Anza-Borrego Desert: Morteros Canyon
||3.8 mile (one way) - 2 Hour, 30 minutes (one way) . Moderate/lots of boulders.
||2850 - 1580 feet
||Car shuttle hike, high clearance preferred, park at Morteros.
This is a car shuttle hike into a spectacular boulder rich canyon.
The hike starts the morteros parking.
Follow the signed route and explore the area.
As the signed route ends and you don't like boulders, hike back.
The terrain alternates between boulder stretches and a sandy wash.
You will encounter some steeper drops, with huge boulders.
It may seem attractive to follow terrain outside of the main canyon wash, but this way you may end up rather steep. Basically don't stray too far from the centre of the canyon.
Try to go around and hop boulders, use the flat boulders. (flat boulders may be slippery).
The hike enters the cactus area, with nice sandy washes, the only obstacles, jumping cholla.
Keep right until you reach the Vallecito county parking.
My wife told me, the best part is at the beginning and the end of the hike.
You will encounter huge boulders, it's easy to run into serious problems, when you are unaccustomed to boulder hiking.
How to get here:
Leave one car near the horseback staging area off of County Road S-2 (North of the road) at Vallecito Stage Station County Park, and the other at the signed trailhead to the morteros in Blair Valley (Just follow the sign morteros).
At Vallecito you may consider to park roadside, just outside of the county park, to avoid the $3 (2015) parking fee.
Both ends of the shuttle hike are at least an one hour drive apart. The dirt road up to the morteros, can most of the time be driven by any car, but may sometimes be accessible by high clearance only, or even 4x4 only.
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