Anza-Borrego Desert: Wind Caves - Gypsum Peak
||6.5 mile (loop) - 4 Hour, 5 minutes (loop). Moderate (Boulders).
||500 - 1690 feet
||Fish creek wash. AWD recommended.
Studying satellite images, I noticed the light colored formations above the Wind Caves, so that's where we are heading.
The hike starts at the Wind Caves sign, following the trails uphill.
The hike follows faint trails up along the ridge line, the canyons left Crazycline canyon and right Wind caves canyon.
The terrain varies from a faint trail to slippery rocky.
Eventually reaching one of the many roads, follow the old washed out road up for a while, at some point the road vanishes, head cross country towards the peak.
Notice the Pygmy cedar "forest" on this barren ground, about the only thing that likes to grow out here.
Meeting another road that heads towards the peak.
Enjoy the great view but make sure to stay away from the unstable cliff face.
To complete the loop, take the left fork on the road and go down a nice rocky canyon (Wind caves wash) in the east. Notice the striking difference in terrain.
Interesting are the Gypsum flowers, growing out of the sand, mixed with other minerals some are very colorful.
Don't miss the Anticlines and Synclines along the way.
How to get here:
Take Split Mountain Road for about 8 miles.
Follow the road towards the Fish Creek camp ground.
The road starts in the middle of the wash in most years.
Road condition vary a lot from year to year.
But normally any AWD should do. The road is sandy with some rocks.
[In some years a regular car can make it all the way up to the wind caves. But unless you check at the visitor centre, don't even think about it. As the road, in some years, may even be challenging for high clearance cars.]
As soon as you see the wind cave sign on the left side of the wash (after 5 miles), park.
Don't head into the North or South fork (sometimes) signed.
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