Anza-Borrego Desert: Sunset Mountain Peak

Rating *****
Length 6.3 mile (return) - 5 Hour (return trip). Moderate/Hard.
Elevation 1620 - 3660 feet
Access A higher clearance is needed, a 4x4 normally not, but sand can be deep. At Hwy 78, mile 81, take the signed exit Pinyon Canyon. Keep east (left) at every fork and park after about 2.4 mile.

Head to the wash on the left (East).
It starts out as a sandy wash, but soon gets more rocky. The middle of the wash is the best spot on the first rocky part.
We moved over to the left side and kept more or less left and right along the rocky wash (but not in it).
Rock slides are the most problematic, filling a whole area with boulders.
Once up the saddle, great views from both side. It looks better from now on, but that's not the case, hike more to the middle of the ridge and try to find a path that is less boulder rich.
All in all not too steep a climb with plenty of mostly smaller boulders.

The peak is rather flat so that was the easy part.

You may return the same way you came or go further along the ridge. Time wise it's about the same, further is a longer hike.
Further is slightly steeper up to a saddle, where a water capture is located, further down steeper with bigger boulders.

Now we get a steeper wash, with plenty of big boulders, this makes the hike rather safe, but depending on your bouldering skills it may be a slightly harder. But going down makes it possible to slide down the boulders.
Actually going down isn't that complicated, but there are a lot of boulders.
Down below is the nice and sandy return wash, but the going is slow coming down on those boulders.
Once in the sandy Pinyon Wash fork, it's an easy hike back to the car.

Warning: This is not a casual hike, it's long and it may take you even longer, with lots lots lots of boulders and rough terrain, but a really nice hike and it's a peak.

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), Laguna Mountain, Warner Springs) California, Hike with gps, gpx and kml (Google Earth).

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