Rocko1

all messages by user

5/7/2017
Topic:
To the top of El Cajon Mountain aka "The Beast"

Rocko1
Rocko1
Any guess as to when the best time to do this with the least amount of crowds?
5/7/2017
Topic:
Your Go To AB Book?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Just curious as to what is your go to book(s) for hiking, history, etc. in Anza Borrego. I have the book by Diana and Lowell Lindsay and an old Afoot and Afield in San Diego by Jerry Schad. Any others worth getting?
5/8/2017
Topic:
Your Go To AB Book?

Rocko1
Rocko1
ziphius wrote:
caltopo.com + imagination = trouble / fun smile

I have never tried caltopo. I will check it out, thanks.
5/8/2017
Topic:
Whale Peak Trail Head Garbage

Rocko1
Rocko1
Looks like some jerks dumped a pickup truck full of garbage at the Whale Peak trail head. Broken tv, old plastic Christmas tree, etc. What's strange is it's not the easiest place to dump trash. This type of stuff drives me nuts.
edited by Rocko1 on 5/8/2017
5/8/2017
Topic:
Whale Peak Trail Head Garbage

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
If you have not already reported it I can let the rangers know.


I have not. That would be great.

What is the best way to reach them?
5/8/2017
Topic:
Whale Peak Trail Head Garbage

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
You could contact the Visitor Center (760) 767-4205 and they can either take the information or help direct you to the right people.

Thanks.
5/9/2017
Topic:
Whale Peak Trail Head Garbage

Rocko1
Rocko1
Dartman wrote:
Unbelievable. When was it discovered? My son and I just camped there on April 29-30 and it was spotless. All we could manage for our "leave it cleaner than you found it" was a bottle cap.


Did you camp at the end of the road? It may have been cleaned since I was there a 4 weeks or so ago.
5/9/2017
Topic:
Whale Peak Trail Head Garbage

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
It happens, I remember camping in Indian Gorge one one night, we drove in at dusk and when we drove out around 9am the next morning somebody had camped right where you drive in and left a huge bonfire pit of wood pallets, beer bottles, trash, etc.


We just got back from a weekend trip in Canyon Sin Nombre. Some jerks were tearing up and down the canyon in their jeep for an hour. The next morning at the south mouth of the canyon there was a huge fire with smoldering logs, garbage and broken bear bottles from them throwing them against the canyon walls.
edited by Rocko1 on 5/9/2017
5/9/2017
Topic:
What do you do with found artifacts?

Rocko1
Rocko1
I see many people finding some very interesting things-pottery, arrowheads, etc. I assume all is place where you found it, or do you bury the finds, collect and give to rangers? Just curious.
5/9/2017
Topic:
What do you do with found artifacts?

Rocko1
Rocko1
ziphius wrote:
Leave in place and don't post specific locations. Even posting general locations is kind of a bad idea, as there are many forums out there dedicated to the collection of arrowheads, etc. Why give folks a head-start on their collecting activity? Everything is public and searchable these days.
edited by ziphius on 5/9/2017


Great idea. I really try to drive home leaving everything as is with my kids when hiking/camping.
5/12/2017
Topic:
Your Go To AB Book?

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
Britain wrote:
The Historic Backcountry seems to be a hard find to purchase.
edited by Britain on 5/11/2017


Email Chris directly, that is how I bought mine, he is a good guy.

https://chriswray.smugmug.com/BackcountryBook/The-Historic-backcountry-Book/


I'd love to read that book, but $50 is a bit steep for me.
5/12/2017
Topic:
What do you do with found artifacts?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Buford wrote:
I always leave them where I found them. I would never take it home, ever. Period.

If it is notable I take a picture.

I appreciate museums, and the fact they protect things forever. I am uncomfortable that museums vacuum up artifacts and take away someone's else's joy of discovery in the wild.

I would be very upset if an artifact I left in the wild was poached and taken home by someone. I also would not be thrilled if it was taken by a museum and stored in a closet in perpetuity.

I know there are still mostly intact Ollas out there that have been left by like minded people. I have not found one myself, yet.

I agree with Ziphius. I stumbled on an online artifact collecting forum once looking up Borrego info. What people had looted and taken home made me sick.


I agree. I wouldn't even want to know the items that were stolen-and that's what it is-from Borrego.
5/12/2017
Topic:
Whale Peak Trail Head Garbage

Rocko1
Rocko1
Dartman wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
Dartman wrote:
Unbelievable. When was it discovered? My son and I just camped there on April 29-30 and it was spotless. All we could manage for our "leave it cleaner than you found it" was a bottle cap.


Did you camp at the end of the road? It may have been cleaned since I was there a 4 weeks or so ago.


I presume it is the same spot. This is the turn off to the right at the top of Pinyon Mountain Rd before it starts dropping down toward the Squeeze. I will try to attach a couple of pics.

