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Whale Peak Loop (Anza-Borrego)

 
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Sean
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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Location: Monterey Park, CA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:37 am    Post subject: Whale Peak Loop (Anza-Borrego)  Reply with quote

For my third trip to Anza-Borrego in only two weeks, the girlfriend and I chose Whale Peak for a post-Thanksgiving desert pilgrimage. We started from the Pictographs Trail in Blair Valley.



It's an easy mile to a large boulder tagged with historical Native American art.



After interpreting the mysterious symbols, we then looked across Smuggler Canyon at our ascent gully.



We spent quite a bit of time wandering through the abundance of cacti and boulders.



Cecelia created her own chalk Pictographs.



After the gully we reached our ridge, which proved to be easier than the gully and provided our first view of the ultimate destination.


(Whale Peak seen in background)

We had fun on some of the cool rock formations atop the ridge. This one reminded us of a whale's head.



We also admired some beautiful plant life.





After passing a false bump or two, we reached the final push.





At last we summited Whale Peak. It was cold but clear, the previous night's storm having fled the area entirely. The whole State Park seemed within reach.




(View toward Borrego Springs)


(View toward Carrizo Valley)

Having lollygagged too long during the ascent, we now raced back down on the return, this time by way of the established trail through Smuggler Canyon. We got to the car with little daylight remaining.


(Smuggler Canyon at dusk)
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tekewin



Joined: 11 Apr 2013
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Location: Aliso Viejo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice trip! The desert is habit forming and Anza-Borrego is one of my favorites.

You saw bighorns on 2 out of 3 trips, a winning percentage. At last count, there were only 253 bighorns in the park. Here is an interesting state park page on the distribution of bighorns in the park (pdf).
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Sean
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Location: Monterey Park, CA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tekewin wrote:
At last count, there were only 253 bighorns in the park. Here is an interesting state park page on the distribution of bighorns in the park (pdf).


Looks like we need to check out the Rattlesnake Spring area. I wonder why they do the count in the summer heat. Is that when the babies arrive?
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dima



Joined: 12 Feb 2014
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Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sean wrote:
I wonder why they do the count in the summer heat. Is that when the babies arrive?


I don't know when the babies arrive, but the count in the San Gabriels used to be held in April. So yeah, I wonder.
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hiiker



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
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Location: SoCal

PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great photos and it looked like a fun adventure.  However, why would your friend Cecelia mark up a rock with chalk?  That's something I don't want to see when I'm out in the wilderness and it's illegal!

Is she wanting to be like Casey Nocket?

Please ask her to think twice next time.  Cool
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Sean
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Location: Monterey Park, CA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hiiker wrote:
However, why would your friend Cecelia mark up a rock with chalk?  That's something I don't want to see when I'm out in the wilderness and it's illegal!

Is she wanting to be like Casey Nocket?


Nah, she wants to be like the Native Americans who scribbled stuff on the boulders. It's fun.

I can understand if you don't want to see it. Feel free to splash some water on it when you happen upon it in the middle of nowhere.
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