Saturday, December 8, 2018

Yaqui Well & Grapevine Canyon Trails Anza Borrego Desert

Yaqui Well was used by the Yaqui Native Americans as well as the early emigrants.  This well is situated in Grapevine Canyon which was one of the old emigrant wagon & stage coach roads through Anza Borrego desert.  This valley contains a seasonal creek and several historic springs.  Grapevine Canyon Trail is not really a trail but merely a wash along the seasonal creek.  From Scissors Crossing at the bottom of Banner Grade below Julian, go east on SR-78 for 7 miles and turn left (north) on Yaqui Pass Road.  The Yaqui Well is about 1/2 mile in.
 Adjacent to Yaqui Well
Yaqui Well 
 Yaqui Well Growth
 Yaqui Well View
 Yaqui Well Trail
 Yaqui Well Location
 Yaqui Well Tree
Grapevine Canyon Trail Below

 Grapevine Canyon Road--Old Emigrant Road

 Connor Surveys Grapevine Canyon Old Emigrant Road

 Connor Takes Breather Along Grapevine Canyon Trail
 Possible Well Site Along Grapevine Canyon Trail
 Seasonal Creek Grapevine Canyon Trail

 Connor Runs Down to Seasonal Creek but No Water

 Along the Old Emigrant Road Grapevine Canyon Trail
 Yuccas & Alloes along Grapevine Canyon Trail

Another Possible Well Site Grapevine Canyon Trail

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Harper Flat via SR-78 & Pinyon Wash Road--The Narrows Anza Borrego State Park

I was very excited to explore Harper Flat, the largest ancient Native American site (petroglyphs, pottery pieces, arrow heads, grinding stones & morteros) in Anza Borrego Desert.  The trip started from  SR-78, approximately 10 miles east of Scissors Crossing and a few miles short of Ocotillo Wells.  I turned right (south) onto Pinyon Wash Road and proceeded to drive 2.5 miles until the sand became too deep and the rocks too large to drive further.  I parked just past the junction with Nolena Wash Road and dressed Connor in his desert boots and back pack.  We then began hiking along the open wash which narrowed as we got further into the canyon.  After about a mile in, Connor spotted a rabbit and the chase was on.  One of Connor's boots flew off in the melee and his backpack slipped to the side.  Fortunately, as fast as Irish wolfhounds are, Connor could not keep up with the rabbit over the desert terrain.  We continued our trek to within .5 miles of our intended destination.  However, a barrier of large granite boulders approximately 200' high stopped our progress and we had to retrace our steps without exploring Harper Flat. 

As a consolation, we later explored the Narrows which was only 1/2 mile east.  As usual, we didn't run into any other hikers on either trail.  The Narrows takes one through a quick course in geology.  Exposed granite boulders here are over 100,000 million years old!  The San Jacinto & Elsinore Faults converge here, offshoots of the San Andreas Fault.  Coastal rock outcropping in Monterey CA has shifted from Anza Borrego via the San Andreas Fault.  Some of the metamorphic rock here is over 450 million years old from a time when Anza Borrego desert was at the bottom of the ocean, just south of Guaymas, on the Mexican mainland.  The San Andreas Fault is responsible for breaking Baja from the main land of Mexico and continues to expand the distance between Baja and Mexico.  Hot and cold springs in this area of the desert result from fault cracks deep in the earth. 

I am already planning my next trip to the desert to locate and explore Harper Flat via an alternate route...
 Connor surveys the start of the trail

 Trail blocked by sea of boulders
 Barrier to Connor Proceeding Further
The Narrows Anza Borrego State Park