"", ""
edited by Dartman on 5/9/2017


There is actually a spot even more south than where you were-10-20 yards?. The road sort of go up in elevation a bit. It's west of that where the garbage was.
5/12/2017
Topic:
Villager Peak

Rocko1
Rocko1
Has anyone here made it to Villager Peak and or Rabbit Peak? Looking for your experience, trail condition, etc.
5/12/2017
Topic:
Your Go To AB Book?

Rocko1
Rocko1
tommy750 wrote:
Bought a signed (yeah, that's how I roll smile ) copy of Wray's book at the Desert View Tower a few years ago. Just called over there and they say they're sold out and can't get Chris to get them any more. Anyone know how the third edition differs from the prior one??


Not sure about the editions, but he said yesterday he has another 'batch' coming out. Not sure if that's for him to sell himself or what.
5/12/2017
Topic:
Pinto Wash Petroglyphs

Rocko1
Rocko1
Is it considered safe to hike this area?
5/13/2017
Topic:
My Ride

Rocko1
Rocko1
sddarkman619 wrote:
LOVE that hill.
here's my ride going down...
Britain let me know when you are going out, I might join you sometime. That is if you are ok with Tacomas. smile



Feel free to view in full screen.


Nice truck. Looks like 'the squeeze' may have gotten your doors?
5/14/2017
Topic:
Villager Peak

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
Personally I would recommend an overnight trip, spend the night up on Rabbit (or nearby with a view of the Salton Sea) and watch the sunrise over the Salton Sea, that is one of my favorites for sure, anywhere up on the Rosa's watching the sunrise is magical.


I'd like to see that. Thanks.
5/15/2017
Topic:
Villager Peak

Rocko1
Rocko1
rockhopper wrote:
When are you going? Darens right, nothing like waking up on a remote Santa Rosa mountain peak. However bring LOTS of water! We are technically past the peak climbing season for Rabbit peak as the desert heats up. Be careful if you go. Go early and gain elevation to beat the heat. You can also night climb under a full moon with headlamp. Nov.- April is my favorite time to go. Snow is often available if timed right.
edited by rockhopper on 5/15/2017


I will probably wait until after the heat of summer. Trying to plan the hike-gear to take etc. I plan on camping near the peak one night, hike back in after dawn. 2 gallons of water should be enough if the temps are cool enough, no?
5/15/2017
Topic:
What footwear do you use for desert hiking?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Curious what footwear everyone is wearing while hiking through the desert. My trail runners and light hiking boots seem to really take a beating.
5/15/2017
Topic:
Villager Peak

Rocko1
Rocko1
Buford wrote:
Everyone goes through different amounts of water. 2G sounds like more than enough to me, but everyone is different.

I agree, sunrise from the ridge is awesome. It can be very cold up there though.

It is basically a trail to Villager. Hard to call it a cross country route.


Thanks. In the books I have read it's made out to be hard to follow the trail with few visitors, but reading blogs, etc. it seems many more people visit this than I expected.
9/25/2017
Topic:
Most western+highest elevation backpacking spot?

Rocko1
Rocko1
I am looking for the highest and most westerly spot within the park boundary that I could do a 2 day backpacking trip. Anyone have any ideas?
9/26/2017
Topic:
Most western+highest elevation backpacking spot?

Rocko1
Rocko1
ziphius wrote:
The Combs Peak / Bucksnort Mountain area along the Pacific Crest Trail north of Hot Springs Mtn. Nice, wild country back there.



I will check this out. Thanks.
10/3/2017
Topic:
Most western+highest elevation backpacking spot?

Rocko1
Rocko1
ziphius wrote:
Not sure if your desire for 'highest' spots are due to cooler temperatures, if so, the Culp Valley area is 'west' and relatively high (3000 - 4000 ft). Then there are the San Ysidro mountains, hellish terrain, but high and just west of Borrego Springs.



I like the fauna/flora of the higher altitudes near the desert as well as lower temps. Near Whale Peak for example. Remoteness also is important.
10/3/2017
Topic:
Goat Benchmark

Rocko1
Rocko1
Nice trip. Care to share any stats? Miles hiked, etc?
12/5/2017
Topic:
Pinyon Valley Road Condition?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Has anyone been on this road to Whale Peak trail head or nearby? Curious as to the road condition. Many of the roads this year that use to be 2wd friendly were covered in deep sand due to the heavy rains.
12/18/2017
Topic:
Best route for hike from Laguna to desert floor?

Rocko1
Rocko1
I have been wanting to hike from Laguna to the desert floor and interested in the best route. Other than the PCT, has anyone tried Storm Canyon or have any other routes?
12/18/2017
Topic:
A trip started in the desert

Rocko1
Rocko1
Very nice! I would love to see this area.
12/18/2017
Topic:
Moan Benchmark and I found a roasting pit.

Rocko1
Rocko1
I have seen the 'pits' before but never knew what there were. Thanks for the info.
12/18/2017
Topic:
Rockhouse / Buck Ridge

Rocko1
Rocko1
Nice trip. What bivy is that?

