I lead a trip out to Anza Borrego Desert State Park with the Southern California Xterra Club (SCCX) on Saturday. We went to Blair Valley and did the hike up to Ghost Mountain, followed by a great group lunch. After lunch we did the Pictograph Trail hike, all the way out the end, where there is one of the best views in all of Anza Borrego. We had a group of 7 vehicles. This particular trip was organized as one that could be done with a 2WD vehicle, since the trails are generally fairly hard packed. There were only a few spots with soft sand. It was great to see some old friends that I had not seen in a while, and to meet some new friends as well.
The views from the trail up to the Marshal South home site on the top of Ghost Mountain are pretty good, especially on a clear day. The weather was about as good as it gets, just a light breeze to keep it comfortable in the bright sun.
The trail to the Pictograph Rock is much flatter compared to the one up Ghost Mountain, but the views are equally spectacular. That's the dry lakebed of Little Blair Valley off in the distance. It's the same spot where the first and second pictures in this post were taken.
Most people take this trail to see the Pictograph Rock . . .
. . . only a few keep going for the next 1/3 mile or so, where the trail abruptly ends at this amazing view. I think it's well over 100' straight down from where I'm sitting here.
The moon was rising over the canyon wall when we got to the end point.
The elevations out there range from about 2,500' to 3,500' so the vegetation is much more abundant compared to the areas we were in last weekend.
All in all it was a great day to be out hiking in the desert. The area is rich in history as well as scenery. Native Americans have been living here for years, not only are there pictographs to see, but also lots of morteros, the grinding holes in the rocks. The writer Marshal South and his family built their adobe home on the top of Ghost Mountain in 1930 and lived there until 1947. They had to carry everything up the same steep 1-mile trail that went up. There is still quite a bit of the old place still up there, but it seems to be a bit more eroded each time I see it. Here's their sundial. It was just about Noon when I took this shot.
Click here to see more images from Blair Valley, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, on Saturday, March 3, 2012.
Photography . . . Travel . . .
- Frank B. Baiamonte
- San Diego, California, United States
- About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.
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Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.