I started looking thru some of my Jerry Schad books for some ideas to go hiking in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Jerry Schad is unfortunately not doing to well these days
and I know many of us wish him the best and are so thankful to him for his books that we have used for many years. I myself have the original 1987 copy that I still use.
Finding somewhere to hike in Anza Borrego is never a problem, instead the problem is just trying to make up your mind where! I settled on hiking up to the peak of Grapevine Mountain using Jerry's route as described in his book. I drove down Grapevine Canyon from the Ranchita area the day before and camped out at the starting area of the hiking route. The full hiking distance was about 6.3 miles and the elevation gain/loss was around '2500. This was a great hike that only took about 7 hours to complete and that includes 95 degree temps and lots of lolly gagging on my part. I would recommend a hike up thru Bitter Creek Canyon alone as I found it a fascinating area.
You can see all of my pictures from this trip and many others on my photo webiste
Google Earth map of my actual route as recorded by GPS
Stuart Spring had plenty of water and bees guarding it
It had rained heavily early in the day, the dirt roads were muddy and the morteros near Angelina Spring were filled with water
The first dry fall heading up to Grapevine mtn. Jerry Schad's book recommends bypassing it on either the left or right but I was able to easily go right up the middle
This is looking up at the saddle as described in Jerry Schad's book. The white dot just above the saddle is the moon
Grapevine Mtn peak way off in the distance, behind and just to the right of the peak at about 10'oclock in the photo
Sorry, I am a sucker for scat..
Grapevine Mtn peak straight ahead, not much trail to follow on this hike
I love the blue Juniper Berries in this scat
The register, this peak does not seem to have much activity as almost all of the entires are months apart. The last one before mine was March 18th, seven months ago. If you look at the entry in the jar you can see it is from park ranger Robert Theriault dated 1985. I tried to find an entry from Jerry Schad but did not see one on any of the sheets. I did see many entries from the Monday Maniacs over the years, they seem to like this peak
What's left of old survey markers
Looking west at the Volcan Mountains
Looking down at the ridge I would descend. The ridge starts in the lower left of the picture and goes generally west down towards the center of the picture. This is the steep descent Jerry Schad decribes in his book for this hike
Where I first dropped down into Bitter Creek Canyon. You can clearly see an animal path thru the grass
Here is an open sandy area thru the canyon
Bitter Creek Canyon was very interesting, there were many rocky areas and some wide open sandy areas
Honey comb up in a small rock shelter. The honey comb looked old and abandoned but when I climbed up to get a picture bees started flying out
This old bathtub is at the bottom of Bitter creek Spring. You can see old pipes going up to the spring from here
Bitter Creek Spring is right at the base of this palm tree. I poked my head in there and only saw moist ground with a lot of bees
This was an interesting piece of pottery I found in the creek. I thought it might have a pattern drawn on it in black but after closer examination of the photo at home with Dstretch I think it is just from age
My little field mouse friend
Anybody ever notice these petroglyphs driving thru Ocotillo? Not much patina, fake is my guess
Why do they always crap right in the morteros??