Also, how much water did you carry at one time?
edited by Rocko1 on 12/18/2017
12/19/2017
Topic:
Rockhouse / Buck Ridge

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
Nice trip. What bivy is that?

Also, how much water did you carry at one time?


OR Helium


5-7 liters this trip, we dry camped every night because of our route. You could do it carrying much less with the springs being your final destination for each day.



Cool, thanks.
12/25/2017
Topic:
Best route for hike from Laguna to desert floor?

Rocko1
Rocko1
rockhopper wrote:
I am assuming a day hike right? If so bring hiking poles, gloves ,heavy bush wacking clothes and a folding saw. btw I find it is easier going up through rough terrain than going down it. good luck and please post pics from you expedition.



If I can figure out where to leave a vehicle on Laguna Mt. I would do overnight. Will do.
12/25/2017
Topic:
Best route for hike from Laguna to desert floor?

Rocko1
Rocko1
tommy750 wrote:
Here’s my trip report on dropping down from the Lagunas via Cottonwood earlier this year: http://www.anzaborrego.net/anzaborrego/Forum/topic1279-oriflame-to-cottonwood-canyon--day-bp.aspx

You can find a way from the highway down to the top of Cottonwood Canyon looking on Google Earth. As I recall there’s different options depending on how much you enjoy brush smile


Great trip. Do you have any gps coordinates from this trip? Maybe entry/exit point?
12/25/2017
Topic:
Found a stone head...Desert Prometheus

Rocko1
Rocko1
Very cool!
1/2/2018
Topic:
Oriflame to Cottonwood Canyon 3 day BP

Rocko1
Rocko1
tommy750 wrote:
sddarkman619 wrote:
what shelter is that? a Tarptent? Looking for a shelter.
where did you park vehicles so they weren't messed with?
Nice writeup thanks for sharing!
edited by sddarkman619 on 5/20/2017


Got an altaplex tent from zpacks.com last year and really like it. It weighs in at 18 oz making it lighter than a lot of bivy sacks. If you're not too tall, their solplex is less than a pound. I like tents because they keep bugs away but obviously there's pros and cons.

We left our vehicles at the Camp Hark ruins. Never have had any problems leaving a vehicle at local sites but not sure about others' experiences.



Those are very nice tents. I just can't bring myself to spend that kind of coin on a shelter.
1/2/2018
Topic:
Your Go To AB Book?

Rocko1
Rocko1
tommy750 wrote:
The new edition of Lindsay's book is out.

AB by tomteske, on Flickr

https://www.amazon.com/Anza-Borrego-Desert-Region-Complete/dp/0899977790/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514770620&sr=1-1&keywords=anza+borrego+guidebook



Did you get this yet? Any major changes? I love the info but the format of the book for me is horrible. I wish it followed the Afoot and Afield style.
edited by Rocko1 on 1/2/2018
1/2/2018
Topic:
Best route for hike from Laguna to desert floor?

Rocko1
Rocko1
tommy750 wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
tommy750 wrote:
Here’s my trip report on dropping down from the Lagunas via Cottonwood earlier this year: http://www.anzaborrego.net/anzaborrego/Forum/topic1279-oriflame-to-cottonwood-canyon--day-bp.aspx

You can find a way from the highway down to the top of Cottonwood Canyon looking on Google Earth. As I recall there’s different options depending on how much you enjoy brush smile


Great trip. Do you have any gps coordinates from this trip? Maybe entry/exit point?


If you wanted to do a straight Sunrise Hwy to S2 hike you could park at the lot .8 miles north of the northernmost intersection of Deer Park Rd and Sunrise Hwy, drop down to PCT and head south till you get to a dirt road that leads toward the top of Cottowood Canyon. It will take you to near Butterfield Ranch on S2. Am thinking they will let you park there for a fee. You can easily create your own points on GE or caltopo. Don't have clear entry/exit points since we didn't go your planned route. Hope that helps. Tom



Thanks, I will check out that route. I meant the entry/exit from your specific trip. Just curious that is all.

On another front, did you see the airplane on the map?
https://www.google.com/maps/place/32%C2%B055'50.5%22N+116%C2%B027'50.0%22W/@32.930699,-116.4644482,164m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d32.9306986!4d-116.4639007
1/7/2018
Topic:
Sunrise Trailhead Parking Lot?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Can you park overnight here? Thinking about doing an overnighter down the PCT starting at the parking lot.
1/15/2018
Topic:
All Year Water Sources?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Are there any year round water sources in AB? I thought the spring at Palm Springs and Dos Cabezas were flowing all year, are there any other reliable sources?
5/29/2018
Topic:
Pinyon Mountain Road Current Condition?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Does anyone know the current condition of Pinyon Mountain Rd up to the Whale Peak trail head?
6/4/2018
Topic:
2-3 Day Trip Recommendation?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Looking to do a 2 day backpacking trip this summer. I was hoping I could make a reliable water source the halfway point so I wouldn't have to carry so much water. I know of a few of the sources-Palm Spring, Dos Cabezas but those don't fit will with a decent route. Can anyone point me towards a reliable source 8-12 miles from place I can park? It would be appreciated.
6/12/2018
Topic:
2-3 Day Trip Recommendation?

