Anza Borrego

Exploring Canyon Sin Nombre

Flowering Beavertail Cactus near Canyon Sin Nombre Anza Borrrego Desert
Nice flower on a beavertail cactus.

The Anza Borrego wildflower season was coming to a close so we decided to take a day trip out to explore the Canyon Sin Nombre area with a group of friends. Canyon Sin Nombre translates to “Canyon Without a Name” which makes it sound a bit more ominous then it really is. Sure there are some deep sand sections and some boulders to negotiate, but in general a stock 4WD can traverse this section of the Carrizo Badlands without any problems.
We left behind overcast skies on the coast and by the time we reached the Tecate divide the sun was shining and the sky was a brilliant blue.

Standing with our diesel Toyota Landcruiser HZJ80 in Canyon Sin Nombre Anza Borrego Desert
Standing with our new diesel Toyota LandCruiser HZJ80 in Canyon Sin Nombre.

Our first stop was the overlook just south of Canyon Sin Nombre, which offers a spectacular view of the Carrizo Badlands. The wind was cranking at the top and didn’t subside until we jumped back in our vehicles and started descending down the jeep trail into the canyon. I opted to put the transfer case in low range to get a feel for how low the gearing is. I was impressed at the snail like pace the Toyota Landcruiser was able to maintain without stalling. The common theme in all of the Toyota Landcruisers we have owned (5 in all), is how comfortable they feel once the pavement ends.

Mark and crew negotiate through the narrowing slot canyon in Canyon Sin Nombre Anza Borrego desert
Mark and crew negotiate through the narrowing slot canyon in Canyon Sin Nombre

We arrived at the mouth of one of the larger slot canyons and parked our vehicles. What initially started out as a wide trail quickly turned into a twisting, rock scrambling hike up a narrowing gorge. In a few places the walls were so tight you actually had to twist sideways to squeeze through.
The crew did great negotiating the trail and we eventually arrived at the top which gave us a chance to take in the view of the surrounding badlands area.

After hiking back down to the canyon floor, we sat in the shade, had lunch and watched the “Dust Devils” whip by.
It was a bit hard to keep the sand out of our sandwiches due to the wind, but hey isn’t that what the Desert is all about?

View our Canyon Sin Nombre Photos here.

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