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2014-03-08  
2013-04-07  
Mortero Palms, CA
mini location map2013-04-07
15 by photographer avatarchumley
photographer avatar
 
Mortero Palms, CA 
Mortero Palms, CA
 
Hiking avatar Apr 07 2013
chumley
Hiking1.38 Miles 436 AEG
Hiking1.38 Miles   1 Hour   6 Mns   1.25 mph
436 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
On my way back from San Diego, I planned to spend a few hours having fun in the Anza Borrego and had my eye set on the Goat Canyon rail trestle. Using Randall's triplog from Feb 12, and the GPS track info added by Hank, I decided that a 6-7 mile out-n-back from Mortero Palms would be a worthy day for me.

After finding the trailhead (there's a huge new windfarm in the Imperial Valley that has made a mess of new roads), I made a quick visit to the perennial Dos Cabezas Spring (not much more than a trickle) before heading one canyon over.

I set off looking for the route up to Goat Canyon. It was a sandy wash and there were a few cairns, but otherwise it was pretty much an explorative journey. As the trail began to ascend, I found myself doing a lot more scrambling than I had expected. I had my hiking poles out, prodding and poking the ground in front of me, since it is now into snake season. That made things more treacherous too since I think this would be much easier without the poles.

It was in the mid 80s and I was sweating pretty good under the desert sun as I climbed the boulder-filled canyon. I began to doubt my ability to get to the pass, and then down the other side to the railroad before having to do it all again in reverse.

That's when I spotted Mortero Palms! What a neat oasis in the desert. I always wonder how these palms come to grow in such random spots. There's one in Aravaipa that always throws me for a loop. Palms are not native to the desert after all...

Anyway, the palms offer a densely shaded and borderline creepy area with tons of frond debris strewn about making the footing surprisingly slippery. After some photos, I pushed on up canyon, which required a couple of interesting route selections, backtracking, and short climbs.

When I got above the palms, I re-evaluated my situation and decided that I was not prepared to make the trip over to the railway. The route-finding was proving more difficult than I had hoped, and I had begun too late in the day. So I turned around and headed back down to the truck before embarking on Plan B...

What I can say for sure is this area is awesomely rugged and stunningly beautiful. I have every intention of returning here on a trip specifically for the mission, rather than a pit stop on the way home from the coast. The route over the mountain to Goat Canyon is still on my list!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Dos Cabezas Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
A light flow out of the spring pipe.

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33s over 45s
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chumley's
1,064 Photosets

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