Rocko1
Rocko1
ziphius wrote:
There may be some reluctance to post locations or identify otherwise obscure backcountry water sources on the open forum, especially given the history of some of those sources being diverted for illegal weed farms and the associated trash and other problems that come with discovery. Just didn't want you to think folks were ignoring your thread / post.



Ok, I understand that. How does one get 'vetted' so to speak?
6/12/2018
Topic:
2-3 Day Trip Recommendation?

Rocko1
Rocko1
ziphius wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
Ok, I understand that. How does one get 'vetted' so to speak?


It kind of happens 'organically', at least on this forum. Folks post threads from their trips, show an interest and respect for the desert and it's cultural and biological treasures, get invited on a trip with forum members, maybe they are known from other sources, like the annual bighorn sheep count, then they are trusted. Internet has resulted in 'oversharing' with the result being that many sites are now overrun. Tassajara Hot Springs is a good example. We are friendly here, but we generally don't post specific locations of obscure water sources, pictographs, etc. Just thought someone should reply to this thread.



I get it. Thanks for the info. I understand how sensitive the information is and how important protecting the area is as well. I have gotten to a certain point reading the standard books of the area by Schad, Lindsay, and wanted to try something a bit off the norm. Carrying 2-3 days water is tough in the summer.

Thanks for replying.
6/12/2018
Topic:
RHC 4 Day Backpack

Rocko1
Rocko1
Looks like a great trip. How far up RHC Road do you think you could get in a 2wd Explorer?
6/12/2018
Topic:
Canyon Sin Nombre

Rocko1
Rocko1
April of last year we stayed a couple of days at the south end of Canyon Sin Nombre. I had not been here since I was a kid. Explored the area with my brother and dad. Kept the hiking light for them. Saw a pair of healthy big horns in the morning hiking up the hill towards Sweeny Pass Rd. Nice area.

Big Horn Sheep
https://youtu.be/AqgcHugb0Vg



Healthy from the years heavy rains.



Looking south, near the end of the canyon.
edited by Rocko1 on 6/12/2018
6/12/2018
Topic:
2-3 Day Trip Recommendation?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Buford wrote:
Another problem is reliability of water sources, especially in the summer. Sources that used to be reliable, may not be anymore due to drought, seasons, earthquakes, human intervention, or other causes. Not many people hike in Borrego in the summer either so info is more limited.

No one wants to send someone with unknown outdoors ability who they’ve never met in person to a potentially dry source the person might be relying on for survival.

Edit:
I actually don’t know the exact location of any year round water sources that are “secret.” I know some people here do. Another thing would be to search them out in winter with old Topo maps and google earth followed by some exploring on the ground.
edited by Buford on 6/12/2018



Makes perfect sense. I may stick with a 2 day trip until temperatures cool off. Thanks.
edited by Rocko1 on 6/12/2018
6/13/2018
Topic:
2-3 Day Trip Recommendation?

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
The other possibility is to park up at Toro peak and make your way down to the cottonwoods. Assuming there is water (which I would be surprised if there was not) you could base camp there and do some day hikes into the surrounding RHC area. This is a fairly common route even during non summer months. The only drawback is you will have to climb 3,000' to get back to your car. Toro is at 8,000+ and the cottonwoods are at 5,000 so the temps should better than down on the desert floor.


Thank you for all of the information. This is an interesting option. I will do some mapping and see how that would look.

Thanks again.
6/13/2018
Topic:
Canyon Sin Nombre

Rocko1
Rocko1
Thanks. We had been moving up the hill and kept seeing fresh urine/droppings. My dad thought is was from a huge rabbit but I said it has to be sheep or something with a massive bladder. We must have seen 10+ fresh pools 10" or so in diameter. Little did we know we were following them by accident on a use trail. They blend in so perfectly with the landscape.

Here is another video.

https://youtu.be/UAQfs2oy_v0
edited by Rocko1 on 6/13/2018
edited by Rocko1 on 6/13/2018
6/13/2018
Topic:
RHC 4 Day Backpack

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
Looks like a great trip. How far up RHC Road do you think you could get in a 2wd Explorer?
You should be able to get to Butler Junction without a problem. RHC in 105+ temps does not sound like any fun at all.....



Thanks. I draw the line when it gets near 110. smile
6/22/2018
Topic:
2-3 Day Trip Recommendation?

Rocko1
Rocko1
rockhopper wrote:
Ha. That's a good one Buford. I follow the old timers and ancient peoples migrations. Low desert in the Winter, Mountians in the summer. Rocko1, Daren pretty much nailed it. Good luck. But I would go higher in elevation.



