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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Indian Hill, CA

Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,905 feet
Elevation Gain 248 feet
Accumulated Gain 248 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.49
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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3  2019-11-18 Stoic
30  2013-04-07
Indian Hill to Goat Canyon Trestle
21  2012-02-05
Indian Hill & Carrizo Palms Trail
14  2012-02-05 PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 172
Routes 229
Photos 6,096
Trips 1,128 map ( 2,523 miles )
Age 41 Male Gender
Location Pocatello, ID
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:02am - 6:39pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

Take a trip to the REAL Indian Hill
by PaleoRob

Likely In-Season!
Overview: The hike to Indian Hill, in the Anza-Borrego desert, takes you through some classic Mohave Desert scenery, and terminates at ancient Native American rock art. Cool stuff!

Warning: There are many sharp plants along the route. There is no shade, except at Indian Hill, and no water. Take appropriate precautions.

History: The Anza-Borrego desert has long been inhabited by ancestors of the Cahuilla, Cupeno, Diegueno, and Kumeyaay tribes. They left many marks on the harsh landscape, including morteros (where food, pigment, and various other things were ground), petroglyphs, and pictographs. Their modern descendents still hold these spots to be sacred, so treat them with respect. After most Natives had either been forced on to reservations or simply left the area, Anglo-American settlers trekked across the desert. In the early part of the 20th century, some of these Americans built "the Impossible Railroad', the San Diego and Eastern. This line connected the mountain-locked city of San Diego with the fields and markets of the East. The remaining rail line is but one of the many reminders of their work in the area.

Hike: The hike starts along the Dos Cabezas Road, just southeast of the two large hills near the end of the road. Some folks will park at the end of the road, but there is parking just off the road that doesn't require a scramble to get up to the tracks. After crossing the tracks, a relatively well-worn trail leads off to the southwest. A good map will be useful here. Across the flats, there are two hills: one pointy hill, on the left, and one longer ridge. This longer ridge is labeled "Indian Hill" on the topos, but is not your actual destination. Make a course heading roughly towards the eastern-most (or closest) point on the Indian Hill ridge. This will require crossing an abandoned 4x4 track and weaving through dozens of cholla. Once you reach the easternmost point, you will see a mound of boulders directly to your south. This is the REAL Indian Hill. There are dozens and dozens of morteros scattered around the base of the hill, and many of the sheltered alcoves offer a view of well-preserved pictographs. On the northern side of the REAL Indian Hill is a "yoni", or female fertility icon. A large boulder has been scraped and etched by the Native Americans who inhabited Indian Hill to resemble a vulva. Sit under it at your own risk. There are plenty of neat ancient glimpses into the past to keep you searching for hours. Once you have finished, return to your vehicle the same way you came. If you are looking to get more out of your hike, consider trekking west along the closed 4x4 road. This will take you to an old railroad camp and eventually to another section of track along the San Diego and Eastern's line.

Water Sources: NONE

Camping: Camping at the trailhead or in the backcountry is allowed. There are better car-camping spots nearby, however.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2012-02-13 PaleoRob
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    CA State Parks - Fee: typically $2-$15 per vehicle, view more information

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    From San Diego, drive east on I-8. Exit at Ocotillo and check your gas. Drive north through Ocotillo, and continue following the road as it trends roughly northwest. Just past a Border Patrol checkpoint there is a signed turn-off for Mortero Wash Road. There is also a kiosk at the turn. Mortero Wash Road goes up a sandy wash for several miles, so plan on having 4x4. Just before the railroad tracks and the water tower, there is a road that bears off to the left, crosses a wash, and follows along a ridge near a dolomite quarry. Take this route - following along the train tracks on the road from the water tower, there are some serious bad spots. Take the detour!

    Once past the bad spots, the going is easy along the tracks. Find the pulloff just southeast of the first hill next to the tracks, and start your hike from there.
    page created by PaleoRob on Feb 13 2012 9:28 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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