Anza Borrego: Jasper Trail - Old Borrego Valley Road

Rating *****
Length 24.3 mile (one way) - 4 Hour, 20 minutes (one way). Easy/Moderate (some soft and steep terrain).
Elevation 4220 - 600 feet
Access All cars, start at the Jasper Trail

A scenic bike ride from high desert to low desert, that goes generally downhill.
This bike ride needs a drop off car at the Jasper trail, the signed Jasper trail is located on the Montezuma grade, close to the end of the park.

Follow the Jasper trail, a good firm dirt road.
Parts of the road are: washed away, rather steep and or rocky.

The first part is hilly, so the road goes down and up again eventually ending at it's highest point at a saddle.
Disregard the first road on the left to a small parking.
At a 4 way crossing keep on going, left Old Culp Valley Road, right to Ranchita.
At the saddle disregard the road to the left, that dead ends at the slab.

Now we go down steeply, the road curves and heads uphill to a ridge. On top of the ridge we go down steeply again and this part is pretty bad to drive by car.
The ride gets more pleasant as the road descends less steeply.

The road turns around the Angelina Spring and we get another bad stretch of the road.
Notice the desert willow trees, they look dead most of the year but in spring (March) they form leaves and pretty flower. At this point the road is called the Grapevine Canyon Road.

A wider canyon to the right named Bitter creek, now the 3 way crossing is close.
One is marked highway, pick-up location 1).

Turn left on the road marked by a sigh soft sand (Yaqui Wells Rd). No soft sand, but a pleasant gradual down hill road, some gravel and indeed at the very end some soft sand.
The dirt road runs more or less parallel to the San Felipe Wash, gradually nearing it.
Cross the asphalt road into the San Felipe Wash, an unexpected surprise, the wash is rather firm.

I liked this part of the ride, going cross country around willow and smoke trees.
The narrows is a bit of an overstatement as the wash is still pretty wide at that point.
At the narrows electrical substation the Old Borrego Valley Road crosses the wash.
This is pick-up location 2).

Follow the Old Borrego Valley Road (dirt), do not follow the unmarked pole line road that crosses the road two times further on.
On a stretch with extreme soft sand I had to hike for about 10 minutes.
After the sandy part the road turns and more or less crosses a number of small washes, eventually ending at the asphalt. Again disregard the pole line road.
This point is about 5 minutes from the El Zorro crossing (S3 Yaqui Pass Rd / Borrego springs Rd ) and luckily going downhill.

Pick-up locations:
1) The end of the Grapevine Canyon, marked from the asphalt.
2) The narrows substation, the most sensible stop.
3) Somewhere in town.

Warning:
This ride starts at a high elevation close to a ridge. On a windy day it can be a lot cooler, on a 70 degrees day in town, it can feel like freezing up at the Jasper trail.
When you see a heavy cloud cover, it may just as well rain at the Jasper trail, even when it's sunny in Borrego Springs.
On the other hand it can be very hot, once back on the Old Borrego Valley Road.
Between 70 - 80 in Borrego springs is probably a perfect day for this bike ride.

Disclaimer: Read this first before you start your hike. Contact: info/at/borregohiking/./com (leave out the /)
Hiking the Borrego Springs Area (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park) California, Hike with gps, gpx and kml (Google Earth).

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