Thanks. I think I will turn this into a 2 day backpack trip with my dad in cooler weather.
6/25/2018
Topic:
2-3 Day Trip Recommendation?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Britain wrote:
Be careful out there
https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Search-On-for-Man-Missing-in-Desert-During-Heat-Warning-486333201.html??f
edited by Britain on 6/25/2018



Hmm. I wonder what happened.
7/5/2018
Topic:
2018 BHS Count Results

Rocko1
Rocko1
Awesome pictures. Love that game cam. What make/model is that?
7/25/2018
Topic:
Wikwip

Rocko1
Rocko1
Is this the cave near McCain Valley?
12/10/2018
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge update

Rocko1
Rocko1
railexplorer wrote:
I just got confirmation that the Sheriffs are running random patrols out in the Gorge.



The tracks and a few feet on either side are the 'no go' areas, correct?
1/2/2019
Topic:
Cuyamaca Peak Via West Mesa Trail

Rocko1
Rocko1
Had a day off last Friday and decided to see if I could find any snow and a decent hike. I have hiked the peak countless times and wanted to try it from the south side. Parked at the Cold Stream trail head off the 79. Was about 22F when I started hiking. Took off up West Mesa Fire Rd and then onto Fern Flat Fire Rd. Ground was frozen. Connected with West Mesa Trail and started to see some snow on the sides of the trail. Just before Burnt Pine Fire Rd the snow was covering most of the trail and it only got thicker going upwards. Followed what looks like bobcat tracks almost the entire way up. You can see in another picture with by shoe print what looks like a much larger, non-descript track maybe from the day or two before-any ideas?

Stopped by Japacha Peak but stopped short 50ft of the summit as major bush whacking was needed from what I could see and I was too cold to deal with that. Burnt Pine then connects to the paved fire road leading to Cuyamaca Peak. Snow was thick all the way to the top. Forgot to keep my fuel in my jacket and boiling water took close to 20 minutes. Was a good hike and didn't see anyone else on the trail except a couple at the peak in full mountaineering get up.

Broke in my Altra Lone Peak 4 Mid shoes-paired with Darn Tough socks-no blisters at all. Very comfortable and had no issues with warmth.
Wore REI convertable pants, t-shirt, North Face TKA 100 fleece and Marmot Driclime windbreaker-this was more than enough for the temps. I ditched the windbreaker after 45 minutes in.

Here are the images https://imgur.com/a/572jg0x
edited by Rocko1 on 1/2/2019
1/8/2019
Topic:
Cuyamaca Peak Via West Mesa Trail

Rocko1
Rocko1
tekewin wrote:
Nice hike in rare SD snow. +1 for Darn Tough socks, it's all I wear any more.



First time doing any real distance in some cold 'weather' in S.D. Yes, the socks are fantastic.
1/8/2019
Topic:
Cuyamaca Peak Via West Mesa Trail

Rocko1
Rocko1
rockhopper wrote:
Good show man. Thanks for sharing. I really like the cup of Joe at the peak



Thanks. That is something I have made a habit of doing at the peak or halfway point. Worth the extra weight for me.
1/9/2019
Topic:
Pinto Canyon

Rocko1
Rocko1
Great report! I have always wanted to go out there but have been weary due to it being a route for immigrants and other stories of border patrol warning hikers it may be dangerous.
1/14/2019
Topic:
Overnight Backpack Recommendations?

Rocko1
Rocko1
I somehow convinced my better half to give primitive backpacking a go. Anyone have any recommendations for a (2-5 mile hike) spot for an overnight trip? Some wind protection would be a plus. My car is decent clearance 2wd smaller SUV. Any help would be appreciated.

Edit: Dry camp is fine-carrying water.
edited by Rocko1 on 1/14/2019
1/14/2019
Topic:
Overnight Backpack Recommendations?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Buford wrote:
Do you need a water source or is a dry camp ok? Looking to stay above freezing at night? All trail miles or is cross country hiking ok? I assume for an introductory backpack your looking for relatively easy miles? Desired scenery?

Too many options available.


Sorry, should have been more specific. Dry is fine. Above freezing preferable. A bit of cross country is no an issue as long as no bush whacking. Easier miles would be preferable. Scenery not that important.
1/15/2019
Topic:
Overnight Backpack Recommendations?

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
Here are 6 ideas....I think Blue Spring or Moonlight Cyn would be good. Don't know your skill level so really hard to recommend, you could just hike in to Little Blair and stop wherever feels comfortable and hangout. Moonlight is a tough hill climb.

https://caltopo.com/m/HLDK


I really appreciate the suggestions! I go many times with my brother and I have been known to 'death march' sometimes as I get so excited about exploring-this will help me make a more reasonable trip for a newcomer.
For this trip going up washes, up and over hills and some cross country would be fine. I don't want to burn her out on too much rock scrambling as I know some really don't like that. My wife is in shape-we hike most weekends-2,500 ft gains and 10 miles are doable for her-but first time out with a pack so I don't want to make it miserable either.

