that stretch is now. My vehicle could handle Boulder Alley pre-grade but I need to make sure we have another vehicle that can handle that stretch.

If I do not do Indian Canton to Borrego Palm Canyon I may do Anza to upper Coyote Canyon traverse. Anyone have an idea of how long that shuttle would be? I was thinking maybe 4 hours with the slow speed getting down from the upper part of Coyote Canyon (Upper part being as high as the road currently goes). Due to the expected shuttle time I am heavily leaning toward the above trip.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/24/2015
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Wish I could help you out dheuschele but I have not been up the bypass rd in a year or so...but your very trip has been on my list for awhile, if your looking for another person to join you let me know, I do have a 4wd truck that could make it up there. I know they bulldozed boulder alley last Jan or so but I do not know the current condition.

Maybe dzrtwrks or borregolinda can post here, I know they drive that rd frequently.

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DHeuschele
DHeuschele
Posts: 83


3/9/2015
DHeuschele
DHeuschele
Posts: 83
I have an additional request for information. Anyone know what the water situation is up Borrego Palm Canyon especially at the junction for Indian Head (we plan to camp here). Currently I have a beginning tier and advanced tier. The advanced tier will come from Indian Canyon. The beginning tier will be coming up via Borrego palm Canyon. I had been thinking there would be water there (I have never not had water there this time of year but we are in the midst of a multi-year drought) but the lady I talked to state park visitor center indicated she would not rely on there being water. Carrying water could be tough on the advanced tier. The beginning tier could probably make do with 3 quarts each but the advanced tier would likely need 5 quarts (including climbing Indian Head).
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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


3/9/2015
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
I know a guy who climbed Indianhead on 2/22/15 and I asked him this. He said there was water flowing down past the palm grove before disappearing.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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3/9/2015
dsefcik
dsefcik
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There has been water every trip I have done this year out there, can't imagine it is dry now.

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Buford
Buford
Posts: 333


3/9/2015
Buford
Buford
Posts: 333
The Palm canyon to coyote canyon traverse looks fun. I have wanted to do it for a couple years.

I would take anything the well meaning but not always informed volunteers say at the visitors center with a grain of salt. I think they tend to err on the side of extreme caution to keep people out of trouble.

I can't say 100% because I haven't been there this year, but I would be 99% sure there is water there. Especially after the last rain left quite a bit in that drainage. I even found running water there one October of a dry year when it hadn't rained in 6+ months.
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Borregolinda
Borregolinda
Posts: 69


3/13/2015
Borregolinda
Borregolinda
Posts: 69
DHeuschele wrote:
In March I was considering an Indian Canyon to Borrego Palm Canyon Traverse with side trip up Indian Head. I have done the traverse before and Indian Head before.

A while back they graded Bolder Alley (maybe 3 years ago). I was wondering how difficult that stretch is now. My vehicle could handle Boulder Alley pre-grade but I need to make sure we have another vehicle that can handle that stretch.

If I do not do Indian Canton to Borrego Palm Canyon I may do Anza to upper Coyote Canyon traverse. Anyone have an idea of how long that shuttle would be? I was thinking maybe 4 hours with the slow speed getting down from the upper part of Coyote Canyon (Upper part being as high as the road currently goes). Due to the expected shuttle time I am heavily leaning toward the above trip.


The bypass road is getting chewed up again with some loose large rocks but any 4wd can make it.
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DHeuschele
DHeuschele
Posts: 83


3/29/2015
DHeuschele
DHeuschele
Posts: 83
We did the Indian Canyon to Borrego Palm Canyon traverse (with a small subset doing Indian Head) this weekend.

I have seen Boulder Alley worse but I would not say it is doable by any 4X4. There were moderate size holes. Moderate size loose rocks and not many vehicles going up it. In our group we used 3 cars to go up it (2 4Runners and an older pathfinder) which required some shuttling. We did not take vehicles like Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, etc. up it.

One group (the group that ended up being slower) started at 9:30 AM and the other group at 10 AM.

The hike was noticably harder than when I last did this hike. I am virtually certain we are the first to do hike this season. The going rate for the first mile after the confluence (there was plenty of water) was real slow (below 0.5 miles an hour). In addition we had a 2 small groups turn back that resulted in lost time for gear exchange, etc. Consequently instead of making it to the Indian Head spur to camp we camped about 1 mile below the confluence. We were in 2 groups. The second/slower tier got to our chosen camp area (versus planned camp area) after 8PM (yes they were going down that thing in the dark). Once they started past the confluence there was no place to camp until our location.

The next morning the group first to arrive at camp left around 7AM and the other group was to leave within 30 minutes. The further down canyon we got the better the trail as the people coming up from Borrego Palm Canyon all have different turn around points but apparently none recently ventured as high as our current campsite.

The first group got to the Indian Head spur before 8:30 but the second group got there close to 10 AM (they left later than planned and were moving slowly). I had decided at 8:30 to skip Indian Head but by 10 quite a few people from the front group who were planning on going (including my son) had changed to not go (it was already quite hot by 10AM).

So only 4 of our strongest hikers decided to include Indian Head (1:30 up, 1:15 down).

So if anyone was considering doing the hike this may be the time as I had ~20 hikers break trail so the trail has not been better this year (maybe in a few years). However, it took us ~10.5 hours for the faster group to make it the 8.5 miles to the Indian Head spur (some of that was dealing with those turning around). Last time it took me 9 hours but the "trail" was a little better back then and I was in better condition. I think with the trail we made 9 hours could be done much easier than for our group.

I had a mixed bag on liking or hating (one called it the worse hike of his life) the hike. Very few people in between. Mile 2 (start of the hill) through 7 were all tough; it was much nicer about 1 mile above the Indian head spur and of course the palm grove trail is like a freeway.

About half of this group is doing C2C next weekend (not me). I think in some way this was harder than they will find C2C (certainly not in every way).

So now is the time to take the hike but even with the trail we broke this is a hard hike.
edited by DHeuschele on 3/29/2015
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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3/31/2015
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2469
Great report...thanks for the details, hopefully others considering doing this route will benefit from your info.

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