Anza-Borrego Desert: Sombrero Peak and Palms

Rating *****
Length 4.7 mile (return) - 4 Hour, 40 minutes (return trip). Moderate.
Elevation 2280 - 4250 feet
Access On Hwy S2 close to Mile 46, exit Indian Gorge. Drive for 2.5 mile. Take the left fork and drive up to the end of the road. You need a bit of ground clearance and sometime a 4x4.

The whole area is dotted with palms.
You find some at the end of the road and further up in the same wash.

At the end of the road, hike up the canyon, but only for a very short while, the canyon is filled with boulders.
Just head south, up the steep wall, it's sand with some rocks, not too bad a place to go up.

Once on the first peak, the terrain looks pleasant, more flat with plenty of sand to hike on.

Close to the saddle head to the West, head for the trees way up, following a wildlife trail / tiny wash, it's actually good almost a hiking trail.
This route stays well clear of the boulders.

Before we knew it we where at point "Peak 2", not a peak, but you get the feeling you are on one.

Head South/West and later on North/West following the terrain, almost no boulders, that was a big surprise for us, having read it was a peak hiked by few.

At a saddle you are right in front of the actual peak. As with most peaks around here, this is a pile of large boulders.

Take your time to find a route, it should be fairly easy, some scrubs may be in the way, but they are mostly harmless.

A bit tricky to find the actual peak, probably the pointy boulder.
Go down the same way you came.

On the way down we noticed the palms on the South/East, somehow we missed them on our way up.
As we where well ahead of schedule, to say the least, still fit and with ample water left, we decided to go down.
Don't go down unless you are still fit.

It's rather steep looking back, but the sand makes the first part down even easier than the way we came up.
The first part that is, you get plenty of boulders after that, but you can go mostly around them, but still, it's a lot harder than the way we came up.

Finally at the upper palms, that didn't look that healthy, we decided to go around the palms, as it was to tricky close to the palm (steep and slippery).

At the lower palms go up north, close to a small boulder rich wash.
It was a tiring trip going down, luckily this is only a short hike up to a saddle and the steep part is relatively short.

On our way down we decided to go down another way, a less steep wash a bit to the east.

But less steep equals more boulders. So I would slightly favor this route coming down, NOT going up.

You will end up very close to the car.

To the peak and return Moderate.
Down to the palms is a lot harder and of course longer.

Peak 1: 35 Minutes.
Peak 2: 1 Hour.
Saddle: 1 Hour 30 Minutes.
Peak: 2 Hours.
Oasis Upper: 3 Hour 20 Minutes.

The detour to the palms takes about 30 minutes extra.

How to get here:

On Hwy S2 close to Mile 46, exit Indian Gorge. Drive for 2.5 mile. Take the left fork and drive up to the end of the road. You need a bit of ground clearance and sometimes a 4x4.
It's a risk going in without a 4x4, you may make it, sometimes without any problems, but you can just as easily get stuck in the soft sand.
Most of the soft sand on the road can be found just at the start.
The road is sand with an occasional small rock.
Beyond the Torote canyon the road gets better and is as good as it gets (2014).

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 SP, Cuyamaca Rancho SP, Imperial Sand Dunes (Algodones Dunes), Jacumba, Laguna Mountain, Warner Springs) California, Hike with gps, gpx and kml (Google Earth).

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