Track 1 and 2 look like great choices. What are your thoughts on terrain for these?
edited by Rocko1 on 1/15/2019
1/15/2019
Topic:
Overnight Backpack Recommendations?

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:

Track 1 and 2 look like great choices. What are your thoughts on terrain for these?

Track 1 is a good choice and you can check out the wildlife guzzler.
Here is a post from when I went with Hikerdmb http://www.anzaborrego.net/anzaborrego/Forum/topic61-backpacking-in-bighorn-canyon.aspx
and my own blog post http://www.sefcik.com/2011/01/bighorn-canyon-nolina-wash-abdsp.html

Track 2 would probably be easier terrain wise and you have the option of exploring anywhere up in Hapaha Flat



Track 1 sounds perfect. Thanks again.
25 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn-Nolina Canyon Loop

Rocko1
Rocko1
I took the wife on her first backpacking trip Saturday. Based on Daren's recommendation-thank you!-we chose to go up Bighorn Canyon, camp one night and come back via Nolina Canyon. Daytime temp low 70's, night time low 40's. No wind, full moon at night and clear.

Parked at Pinyon/Nolina Wash Rd intersection and headed out toward Bighorn.


From the recent rains, the sand was nice and firm and the cactus/plants were looking very healthy.


Bighorn Canyon has some interested formations. It's an easy hike with the occasional minor rock hop.


As we got to the Blue Spring fork, we headed towards the guzzlers we started seeing many bones.


This unlucky sheep had been here sometime.


A baby sheep was also unlucky. This was not that old as the rotting smell was overpowering.


The guzzler tanks fed by the Blue Spring were full and water was pouring out of the top overflow port at a good pace. I filled up a 2L bag in a 90 seconds. Lots more bones scattered around the metal trough.


As it was getting dark we decided to forgo going to the spring and find a good campsite. Found a small semi-flat area away from any teetering rocks.


Dinner was a couple of MRE's my son had given us. I don't recommend the this particular choice-way too sweet.


In the morning I noticed something silver up on the side of the mountain-15 minutes later I found the culprit.

Climbed this to get the balloon.


Not a bad view from the balloon site.


Broke camp and started heading towards Nolina Canyon. I couldn't exactly see a definitive route so we just kept going up until we got to a saddle and could see down.
On the way up


Here is the transition-Bighorn on the left, Nolina on the right.



Getting to this point and down into Nolina was the only 'technical' part of the trip-not hard but loose scree and hands needed to scale some small parts.
To Nolina


Some nice prints from a decent size cat.



Both canyons have some very healthy Junipers.


As well as this Desert Apricot tree. This canyon really has some of the most flora I have seen in a while.



Nolina Canyon is much easier terrain and is a good exit route. Longer stretches of smooth sand. Also has many nice camp spots as well as side canyons that could be explored.

Some other pictures taken on the way back to the car.



Trip Stats


It was a great trip. Thanks again Daren for the help! My wife enjoyed the trip and other than wishing she had a more comfortable sleeping pad-it went great.

edited by Rocko1 on 1/22/2019
24 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn-Nolina Canyon Loop

Rocko1
Rocko1
Buford wrote:
Glad it was a success. Only thing that looks wrong was the meal choice poke



Yeah, lesson learned. Was interesting to see what's included-Main dish, seasoned black beans, Gatorade powder, instant coffee, bbq corn nuggets-these were really good- creamer, salt packet, toilet paper, flour tortillas, jalapeno cheese spread, Splenda packet, 2 pieces of gum and moist towelette. The chemical heater failed also and food was hardly luke warm, which didn't add to the enjoyment. Could have heated it up with the stove but it wasn't worth it.
edited by Rocko1 on 1/22/2019
24 days ago
Topic:
Overnight Backpack Recommendations?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Trip was a success. Report here http://www.anzaborrego.net/anzaborrego/forum/topic1415-bighornnolina-canyon-loop.aspx
24 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn-Nolina Canyon Loop

Rocko1
Rocko1
surfponto wrote:
Looks like a beautiful area.
How were the nighttime temperatures?



Should have posted that, sorry. Daytime around 70F, at night got to low 40's. Absolutely no wind, dead calm and full moon. I tried to take some pictures at midnight to show illumination but my phones camera doesn't do well in low light. Could have walked out without lamps if you had too, very bright.
23 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn-Nolina Canyon Loop

Rocko1
Rocko1
tommy750 wrote:
So, did your wife like it?? Mine is happy to do the day hike/car camp thing but can't convince her (yet?) for an overnight backpack outing. Nice trip report.



