Jacumba Mountain, Sombrero Peak, Indianhead
By: Dale van Dalsem
It was 95 at LAX, 98 downtown, 103 in Riverside, & hotter in the Anza-Borrego. As Bill Kiuwin said "Dale, you shouldn't schedule these summer DPS trips; late March would be better!"
We met at 6 A.M & drove the dirt road for the short southern route to Jacumba: I-8 to Jacumba off-ramp, 1.2 to Old Hwy 80, left 1.9 to dirt road, left about .5 mi, jog right .1, then left under the freeway & drive 5.6 to quarry, consolidating vehicles a mile or so in. Route and quarry are shown accurately on Auto Club San Diego County Map and on "Jacumba" topo. All high clearance vehicles reached the quarry at the north end of section 21 on the topo, from where it's a 1.3 mi, 1200', 1-1.5 hr hike each way. All 26 made the peak in beautiful, cool, clear weather.
Sombrero can be done easily from the west, but we wanted to be in position to reach our campground easily, so we drove around through Ocotillo & slogged up from the South Fork of Indian Canyon, 2000' gain, 1 mile, and a long time in Saturday afternoon's heat. 15 or 16 struggled to the top, & we drove to the group campground "Caravan Site" at Agua Caliente Campground The $130 cost worked out to $5 per person; the hot showers, indoor spa and covered picnic tables were worth the $5 for most of us. Downers: the outdoor spa was full of squealing rug rats; Spas all close at 5 P.M. officially, but we were there by 4 P.M. and the mellow county park people had not closed the spas by 5:30. We had a good campfire with Steve Z & his guitar, and a Mexican potluck.
Sunday we drove to the Borrego Palm Canyon State Campground ($3/car admission), parked & hiked Indianhead. Leader wanted to hike up the SE gully direct (between the A & R in PARK on the topo) Wiser (?) heads talked me into going up the canyon to 1800', then NNE up the ridge just right of the 3200' saddle, then SE up the peak. We spent 2 hours hiking up the canyon, and another 3 & a half hours panting up the hot ridge. The canyon was gorgeous, but the ridge and heat took its toll. We started with 24 people, some of whom only wanted to hike the canyon. 11 reached the summit! We were treated to a very rare sight: Five bighorn sheep on the northern slope of the peak, some with magnificent racks. We descended fairly quickly via the steep, loose, SSE gully and some of us took advantage of the hot showers in the campground. This was billed as a beginner's trip and we attracted 19 non-DPS members. Unfortunately, the heat probably blew most away, although all got Jacumba, and enjoyed the Saturday night potluck and the hike in beautiful Borrego Palm Canyon.
Thanks to Edna for assisting, subbing for Gene 0, who somehow wound up scheduled for two trips the same weekend. Omnipresence was not amongst Gene's many talents.
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