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Anza Borrego SP - Pictograph trail

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Pictographs, Dry Waterfall, Remains of an Indian Village
Near:Borrego Springs, CA
Distance:2.75 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:400 ft
Hike Time:1.5 hours
Trail Condition:OK, but a few difficult spots
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: This is a very nice hike - a great family trail. There is some uphill, but not enough to wear anyone down. The pictographs are up close and personal and will spark the imagination of anyone. Many people will turn around and head back to their cars. If you do, you are missing some truly neat additions to this hike, that don't require much additional effort. If you follow the trail - it will end at a 50 foot dry waterfall. You can't go any farther without ropes for rappelling. When you turn around - watch for signs of the old Indian Village. There are at least 30 mortreros in the surrounding rocks. Pretty neat!
Trailhead: From Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs head South, stay on S3. You will need to make a right and head West on the 78. From there you will take S2 South - go past the entrance to S2 North, about 1/4 mile up the road will be S2 South. Follow it to the dirt road marked Ghost Mountain, Portreros, and Pictographs. Follow the signs on the dirt road - it is the main road in this area.

The trail is easily followed. It leads up a hill, down through a wash to a dry waterfall. (Lat:33.01263 Lon:-116.34089)

Trail Guides for Anza Borrego SP - Pictograph trail:
California Hiking
by Tom Sinestra and Ann Marie Brown (Avalon Travel)

Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)

Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Anza Borrego State Park (760)767-5311
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted  123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 2   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Victoria on 12/18/2009
Access to the trail is through the overnight campground. As of November 2009 there was a $8.00 day use fee to park. Very reasonable considering you have access to fresh water and open air flush toilets. The trail is well marked with 15 trail guide markers along the way. Be sure to pick up a trail guide at the Visitor's Center. I would consider the trail "easy" - it's well marked, only a couple of places where you 'might' have to scramble over some rocks, and the elevation gain is unnoticeable. Be sure to take your camera and binocs. There are lots of Costa Hummingbirds which seem quite content to perch and big horn sheep dotting the sides of the canyon. Oh yeah, the trail ends at spectacular grove of California palms and lush oa

Reviewed by Arvind on 3/18/2008
This is a great hike, we hiked in March 2008, excellent weather and conditions. The trail becomes unmarked after about a mile, and we had to find our way scrambling on rocks, and that was the exciting part. So, I would not call this an "easy" hike. It's probably moderate, and definitely involves some bouldering, climbing on rocks (no ropes needed). But the key is to drive there in a car that has clearance. My car has very low clearance, and it was shoveling sand all the way. Another car got stuck in sand while passing us on the opposite side. The approach road is also very uneven, so drive in a car that can handle all that. SUV is best.

Reviewed by chels on 5/21/2007
i love anza borrego and blair valley and have been here MANY times. it holds a special place in my heart.

Reviewed by Jaime on 1/21/2007
Beautiful drive to get there! The weather was perfect. The trail is beautiful. Watch out for prickly cacti everywhere! The pictographs are amazing in person. Make sure to hike to end of dry waterfall in the canyon and you'll see the most breathtaking views of the desert from the top.

Reviewed by Samantha on 1/10/2007
The trail is a little steep at first and for us three girls, it was a little tiring. Make sure you get off the highway with plenty of daylight left or else you will be walking back in the dark once you get to the pictographs. I wish we had had the time to go further up the trial to the see the remains of the Indian village.

Reviewed by Cai Steffler on 5/26/2006
this was a peaceful non strenous hike with great rewards. Seeing the pictographs in person is something that is special to me. In addition to the pictographs, there is rock at the base of the pictographs where the natives crushed food to eat. What a great piece of history! totaly secluded and easy to find. Look for the sign off S-2 to say "Blair Valley" it is a bit hard to see so keep your eyes out.

Reviewed by JEff on 4/28/2006
I hiked Pictographs on 4/23/06. This was a great hike. There were a lot of wildflowers in bloom. The scenery is unique and the view at the end of the trail was quite a surpise. The trail is mostly easy, but there are a few spots of difficulty. If you can handle the first part near the trialhead, you will do fine. The directions from post on 3/27/2006 were a help. The dirt path has recently been maintained and I saw all types of vehicles make the drive.

Reviewed by Todd on 3/27/2006
Nice family hike. My wife and I took our three yr. old son. Only one or two spots our son needed help with. Just a heads up on the directions. When going South on S-2 from Highway 78, you probably won't see any signs for Ghost Mountain, Portreros, or Pictographs. Turn off of S-2 when you see the sign for Blair Valley. You will be making a left, heading east on a dirt road. There will be signs for Ghost Mountain, Portreros and Pictographs. You will be on the dirt road for about 5 miles. The dirt road is accesible by passenger car, but a vehicle with a little more ground clearance is better suited.

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, San Diego County Hiking, San Diego County Trails, San Diego County Hikes

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