Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Torote Canyon / Indian Valley ABDSP

Torote Canyon
The 3 day Presidents weekend brought a lot of visitors to Anza Borrego as well as the adjacent BLM lands. Our original plan was to camp and hike Painted Gorge. When my son and I arrived at the Painted Gorge trail head there were many OHV / RV users and also several groups target shooting near by so we decided to move on and head to Anza Borrego instead. Shifting gears and making a new 3 day plan we decided to camp at the base of Indian Gorge so I could try and capture some moonrise/sunrise pictures from the valley. This would also let us hike Torote Canyon the next morning. We hiked the full 9.8 mile loop thru the canyon, over the saddle near Indian (North) Valley and then back down to our campsite. We saw several other campers over the 3 days but none in the canyon where we hiked. The park rangers were also out and about, one ranger stopped and checked our metal fire container, ash cleanup bucket and also our dog being "leashed at all times". We had everything covered so we got a friendly smile and a "have a nice day" remark. The snow in the Laguna mountains was also a surprise vista.

Snow on Whale Peak Sunday morning, it was gone by 2pm

Honey Bee on some Desert Lavender

Heading up Torote Canyon

Some new blossoms in the wash

Some unidentified scat, the size of peanut shells. There was A LOT of this scat in the canyon

One hillside had a whole farm of Cholla Cactus

I can't have an outdoor trip without a picture of scat with bones in it

We saw some Prairie Falcons in the canyon

Looking down into Indian Valley (North) from the canyon saddle. You can see Sombrero Peak in the far distance

Coyote Mountains from our campsite late in the day

Sunrise on the Coyote Mtns. These colors lasted about 15 seconds

Whale Peak in the shadows of the sunrise

"Fred" our Drag Queen Alien makes his debut in Anza Borrego (Thanks Cayenne!)

Desert Lavender

The Laguna Mountains covered in snow viewed from the Domelands area

Our GPS tracks of Torote Canyon



  1. Great pictures Daren,
    OK I have to ask. What is up with "Fred"?


  2. Another question.
    Looks like from your GPS track you started from outside of Indian Gorge?
    Is that where you camped?


  3. Bob, yes we camped before the gorge entrance. I wanted to try and get pictures of the full moonrise and sunrise but the rain and cloud cover made that not possible. I was able to finally get a shot of the sunrise Monday morning though. It rained all night Saturday, we did not sleep at all.

    I traded Cayenne some bones from my canyon and she gave me "Fred" in trade. It is one of her art pieces, Fred being a Drag Queen Alien..haha..

  4. How is the camping there?
    I've always camped in the valley and never thought about camping outside there.

    Funny on the Drag Queen. :)


  5. Camping was actually really nice. The views of the valley are great. You don't get much of a view from inside the gorge or valley. Lots of squirrel mice and jack rabbits. Cholla balls also..8-(