Monday, May 16, 2011

Anza Borrego - Culp Valley to Upper Hellhole Canyon

Taking advantage of another cool day in the desert, Ron, Robbie and I headed out to Culp Valley for an off trail excursion into upper Hellhole Canyon. Ron wasn't feeling well so he turned around to go back to the truck for some rest and small excursions not far from the truck. Robbie and I, however ventured on to conquer one of the most strenuous hikes we have done yet. We hiked mostly the whole way Up and down huge mountainsides scrambling over rocks, boulders and loose scree all the while getting zapped here and there by some of the most prickly, spiny, thorny plants. The ausome beauty and solitude around the whole area made the effort totally worth it. I didn't see any signs of human activity down in the canyon. Robbie almost stepped on a rattlesnake as we were crossing the creek at a very marshy leaf littered area of the creek. He got lucky though as the snake just rattled a little and slithered away quickly. It was strange how the snake did not rattle until Robbie's foot was right next to the snake.

The first three pics below were taken at the beginning of the hike. Those clouds were coming just over the mountain all day and burning of before they could reach the desert Spraying us with a light fine mist most of the day. Nice. These were the fastest moving clouds that I have ever seen, Zooming by in the sky all day long. Also the wind would blow so hard at times that it would almost knock me down.

The two pics below were taken as we gained the ridge at the top of the mountainside leading down into the canyon.

Below looking down into upper Hellhole Canyon that we descended into. Our destination was a waterfall near the patch of trees that you can see up into the tributary just above the center of the picture. The tributary creek was nearly dry though with only some seeps coming up here and there.

Below looking back at the mountain that we descended down to get into the canyon. Parts of that mountain are almost straight up vertical. What a cardiovascular, leg burning, knee knocking time. Really good workout.

Below the view looking into the upper reaches of Hellhole canyon.
Below back at the trailhead resting, eating, drinking, taking in the killer views.

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