By: Gabriele Rau
Lower Peaks Hike, Gabriele Rau and Luella Fickle
What a great desert peak hike! The weather could not have been better, a few days after rains and now sunny and clear. Seven hikers met at North Orange County rideshare for the long drive to the desert, but the long drive was worth it. We had two 4WD vehicles. A 4WD is a MUST for the 3 miles of very poor dirtroad. After passing Warner Springs, take S2 to the left, after 4.7 miles at a Y-crossing take S22 to the left, leading into Anza Borego State Park. At milepost 10.4 an inconspicuous dirt road leads right, along the main road is a small sign ‘Culp Valley Road‘. The dirt road immediately dips down, than flattens out. Very often you can see campers ahead to your right on two large turn arounds. Continue past the campers, then take the right road. There are several short spurs, keep on the main road. Sometimes this main road splits, take the one that looks better or easier for your car, these splits meet again shortly. After 3 miles of a very bumpy ride you see a small turn around on your left side, and a sign: ‘Wilson Trail‘. Start hiking on the trail, it is hard to believe that this was once a road. There are interesting rock formations on both sides of the trail, it was too early for flowers, but it was green. The rather moist sand was easy to walk on, there was a silence and tranquility hard to imagine. There are several ups and downs, none of them very long. We got to the ducks, I wanted to go up to the summit, but Erich thought climbing the back side would be easier. So we tried this, there was no problem and we soon got to the peak. We had lunch and we identified most of the peaks we could see. Luella sure knows her peaks! Then we climbed down the other way, which was ducked very nicely. The way back took us longer than anticipated, nobody realized that we had hiked such a long distance in the morning!
Participants were Erich Fickle, Laura Franciosi, Charlotte Gulsby, Mark Hodgson, Linda Landau. Thanks to Luella for assisting!
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