Photography . . . Travel . . .

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day Trip to Anza Borrego - Blair Valley - Oct 17, 2010

It was cool and grey in San Diego this past weekend, and sort of sunny and warm in the desert. I drove out to Anza Borrego to take a look around. It was still a little on the warm side, in the high 80's, but the Xterra has good air conditioning.  I started out by driving around the Buttes Pass area, out to the top of the Borrego Mountain Road drop-off, and then backtracked to Buttes Pass Road and in to Hawk Canyon to find a shady spot for lunch. 

After lunch I continued north on Buttes Pass out to San Felipe Wash, then turned east and eventually found my way out to Hwy 78 at the Ocotillo Wells OHV Area. I had hoped for some nice landscape photo ops, but the air was hazy and a bit humid at these lower elevations, so I changed plans and headed out to Blair Valley, off of County Road S-2. Blair Valley sits at a little over 2,000' elevation, and some of the trails there go up to just over 3,000'. The whole area is much more heavily covered in vegetation, and the air felt a lot crisper and drier (it was still warm though). The trails at Blair Valley are all passable in a high-clearance 2WD, just some soft sand in places.

It was very quiet out there. Once I turned off the engine there was just silence (and the occasional birds). In 15 miles of trails I saw one other vehicle, and one guy on a mountain bike (struggling in the soft sand). It was like I had the whole place to myself. You can just see the rain clouds that covered the western side of the mountains out to the coast just starting to spill over the top of the mountains in this next shot.

It's a little hard to see in this next picture, but that little white thing in the upper left corner that doesn't quite look like a cloud is the moon, rising over the dry lake bed.

There are 2 dry lake beds along the route, here's another view of the moon rise, this time from the other lake bed. From the looks of things, I would say that these were not all that dry this past year. 

The very late afternoon sun gave everything a nice warm glow, and backlit the cholla cactus quite nicely.

Heading home west towards the setting sun (about 10 minutes before sunset), you can see the clouds spilling over the top of the mountain. In few minutes visibility would go from several miles to almost nothing.

Click here to see more images from my day trip to Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

1 comment:

  1. It looked like the perfect day to go! Can't wait until we can get out there again. Maybe in another couple of weeks.


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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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All of the content and images on this site (c) Frank B. Baiamonte. If you would like to use any of these images please contact me via email at to discuss terms of usage. Note that images from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are not available for commercial usage. You can also see more on my Instagram page @frankbaiamonte.

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.