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Anza Borrego Nov 2012 trip report Print E-mail
Written by Sparky   
Monday, 12 November 2012 00:00


Friday night, I was driving on HWY 78 toward Spilt Mountain while Johnnie, rivethead and kellog were exploring Ocotillo. I got a hold of them and they met me at camp. We decided to take a drive up to Sandstone Canyon. I keep forgetting just how far up Fish Creek it is.   We get through all the fallen debris and end up at the spot where you usually find a sign stating that only foot travel is permitted. Well, the sign is gone. Either by someone or nature. I notice black tire marks on the walls ahead and decide to check it out. I get myself high-centered on an obstacle barely 25 yards in. We spent the next hour and a half getting me unstuck and then I still needed to do a 20 point turn around. We get back to camp at 2:30am and crashed.
Saturday morning, trucks start filing in. Even MikeAWood, who we happened to pass by on the way back to camp the night before. He followed my coordinates to the campsite which led him a mile up Fish Creek where he decided to spend the night. We had a quick meeting on trail etiquette and headed toward the trailhead of Canyon Sin Nombre where Vistataco was waiting patiently for us. He had run through Julian to pick up a most tasty desert for us when we get back to camp.
I took the lead while rocket-scientist brought up the rear and we started down the trail. It's pretty tame being mostly in a wash. We ran into some low cut brush on the way to the Carrizo Station which was used as a rest stop for the Overland Stage Line. It was a stagecoach service back in the mid 1800's. You can still see evidence of the site by the wood beams and barbed wire which corralled the horses.
We turned around and headed to Arroyo Tapiado where the mud caves are located. After a few map checks and finding a shady spot to accommodate the whole group, we broke for lunch and did a little exploring. The site is very fascinating! We traveled down one slot quite a ways and then went into a cave that spiraled into a big room. It's very cool to see what water is capable of doing the the landscape.
It was time to move on to Diablo Drop Off via Arroyo Seco del Diablo. After the unescapable TTORA SoCal u-turn, maybe 2, we found the cut-off and made it through. The drop off has seen some wear and tear. The first section puts you on three wheels while leaning your driver's side toward a steep slope. If you're not careful about wheel placement, you could find yourself in a situation. The next section is a narrow drop but nothing to be worried about. 4wd would be required if you chose to run this the opposite way which I might consider for next year. The previously named Broken Axle Gulch has a few obstacles now! Of course, the rock stackers tamed it a bit but after you remove all that I'd imagine you'd have a nice climb from the other direction.

We made it out to Fish Creek with enough daylight to make it back to camp and start dinner. I wanted to take the group up to Sandstone Canyon but time wasn't on our side. The trail run was a success. Johnnie got to see the end of my tow strap only once and we had a couple trucks require a refuel. The wind was on our side for the most part keeping everyone's dust out of the way. Everybody had a great time exploring the area. After dinner, we relieved rocket-scientist of his cobbler duties and had famous apple pie from Julian courtesy of vistataco. Thanks again, Garry!
Sunday morning, rocket-scientist and I decided to check out the Wind Caves which were just a short drive up Fish Creek. The hike is mild but mostly uphill to the caves. Another fascinating site. We even ran into a group that had made camp in the caves. They said the wind wasn't too unbearable. There are two cave sites. The first one you come to is the most extensive but the second one is still nice to explore. You get some awesome views from the top of the trail, too.

A big thanks to everyone who came out to have some fun exploring Anza Borrego! This run is one of my favorites. The area is filled with so much scenery and it changes a little every year.

Thanks to Johnnie and Rocket-Scientist for the pics! 


Last Updated on Friday, 25 January 2013 17:21