Sombrero Peak is an iconic peak when you enter Anza Borrego Desert State Park from the south. It is visible from the S2 highway from Ocotillo until you pass the Bow Willow campground. There are a few different routes up to the peak, the two most popular being the shorter approach from Indian Valley and and the longer less steep approach from McCain Valley. Neither approach is easy and you will need some cross country navigation skills to get there. The views from the peak are incredible, you will get 360 degree views of the entire Anza Borrego desert and also of the McCain and Imperial Valleys.
You can download a Google Earth KML file of my trip here.
You will need to plan your own route and be confident in your route navigation skills before heading out to the peak, my GPS tracks alone will not get you there and back.
This trip was mostly to capture panoramic images of the desert from the peak. I had my camera packed away knowing I would make better time if I wasn't stopping every second to take pictures. As a consequence I missed several good wildlife shots. I saw a large coyote, a fox, a 4' rattlesnake, several Turkey Vultures, two large Red Tail Hawks and countless smaller birds.
There are always the intriguing rock formations in McCain Valley that can take whatever shapes your mind can think of, mostly faces for me.
Here is "Boulder Man" East and West side views
You can follow mostly old jeep trails up to the last 1.7 miles to the peak, after that you will need to use your navigation skills and maps to the peak.
1.7 miles to the peak from here, not much trail after this
If you look close enough you can find pottery sherds along the way (please don't take home)
You can see the Jacumba Mtn Peak and the Goat Canyon Trestle from Sombrero Peak
The panoramic views are awesome from the peak. Here are a few panorama images you can check out.
Panorama from Sombrero Peak looking north-east-south-west. This is a very interesting panorama, you will need to download and zoom in 100% and pan around. You can see so much from here, including the Goat Canyon train trestle. This was shot at 75mm focal length.
Click here to download (28MB)
Here is a panorama at 300mm focal length mostly south from Tule Mtn to the west of McCain Valley
Click here to download (24MB)
Panorama of Ocotillo from Sombrero Peak
Click here to download (5MB)