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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

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oldBayHiker
oldBayHiker
Posts: 3


12/27/2023
oldBayHiker
oldBayHiker
Posts: 3
Late posting this. Tried back in November, but the forum wouldn't accept it.


First weekend of November, my 11 year old son and I went to Anza Borrego Desert State Park. We live in Chula, so just about two hours. We've been there a few times, but this was his first time to spend the night.


We were supposed to have been camping on a different desert, the beach at Carlsbad. However, that trip fell apart at the last minute, so we decided to go to the desert.

Found a place called Indian Gorge that I wanted to explore. To get there, we turned onto the dirt road off of S2 and entered the gorge.






The road enters the wash and follows it through. I drive a Tacoma, and did use 4 high as it would start bogging down in the soft sand if you got out of the track. A few rocks made having high clearance nice, but they were navigable. I do subscribe to the theory that no matter how difficult a 4x4 road is, a Subaru will be on the other side.


At the end of the gorge, another canyon comes in, Torote Canyon. We briefly stopped, read about elephant trees, then continued.


Past this canyon, Indian Gorge opens into Indian Valley. The road splits to north and south. We decided to explore North first.


We only passed one other car on the road. Didn't see a camp, so assume they were hiking.


The road dead-ends at some cool rocks. Definity a campsite, though the toilet paper in the wash is nasty.







We climbed around and checked out the palm spring. I think these are weird looking in the desert, yet totally appropriate.





We then explored the south valley.


Shortly after we started, I saw what looked like a great camping site. Then I saw the sign saying "sensitive area, no camping." Bummer.


Seeing a cool rock cave, we decided to explore. We found out why it was sensitive.





The cave had scorch marks in it. Looks like Indians would have had a fire in it then slept towards the outside to stay warm.


Walking around the rock we found the kitchen.







At some point this rock fell off the bigger rock. It made for a good mortar for Indians.


Continuing around, we found the current resident. My son wanted to pick it up, but I know not much about snakes other than they are bad, so I told him no. Turns out it being a boa, probably the best snake he could play with.





We continued to the end of the road where another palm spring was. There was of course a Subaru parked there.


We started back up the road looking for a campsite. We found a good one, just south of the Indian camp.





We set up camp, climbed the rocks, then ate lunch. Sandwiches all around.



The sunshade was the real MVP. Though we only needed it a few hours, it would have been torture without it.


We then discussed what we wanted to do that afternoon. My son did ask at the cave "any paintings on the rock?" So I gave him three options, one, go look at pictographs, two, go explore Terote, three, stay at camp. He chose Terote, so we headed back up to the edge of the gorge.


We did about 2.5 miles, following the canyon up until the next valley. Took about 1.5 hours with stops. Nothing too difficult, but the catclaw was the biggest obstacle!




We headed back down and complained about catclaw while wanting to find an elephant tree. I looked up on the ridge and found it.








The marker at the mouth of Terote says they have a distinct, yet hard to describe aroma. Absolutely agree! Cool plants. They can hold a years worth of water in their trunk, hints the name, so they are slightly squishy.


Headed back to camp and made supper. Burgers. Had a pound of meat, so we had double cheese burgers. Wasn't no Whataburger, but certainly better than this California In-N-Out crap.


Enjoyed a beautiful sunset from camp.






We started a fire in our Solo Stove and of course had smores. We enjoyed the stars, saw about a dozen shooting stars, and even a Starlink sky train.


We slept that night in our tent, Coleman Oasis 4 man, with no rain fly. Was in the 50s so even in a 1-2 season bag, it was still warm. But anytime I woke up, the stars greeted me.









Next morning I got up and the the sun greeted us with light on Sombrero Peak first.





I decided then that I'm coming back in the spring to camp here again and then climb Sombrero with my teenager.


Great trip, even the 11 year old said so.


The worst part though? Cholla.


It is the most evil plant on earth. If you get within 10 feet of it, it'll get on you. Those tuffs fall off and litter the ground, so you soles always have them and they will go through the shoe. Because it is on your sole, occasionally you'll kick it up into your calf. But it is also everywhere. We were throwing the football and I catch it, well the cholla got on the ball and now I have needles in my hands. I get in the truck and the floor board is covered. The tires of the truck, nothing but cholla. You want to lay down on the ground to look at stars? You can't because of cholla. You want to dig a cat hole and take care of business? Cholla.
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 210


12/29/2023
Brian
Brian
Posts: 210
First weekend in November? The Subaru you saw parked at the end was mine! Rocko1 and myself were climbing Sombrero. I think we saw your campsite with the red popup too. We were camped nearby.
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surfponto
surfponto
Administrator
Posts: 1348


1/4/2024
surfponto
surfponto
Administrator
Posts: 1348
Great trip report. Love that area
Brian is your Subaru lifted with bigger tires?

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https://www.anzaborrego.net/



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Brian
Brian
Posts: 210


1/6/2024
Brian
Brian
Posts: 210
surfponto wrote:
Great trip report. Love that area
Brian is your Subaru lifted with bigger tires?


No, I have skid plates and Falken Wildpeak A/T tires, but other than that it's a stock Crosstrek. I've been in some situations where a lift would definitely help, but in the case of Indian Gorge the main issue was the soft sand. My car does great in that.
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surfponto
surfponto
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1/6/2024
surfponto
surfponto
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Posts: 1348
Have the same tire on our 92 LandCruiser and our 2021 Tacoma. Love them.

A few years back when we were camping near Jojoba Wash I met a guy driving a lifted Subaru Outback tackling some pretty challenging stuff.
I was very surprised how well he did.
👍

Brian wrote:
surfponto wrote:
Great trip report. Love that area
Brian is your Subaru lifted with bigger tires?


No, I have skid plates and Falken Wildpeak A/T tires, but other than that it's a stock Crosstrek. I've been in some situations where a lift would definitely help, but in the case of Indian Gorge the main issue was the soft sand. My car does great in that.

edited by surfponto on 1/6/2024

--
https://www.anzaborrego.net/



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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 354


1/11/2024
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 354
Nice report and photos, thanks for sharing.

I've been hiking in the desert for about 10 years and never seen a boa, so that was a special find.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2599


1/16/2024
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2599
Nice TR, thanks for sharing. Spend enough time in the desert and the cholla will just be normal and easy to deal with. We call it "jumping" cholla.

You can also climb False Sombrero peak at the end of the north fork, it is right there across the TP wash.

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http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 585


1/16/2024
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 585
Nice boa. I have only seen one also, near Pinyon Mtn Rd years ago. Shockingly I see very few reptiles.

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Brian
Brian
Posts: 210


1/16/2024
Brian
Brian
Posts: 210
Rocko1 wrote:
Nice boa. I have only seen one also, near Pinyon Mtn Rd years ago. Shockingly I see very few reptiles.



I saw one like that on my solo trip to Alta Seca Bench. Not sure whether I remembered to tell you about that when we went there.
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surfponto
surfponto
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Posts: 1348


1/17/2024
surfponto
surfponto
Administrator
Posts: 1348
Since we are sharing snake pictures thought I would share this one.
Daren and I found this Red Racer years ago in Indian Valley



Here is the trip report for that hike

Brian wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
Nice boa. I have only seen one also, near Pinyon Mtn Rd years ago. Shockingly I see very few reptiles.



I saw one like that on my solo trip to Alta Seca Bench. Not sure whether I remembered to tell you about that when we went there.

edited by surfponto on 1/17/2024

--
https://www.anzaborrego.net/



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