She did. She liked the adventure part of it. I thought she would struggle with getting out of Bighorn and into Nolina as you are scrambling up a decent incline with a pack but she did great. I offered many times to take the pack but she didn't need any help. She was a bit uneasy about the bones while we were near the guzzler, did not want to hang out too long there. Other than wishing for a more comfortable sleeping pad-used the Klymit Static V-and her feet getting cold at night-she enjoyed it.

If you wanted to bridge the gap I suggest Nolina canyon. You can park, hike up the road/wash for about 2 miles and there are many nice flat spots for camping right inside the beginning of the canyon. You can go back as far as you want but many opportunities early on-Bighorn not so much-much more rugged. Get back to the car within 40 minutes or so.
23 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn-Nolina Canyon Loop

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
Glad that route worked out for you...millions of other choices for the next trip. Save the coyote brown spoons from the MRE, I'll take them..!!

It did. Thanks again. I have the spoons as well as some others-my brother loves these things. They are yours if you want them.
21 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn-Nolina Canyon Loop

Rocko1
Rocko1
ziphius wrote:
Really nice trip report Rocko1. If that cap is the standard 1.25 diameter, then you have mountain lion tracks for sure. If you have an account on iNaturalist (or are interested) post those tracks, they will no doubt get 'Research Grade' status. It's an area of the county that mountain lion data is sorely-lacking. Glad your wife enjoyed the trip. - Jim



Yes, it's standard Smart Water bottle cap. I need to bring small ruler out for track pictures as I see quite a bit of different tracks. I will check out iNaturalist-i'd love to post these and other tracks I have seen.
21 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn-Nolina Canyon Loop

Rocko1
Rocko1
ziphius wrote:
Rocko1, in a pinch, a dollar bill or credit card makes a good ruler too!



Thanks, that's a good idea. I just ordered a cloth tape measure for future trips. Going to cut it to 12" or so and attach it to the pack. I always mean to bring a quarter but I keep forgetting.
20 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn-Nolina Canyon Loop

Rocko1
Rocko1
ziphius wrote:
Rocko, saw that you got some of your lion tracks up on iNaturalist, thanks, nice job. Your sighting from this trip currently is shown as two separate observations on iNaturalist. If these were from the same cat, it's customary to report it as a single observation. You can add multiple photos to an observation once created, and then delete any duplicate observations. Also, you were lucky enough to see other lion tracks in Cuyamaca and some folks are ready to provide a research grade status, but they need to know what the scale was: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/19864100 FYI, I go by jim_carretta on iNaturalist, welcome aboard.

ziphius-Thanks for the pointers-I will get the hang of it! wink
19 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn-Nolina Canyon Loop

Rocko1
Rocko1
tekewin wrote:
Those are some nice bones! A great find. I am normally summit focused, but this trip would be worth it for bone hunting. That peak in between the canyons (3567') was dubbed Bighorn Canyon Peak by Richard Carey, so there's that.
Great set of prints, too. Lions and bones often go together.

I bought a case of MREs for an emergency a few years ago and stored them in my daughters closet, but she ate them all. She said they weren't bad.



Thanks. I have had other MRE's that were not bad at all-this one was just so sugary and saucy I can't see how it's a main dish. Like a bottle of BBQ sauce, add more sugar and a few pieces of meat.

Certainly could spend more time exploring the area. I would love to make it to Pinyon Mt Rd from here some day going south.
17 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn-Nolina Canyon Loop

Rocko1
Rocko1
tommy750 wrote:
Was out last year above Pinyon Wash about two miles east of Blue Spring and found a cache of four sheep remains, one still fairly pungent. Definitely a favorite area for the kitties.



If I was a cat seems like a perfect ambush site.
12 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Pictograph?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Can someone tell me how much boulder scrambling there is going up this route? I have been a few time the normal route from Pinyon Mountain Rd. and want to try this route from the west.
12 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Pictograph?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Buford wrote:
I don’t remember much if any scrambling. Done that route a couple times, one of the few peaks I’ve repeated.

The canyon portion of the hike was the only place that some might call scrambling. From what I remember, there is usually a bypass up the canyon wall one way or another. It can get sketchy when snow covered and icy.


YMMV
edited by Buford on 2/2/2019



Thanks for the info. The usual route starts off with a nice scramble and I had read this route had some bouldering up the canyon. More curious than anything.
12 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Pictograph?

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
I don't recall any boulder scrambling, just route finding. At some point once you ascend the route from Pictograph you run into the normal pinyon mtn rd trail and you can just follow that. I suppose there could be some slight boulder scrambling, I just don't remember anything significant. Someone else on the forum may have more recent memories so please chime in.



https://caltopo.com/m/7TVE Here it the proposed route. I had thought here was some scrambling going up this canyon. I could have been mistaken.
edited by Rocko1 on 2/3/2019
11 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Pictograph?

Rocko1
Rocko1
Buford wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
dsefcik wrote:
I don't recall any boulder scrambling, just route finding. At some point once you ascend the route from Pictograph you run into the normal pinyon mtn rd trail and you can just follow that. I suppose there could be some slight boulder scrambling, I just don't remember anything significant. Someone else on the forum may have more recent memories so please chime in.



https://caltopo.com/m/7TVE Here it the proposed route. I had thought here was some scrambling going up this canyon. I could have been mistaken.
edited by Rocko1 on 2/3/2019


The link is the route I’ve done each time. There is probably some scrambling, it just wasn’t enough to be notable or memorable for me. That is why your mileage may vary. Sometimes there is a ducked route out of the canyon to meetup with the use trail, sometimes you travel high enough up Smugglers Canyon until you hit the other use trail.

I agree with Rockhopper.



Thanks. I will check it out.
10 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Pictograph?

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
Here is an alternative route if you are feeling adventurous....

http://www.anzaborrego.net/anzaborrego/forum/topic155-whale-peak--inner-pasture--goat-cyn-trestle.aspx



Now that looks like fun! Funny how it seems to be nearly the same mileage as the route I was planning through Smugglers Canyon-10 miles+/-.

What app/device are you using to create the graph of speed and distance traveled?
10 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn Canyon Peak

Rocko1
Rocko1
Very nice report! I did not know there were so many guzzlers in such a close proximity. Were either of the guzzlers full and dumping bleed water out?
2 days ago
Topic:
Winter 2019 Flowers

Rocko1
Rocko1
I believe there was a NY Time article last year that help fuel the fire.

Where are the majority of the blooms happening? I was just at Blair this weekend and while everything is green I didn't see any flowers.
2 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn Canyon Peak

Rocko1
Rocko1
tekewin wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
Very nice report! I did not know there were so many guzzlers in such a close proximity. Were either of the guzzlers full and dumping bleed water out?



There was water in the first guzzler on the ridge but none of the tanks were overflowing.

At Blue Spring, a stream of water was pouring steadily out of the top of one tank.

I wonder where the rest are hiding.

I am curious where the tanks you saw first are being filled from? A pipe running all the way to blue seems like it would be very difficult to install.
2 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Pictograph Trail

Rocko1
Rocko1
Took the wife up to Whale Peak via the Pictograph trail this Saturday. I have done the regular route from Pinyon Mtn Rd a few times and wanted to try this approach. Got to the pictograph trail head about 8:30am on Saturday. Was about 44f and slightly breezy. Took off towards the pictograph rock-1 mile from the trail head.

Pictograph


We headed north from the pictograph rock and searched for the canyon that would take us up to the main trail to Whale.

Canyon ahead.


The canyon section-1.5 miles is a mix of boulders and small sandy sections.


A more rare flat area.


A nice cave we had to go through. This was about halfway up the canyon. It's bigger than it appears.


Looking back down the canyon we were climbing.


It connects to the main trail about 3 miles in. There are plenty of nice backpacking(flat) spots up here. This is one example:


Some really nice scenery up here. My favorite part of AB so far.


View from the saddle just below the peak.


Was cold and windy at the top. 45f with 25+mph gusts.


A quick cup of coffee and it was back on the trail.

Saw these bones on the way back. Small coyote?



Also saw this tree that looked like it had oranges on it-not sure what this was. Any ideas?


Some nice flora up here and in the canyon.





Desert Apricot


We made it down the canyon much faster-about 55 minutes and bypassed the cave by going up on the south side of the canyon about 100'. There were some rock cairns but you could have just picked your path. We dropped back down as it wasn't much faster going with the loose rock.

Made it back to the car just before the rain started. Was a good day. Not as exciting as the Bighorn Canyon trip but a great workout hike.





Bonus picture. At the top of Banner Grade we saw a large group of turkeys-13. I have not seen this many at one time.

edited by Rocko1 on 2/12/2019
2 days ago
Topic:
Bighorn Canyon Peak

Rocko1
Rocko1
tekewin wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
I am curious where the tanks you saw first are being filled from? A pipe running all the way to blue seems like it would be very difficult to install.


It looks like there is an underground tank behind and above the guzzler tanks. Here is a better perspective:

https://i.imgur.com/K02v70m.jpg

I am guessing it catches run off from the slope directly above it. There was also a wooden post there for a trailcam, but no camera was set up. This one probably doesn't get as much animal traffic as the one at Blue Spring. You are right about the distance, though, Blue is about 3 miles away.

Interesting. Thanks for the picture.
2 days ago
Topic:
Whale Peak Via Pictograph Trail

Rocko1
Rocko1
dsefcik wrote:
Nice TR, looks like a good trip.

The "oranges" are galls usually made by gall wasps, they are basically infestations.

Ah, I thought it was strange. This tree had a few on the ground under it too.

It was a good hike. It appears Gaia GPS is not recording the elevation gain correctly-when I import the KML/GPX data into Google Earth it's showing a 2,525ft gain. Kind of a bummer as I really like the app but I am now seeing 10-20% discrepancies in gain/loss numbers.
1




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